Originally Posted by Cachibatches
It is well accepted that Jack Johnson drew the color line against Langford and the rest of murder's row, but it seems that Loius gets a pass for not figging many worthy black fighters.
I know that Louis fought John Henry Lewis, and eventually, Jersey Joe Walcott. But why did he not fight other guys mentioned on the "NO Joe Loius" thread like Lem Franklin, Turkey Thompson, Harry Bobo, Elmer Ray, and Lee Q Quarry?
How would these fighters fair against Loius. How would/did they fair against Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles. Though they were essentially from a different era, for reference, how would they have done agaisnt Marciano?
Using the the color line really meant three things if you ask me.
1 ) Starting with the obvious, the fighter was black.
2 ) He wasn't a big draw.
3 ) He had very good ability.
Louis fought two black men in his record 20+ title defense. The first was John Henry Lewis. John Henry was a friend of Joe Louis, and was ill. The fight was given to him because he needed the money. John Henry Louis was past his best when he fight happend.
The other fighter was Walcott, who at that time was something of a fringe contender ( non top ten ranked by ring magazine ) in the early 1940's...at least I think. I am too lazy to look it up right now.
Elmer Ray was close to getting a title shot, then Louis people saw him KO someone at Madison Square Garden in NY, and steered clear of the match.
In the context of using the color line, Louis like a few other champions is guilty. However, I do not think he avoided clear #1, #2, or #3 contenders as Jack Johnson did. Jack Johnson had big time offers to fight Joe Jeanette, Sam Langford and Sam McVey as champion but balked.
As a footnote I do believe if a champion is offered enough money, he'll fight anyone. But each champion has their own price.