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Old 04-28-2009, 04:30 PM   #16
apollack
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

The truth is that no black challenger particularly stood out as a whole lot better than any white challengers, who would make Louis more money. There was no great demand or one guy who really made a name for himself. Most of the black challengers back then lost to guys Louis beat, or didn't beat as impressively as Louis, or had spotty/sketchy/inconsistent results. There was no one guy that folks got behind and said Louis was ducking if he didn't fight them.

Looking at his record, Elmer Ray indeed had a good career during the war years, but in truth, he beat NO ONE during those years. A bunch of no names. He did have a 1st round knockout loss on his record. In 1946, he stopped Lee Savold in 2 rounds, the first real name on his record. He beat Jersey Joe by decision in ‘46, then lost to him in the rematch by decision in ’47. He beat Ezzard Charles via decision in ’47, but then got stopped by Charles in 9 rounds in ’48.

Lem Franklin got stopped by Eddie Simms in 8 rounds in ’38, a guy who Louis stopped in 1 round. He decisioned Simon, but lost a decision to Musto, whom Louis stopped in 9 rounds. He then went on a real nice win streak, but in ’42 got stopped by Pastor, whom Louis beat by decision and by knockout.

Turkey Thompson lost to Bob Pastor twice in ’41 (whom Louis beat twice). He drew with Tony Musto, whom Louis knocked out.. He drew with Abe Simon, whom Louis KO’d twice.

Harry Bobo was inconsistent. He twice lost to Melio Bettina, who Conn beat for the light heavy title. He had losses to Gus Dorazio, whom Louis stopped in 2 rounds.

Lee Q Murray lost twice to Bivins, in ’43 and ’44. As noted, a shot Louis defeated Bivins. In ’45, Murray was dq’d against Walcott for not trying.

Louis was out with the war from ’42 to ’46. After the ’48 rematch stoppage win over Walcott, Louis was basically done, and only came back for tax reasons.
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Old 04-28-2009, 04:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

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The truth is that no black challenger particularly stood out as a whole lot better than any white challengers, who would make Louis more money.
Not True. Jimmy Bivins, Elmer Ray, Lee Q Murray, and Jersey Joe Walcott stood WELL ABOVE any white challenger from 1943-1947.

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There was no great demand or one guy who really made a name for himself. Most of the black challengers back then lost to guys Louis beat, or didn't beat as impressively as Louis, or had spotty/sketchy/inconsistent results.
You have to understand alot of these white fighters received dubious decisions because of the color of there skin, and in some cases these black fighters were forced to wear Cuffs. On a whole, the black heavyweights of the 1940s were better than the white heavyweights. Once you got to the mid 1940s, Top black heavyweights like Elmer Ray, Jersey Joe Walcott, Lee Q Murray, Jimmy Bivins DID NOT LOSE to any white heavyweights.


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There was no one guy that folks got behind and said Louis was ducking if he didn't fight them.
No one got behind any black fighter back then. But if you read the papers, throughout the 1940s Louis was accused by various newspapers of ducking lee q murray and elmer ray and being scared to fight harry bobo. Now I think Louis would have knocked all these men out, but some of them would have been real tough fights for Joe and alot of them had live punchers chances. These guys deserved title shots. But you can bet your tail that Lem Franklin's 19-0 17 kayo run(6 knockouts over Ring Magazine top 10!) in 1941 to earn # 2 spot MORE THAN earned him a shot at louis's title, especially when you consider Franklin knocked abe simon out and simon got a REMATCH instead!



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Looking at his record, Elmer Ray indeed had a good career during the war years, but in truth, he beat NO ONE during those years. A bunch of no names. He did have a 1st round knockout loss on his record.
Just becuase you dont know the names on his record, doesnt mean he didnt beat good names of his era. Perk Daniels for instance was a top 10 rated contender By Ring Magazine when Ray beat him, Perk was a good fighter coming off some huge wins. Or the circumstances surrounding the other turkey thompson fight which should have been a DQ 6 win for Ray.

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he stopped Lee Savold in 2 rounds
only time top contender Savold would be knocked out in a 10 year span 1941-1951...Ray didnt just knock him out, he left him face first out cold. The other two times savold was down for the 10 count during this period? Two black heavyweights Joe Louis and Harry Bobo knocked him out.



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He beat Jersey Joe by decision in ‘46, then lost to him in the rematch by decision in ’47. He beat Ezzard Charles via decision in ’47, but then got stopped by Charles in 9 rounds in ’48.
You said it yourself right there....Ray beat TWO linear prime top 20 heavyweights of all time....Louis was inactive from mid 1946 all the way through Dec 1947....he could have easily fit a title defense in against elmer ray.


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Lem Franklin got stopped by Eddie Simms in 8 rounds in ’38, a guy who Louis stopped in 1 round. He decisioned Simon, but lost a decision to Musto, whom Louis stopped in 9 rounds. He then went on a real nice win streak, but in ’42 got stopped by Pastor, whom Louis beat by decision and by knockout.
Yes he did, and one of Lem Franklin's KO victims, Abe Simon, got a SECOND title shot at joe louis instead of Franklin.

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Turkey Thompson lost to Bob Pastor twice in ’41 (whom Louis beat twice). He drew with Tony Musto, whom Louis knocked out.. He drew with Abe Simon, whom Louis KO’d twice.

Harry Bobo was inconsistent. He twice lost to Melio Bettina, who Conn beat for the light heavy title. He had losses to Gus Dorazio, whom Louis stopped in 2 rounds.

Lee Q Murray lost twice to Bivins, in ’43 and ’44. As noted, a shot Louis defeated Bivins. In ’45, Murray was dq’d against Walcott for not trying.
Your Boxrec hunting here, do you know anything about these fighters or circumstances on these fights? Bob Pastor was one of the few legite white heavyweights of the era who certainly deserved his shot, but alot of those white heavyweights were unworthy and well managed and didnt have any tools to present any problems for Louis....read a newspaper article on Bobo, Thompson, or Murray....These guys were HUGE punchers of the era...dangerous fights for Joe.


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Louis was out with the war from ’42 to ’46. After the ’48 rematch stoppage win over Walcott, Louis was basically done, and only came back for tax reasons.
He came back for more than that. Louis went on an 8-0 run during his comeback beating 2 Ring Magazine top 10 contenders, Winning the heavyweight championship of the world by BBC with one punch knockout over # 2 rated savold, and shutout hall of famer Jimmy Bivins, not to mention busting up prime charles and prime marcianos faces horribly.


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Louis was out with the war from ’42 to ’46. After the ’48 rematch stoppage win over Walcott
Both Elmer Ray and Jimmy Bivins deserved title shots in 1946-early 1947, Especially Ray.

Last edited by SuzieQ49; 04-28-2009 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:33 PM   #18
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

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Originally Posted by apollack View Post
The truth is that no black challenger particularly stood out as a whole lot better than any white challengers, who would make Louis more money. There was no great demand or one guy who really made a name for himself. Most of the black challengers back then lost to guys Louis beat, or didn't beat as impressively as Louis, or had spotty/sketchy/inconsistent results. There was no one guy that folks got behind and said Louis was ducking if he didn't fight them.

Looking at his record, Elmer Ray indeed had a good career during the war years, but in truth, he beat NO ONE during those years. A bunch of no names. He did have a 1st round knockout loss on his record. In 1946, he stopped Lee Savold in 2 rounds, the first real name on his record. He beat Jersey Joe by decision in ‘46, then lost to him in the rematch by decision in ’47. He beat Ezzard Charles via decision in ’47, but then got stopped by Charles in 9 rounds in ’48.

Lem Franklin got stopped by Eddie Simms in 8 rounds in ’38, a guy who Louis stopped in 1 round. He decisioned Simon, but lost a decision to Musto, whom Louis stopped in 9 rounds. He then went on a real nice win streak, but in ’42 got stopped by Pastor, whom Louis beat by decision and by knockout.

Turkey Thompson lost to Bob Pastor twice in ’41 (whom Louis beat twice). He drew with Tony Musto, whom Louis knocked out.. He drew with Abe Simon, whom Louis KO’d twice.

Harry Bobo was inconsistent. He twice lost to Melio Bettina, who Conn beat for the light heavy title. He had losses to Gus Dorazio, whom Louis stopped in 2 rounds.

Lee Q Murray lost twice to Bivins, in ’43 and ’44. As noted, a shot Louis defeated Bivins. In ’45, Murray was dq’d against Walcott for not trying.

Louis was out with the war from ’42 to ’46. After the ’48 rematch stoppage win over Walcott, Louis was basically done, and only came back for tax reasons.
Interesting points. The counterpoint was none of these guys would be in the bum of the month club.
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Old 04-28-2009, 09:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

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The counterpoint was none of these guys would be in the bum of the month club.
Not to mention that most of the top black heavyweights were punchers. Men like Franklin, Ray, Murray, Bobo, Thompson were all HUGE punchers in any era, and would have all had at least punchers chance vs joe louis, which many of louis opponents did not have.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:21 PM   #20
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

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.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:42 PM   #21
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

Herb Goldman rated Elmer Ray # 17 heavyweight of all time, Elmer Ray is in my top 25 heavyweights of all time list.


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Bottom line is that all these guys you mention had losses to white fighters that Louis knocked out
When Did Lee Q Murray, Jimmy Bivins, or Elmer Ray lose to white fighters 1943-1947?? please tell me when???
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Old 04-29-2009, 01:01 AM   #22
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

Or Louis Beat them (bivins) or beat black fighters who beat them (walcott)(and at least fought Charles - of course Louis was slow as molasses at that point - woop dee doo).
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:57 AM   #23
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

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Originally Posted by apollack View Post
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.
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:11 AM   #24
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

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Originally Posted by Mendoza View Post
You'll never hear that, but it is a point with plenty of merit if you research it.
Hear it all the time on this forum.

Anyway, good work to you and the other posters in this thread. It's a great, informative thread.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:58 PM   #25
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

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Originally Posted by SuzieQ49 View Post
Not to mention that most of the top black heavyweights were punchers. Men like Franklin, Ray, Murray, Bobo, Thompson were all HUGE punchers in any era, and would have all had at least punchers chance vs joe louis, which many of louis opponents did not have.
I think that a punchers chance against Louis was basicaly like a snowballs chance in hell.

You might get the boasting rights that you put him on the canvas, and were champion for two seconds, before he got up and beat you into next week.

If there was a joker in that pack who could upset Louis it would be a slick boxer or technical boxer puncher.

Perhaps Tiger Jack Fox had the best chance.
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Old 11-18-2012, 06:19 PM   #26
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

Based on the evidence, Louis did a couple of times, but it's very debatable, and considering the times, and position, Louis was in, it could be understandable.
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Old 11-18-2012, 09:23 PM   #27
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

Louis would fight anyone so saying he ducked anyone is a blatant misrepresentation. Could Louis management have picked more lucrative bouts over others...sure..it's done every day. The war years eliminated lots of potential title defenses for Louis. Certainly many of these men would have gotten a title shot if the war never occurred. More than likely they all would have been koed by the most talented hwt champion we have ever had.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:55 PM   #28
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

I dont think Louis drew the color line He stamped it. I believe as boxing goes he's held responsible for puttng the color barrier to rest. We are talkin about one of the best if not the best HW of all time, So just happens to be black. His greatness, his attitude, determination, and the fact that he was a great Champion says he did more than just change then color barrier, He changed boxng forever, He destroyed guys alot fighters wanted to be him, And yes even white guys. Boxing needed Joe Louis and it still shows today.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:35 AM   #29
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

This Thin Black man is almost impossible to beat at the bump. But I haven't given up yet...yet.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:27 PM   #30
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Default Re: Did Louis Draw The Color Line Line Johnson

I have a question for all of you... Do you really think Louis picked his opponents? Louis was told how to act around the press and he was told what to say and how to say it. Remember... he was only the 2nd black HW Champ, his career was very much controlled by white people.
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