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Best Of A Century:

Fights Of The Century:

1930-1939

Joe Louis Vs. Max Schemling 2

Louis-Schmeling 2 mini-slideshow!

The Joe Louis versus Max Schmeling re-match on June 22, 1938 was far more than a over-hyped sequel, it was a prelude to WW ll. No boxing match of the century can match this fight in terms of its historical significance in the realm of politics, sports, and the drama it produced. Instead of Star Wars the Phantom Menace, it was World at War the Nazi Menace. It was Darth Sidious (Hitler) and the evil empire, complete with storm troopers, set out to over-run all who oppossed their baneful quest to dominate the world.

The whole of the world was watching when a sold out crowd packed into Yankee Stadium to see the highly anticipated battle. The German army was terrorizing Europe, and the world was on the brink of all out war.  Max Schmeling represented the embodiment of evil - the Emperor's Darth Vader, a warrior, an intelligent fighter, and an outstanding counter-puncher. Schmeling had beaten a young, overconfident Louis in their first meeting and was prepared to do so again.

Louis was the young Jedi Knight, a black superman, fighting for "truth, justice and the American way".  He was our champion, our only hope to defeat the evil Emperor's example of the "master race". He must avenge the cause and inspire to victory, so freedom could be restored to the world once again.

So important was this bout that the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, invited Louis to the White House, where he told him in Obi-Wan Kenobi-like fashion "Joe, were depending on those muscles for America!"  

At the opening bell Joe Louis came out like a Star Wars pod-racer at high speed. It took less than five seconds for Louis to open up with two hard left hooks and a powering right cross that snapped Max's head back. Louis then drove Schmeling to the ropes. A flurry of lefts and rights worked him perfectly to the head and body. Max was on unsteady legs. A sizzling right cross landed with the speed of a light-sabre causing Max to begin to sink to the canvas.

Max used the ropes to pull himslef up. A crunching right to the kidney caused Schmeling to yelp out in pain. It was reminiscent of Mike Tyson's comment from his fight with Tyrell Briggs, "He was making noises, somewhat like a woman screaming!". Referree Donovan moved in like he wanted to stop the fight and waved Louis to a neutral corner. He gave Max a one count and then allowed it to continue.  

Louis attacked, he could "feel the force". Louis fired a right with such savage intensity that Schmeling immeditaely fell to the canvas. He somehow struggled up at the count of 3. When he got up a powerful left-right combination re-deposited him on the canvas. On instinct he got up at two. Two crunching hooks and a hammering right cross felled Schmeling again. His trainer Max Machon threw in the towel, but Ref Donovan threw it back out and counted Schmeling out. The drama was over in 124 seconds! It truly was the "Return of the Jedi!"

Honorable Mentions:

Benny Lynch vs. Peter Kane, Oct. 13, 1937   Fought in front of 40,000 fans in Glasgow. An exciting and memorable bout noted for Kanes courage and relentlessness. Lynch won this one by ko 13. They drew 8 months later and Kane succeeded Lynch as World Flyweight Champion.

Henry Armstrong vs. Lou Ambers, Aug. 17th, 1938  A cut and bruised Armstrong hammers his way to a close hard-fought but deserved decision victory to earn the triple crown.