Originally Posted by Mendoza
One should never confuse what a fighter says in the press with reality. The Freddie Fuducua match was Franklin’s 5th professional fight. Here’s the truth. From 1940-1942. Franklin won 20 matches in a row, including KO’s over Simon and Musto. Louis gave title shots to Simon and Muston in 1941. Franklin also Ko’d Sheppard, Bivins, and Reddish during this time same time period. Franklin was very qualified.
Franklin was a puncher, and IMO Louis could have easily made a match with him, but opted not to. The risk vs. reward was not in Louis favor. One loss back then did not take a man out of the picture for many in the bum of the month club.
Elmer Ray was another fighter who was worthy of a title match with Louis. In Louis 26 title defenses, he only fought two black men, one of whom was sick ( John Henry Lewis ) , and the other really made him look bad by flooring him twice, and winning the majority of the rounds in both matches ( Walcott ).
Franklin fought Musto and Simon after Louis had already stopped them. 4 months later he was KO'd by Pastor. He wasn't exactly a Harry Wills looming around the title picture for a decade. He had one great year in 1941, a year when Louis had already defended his title against 7 men, and that was it.