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Old 06-25-2007, 08:09 AM   #29
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Default Re: Gene Tunney v Joe Louis

Originally Posted by janitor
It seems that every time Louis messed up it was through not listening to Blackburn. Blackburn warned him-

Not to take Schmeling lightly because he could counter him with an overhand right.

To watch out for Tony Galento's left hook while stepping in.

Not to dehydrate himself in the ryun up to the Conn fight.
And as you are very well aware Janitor, Blackburn also openly criticized his prized pupil for not taking the benefit of a full count whenever he was floored by an opponent. (Of course, this was a time before mandatory eight counts were administered following a knockdown.) On this particular issue though, I think Louis was being more prudent. Blackburn boxed prior to the implementation of the neutral corner rule, and as demonstrated by Walcott in the Marciano rematch, and Jerry Quarry in the Chuvalo fight, trying to obtain maximum benefit from a full count while on the deck can be a risky proposition.

Blackburn also heavily and openly criticized Joe's passion for golf, complaining that it taught him to hold his hands low, praising table tennis as a more complementary pasttime for a boxer. However, Tunney was also a dedicated golfer, and it didn't appear to effect his boxing adversely.

For me though, it does count against Louis that he didn't always listen to Blackburn. (Can you imagine disregarding the instructions of a mentor and ATG lightweight, who served time for killing a man, and carried a knife scar on his face?)
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