This Day in Sports History: March 1

Marquist Parker   Sports Editor


On March 1, 1949, former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Louis retired with a 66-3-0 record, including 52 knockouts(KOs). During what is often described as boxing’s “Golden Age” — approximately 1930 to 1955 — Joe Louis, the “Brown Bomber,” would become its undisputed king. Not only would Louis dominate his sport during this period, he transcended the color barrier and was cheered by Americans of all races. He became the first boxer to defeat six heavyweight champions (Primo Carnera, Max Baer, Jack Sharkey, Jimmy Braddock, Max Schmeling, and Jersey Joe Walcott).

After winning the championship, he held it almost 12 years to set a record, plus set another record with 25 successful title defenses. He retired with a 60-1 record, only to make an unsuccessful and very sad comeback at the age of 37. While champion, Joe Louis volunteered to join the U.S. Army at the height of his career. He made two title defenses, after which he donated his entire purses to relief funds to help both the Army and the Navy. He spent almost five years in the service and boxed hundreds of exhibitions. Joe Louis was buried with full-military honors, and it was said that he was “most” proud of his European-African-Middle Eastern Medal and his Victory Medal World War II. In or out of the ring, Joe Louis was a Champion.

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