Originally Posted by apollack
Maybe, but none of these guys deserved to be in the same breath as Louis. Joe Louis dominated an entire era of top fighters. None of these guys you mentioned did that. If they were going around drilling everyone like Joe was, believe me, even the so called racist white media would have gotten behind them the way they did Louis.
Bottom line is that all these guys you mention had losses to white fighters that Louis knocked out. I don't want to hear about handcuffs. If Joe could stop top white fighters and earn his way to the title, they could have too, if they could.
I don't think being a top ranked guy from a historical perspective has anything to do with race. Just because the top black fighters of the day lost to white fighters does not DQ them from a title shot.
Do you think Larry Gains deserved a shot? He beat Schmeling ( a white guy who beat Louis ), who defeated Louis.
The best conclusion here is Louis defiantly used the color line. While its true there wasn't a black fighter on the level of say Sam Langford or Harry Wills, only two black men of 26 defenses were given title shots when Louis management was making matches with well past their prime X champions or bum of the month boxers.
This is how boxing was in the 1930's. In truth even Sugar Ray Robinson used the color line to avoid certian fighters. You'll never hear that, but it is a point with plenty of merit if you research it.