Originally Posted by SuzieQ49
Lem Franklin, there is no exuse. He was on a 19-0 with 17 kayo winning streak in 1941 and just knocked out big abe simon, when Louis management chose to give simon a REMATCH rather than fight the # 2 rated Franklin. No exuse here. Franklin should have got the shot in 41.
Harry Bobo is another who could have got a title shot in 1940-1941, He was a horrible draw though and a big risk. Big Risk + little reward did not appeal to Louis camp. You have to realize that the gate lost money in Louis vs Lewis black heavyweight title fight, they didnt want a repeat with that
Turkey Thompson's best years were during war years when Louis was gone and thompson defintley deserved title shot those years, but he was in and out of the ratings and despite his dangerous punching power, there were better black heavyweights out there when Louis returned from war in 46. Thompson had a chance for a title shot in 1940 but lost a shutout decision to Bob Pastor who got it instead.
Lee Q Murray and Jimmy Bivins got screwed out because there best years were during the war 1943-45 when Louis was overseas....when Louis came back in 46, Ray and Walcott had taken there place as top challengers. So they got screwed cause of the war, and had Louis been around I expect he would have given them a title shot during that 3 year span 1943-45. Louis did beat Bivins by wide decision in 1951.
Elmer Ray was # 1 and # 2 heavyweight contender in 1946-47. Louis camp should have found the time to give him a shot. In fairness, Louis did fight the better challenger walcott, but still Ray deserved it by going an incredible 72-2 with 66 kayos from 1940-1947!
Good info, but Bivins and Murray did not get screwed when Louis was over seas in the army. They benefited from Louis being away. Bivins got his chance vs an older Louis and lost easy.
It seems like Franklin and Ray got shafted here.