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Old 10-17-2007, 02:13 PM   #1
ChrisPontius
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Default Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

Not that he didn't deserve it, but considering the racist powers of the time. Last tie a black man got a title shot, the worst possible scenario (for them) became reality. I read that Schmeling was going to get a shot at Braddock earlier.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Not that he didn't deserve it, but considering the racist powers of the time. Last tie a black man got a title shot, the worst possible scenario (for them) became reality. I read that Schmeling was going to get a shot at Braddock earlier.
Schmeling was indeed lined up to fight Braddock, but Louis was given the shot on the basis of Louis's promotor promising Braddock 10% of Louis's future earnings should he win the belt.

It also makes you wonder if it was within Braddock's best interest to try and retain the belt.
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Old 10-17-2007, 02:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Not that he didn't deserve it, but considering the racist powers of the time. Last tie a black man got a title shot, the worst possible scenario (for them) became reality. I read that Schmeling was going to get a shot at Braddock earlier.
No. Louis had two powerful promoters with a lot of money and connections with Madison Square Garden. Louis management made Braddock a huge purse offer to fight Louis, plus a percentage of the profits in all of Louis' future fights.

If Louis did not have such a backing, he would not have received a title shot so soon.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

Having said that Louis was promised title shots if he beat first Carnera and then Baer. He probably should have got his shot before he fought Schmeling.
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Old 10-17-2007, 03:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

How did Louis get such good promotion? Again, not that it wasn't justified by his ability, but i read that Walcott was seen as at least as promising a prospect as Louis when both were young and green. And there must have been other prospects.
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
How did Louis get such good promotion? Again, not that it wasn't justified by his ability, but i read that Walcott was seen as at least as promising a prospect as Louis when both were young and green. And there must have been other prospects.
Top prospects in the 1930's were thin. There was a European invasion in the 30's, as fighters like Schmeling, and Carnera held the title for a while. There was some speculation if Braddock lost to Schemling, the German would keep the title and freeze out American contenders.

Louis had a ton of ability. The propganda and lack of exciting prospects at the time conceived the promoters that Louis was the man to sign.
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Old 10-17-2007, 04:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

By the time he was 21, he was already the "uncrowned" champion. He probably should have gotten the shot by '35.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:24 PM   #8
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
How did Louis get such good promotion? Again, not that it wasn't justified by his ability, but i read that Walcott was seen as at least as promising a prospect as Louis when both were young and green. And there must have been other prospects.
Indeed there were. The 1930s was by no means the desert of talent it is sometimes portrayed as.

What was in Joe Louis's favour was his New York-based promoter (I forget the name) who was looking to break the Madison Square Garden monopoly on New York city's boxing scene. His promoter decided that blacks could provide just as good an audience as any other group.

Joe Louis had the New York press and a sort of myth (the conqueror from the west) to give himself a mystique. The press was particularly useful, because it could emphasise how (in comparison to Jack Johnson or George Godfrey) Joe Louis was clean as a whistle inside the ring and outside of it. That was quite an accomplishment, considering the fact that Joe Louis was quite the ladies' man in the 1930s.

In 1937, you could argue either than Joe Louis's title shot was overdue (his resume in 1935 alone was worthy of a shot at the title) or was a politically motivated gift, since the idea of a black American fighting for the title was more palpable than a white German bringing the title back to Adolf Hitler. However, I think it was once again a case of cash rather than of principles: Joe Louis's management team gave Braddock an offer he couldn't refuse, while Max Schmeling couldn't hope to put the same kind of money on the table.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
How did Louis get such good promotion? Again, not that it wasn't justified by his ability, but i read that Walcott was seen as at least as promising a prospect as Louis when both were young and green. And there must have been other prospects.
As I've heard it told, Blackburn thought young Walcott looked very promising when he first saw him, but then Jersey Joe came down severely ill shortly thereafter and Louis moved in to catch Blackburn's eye. Certainly there were other prospects around, but Jack apparently knew a truly legendary talent when he saw it.
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Old 10-18-2007, 06:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Joe Louis's management team gave Braddock an offer he couldn't refuse
Sounds like he had some mob connections.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Sounds like he had some mob connections.
Yes, he did. And Louis managers also had their own referee / judge in Art Donavan. Donavan was the third man in the ring for about 15 of Louis fights. In boxing the promoters picks the judges and the referee. This is a huge conflict of interest. The saying that you need to knock out the champ to win really means you aren’t likely to win close match on points because the promoter is paying the ref and the judges to work. If the ref or the judges call it fairly, and against the promoter’s fighter, they might not work for him again.

Donavan was as crooked as a dog’s back leg as a judge. He only gave one round to Tommy Farr when he fought Louis. Joe Walcott’s camp insisted that Donavan can not ref for their first fight. As it turns out, the man who replaced him was the only guy who handed in a fair score card.
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Old 10-18-2007, 07:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by mr. magoo
Schmeling was indeed lined up to fight Braddock, but Louis was given the shot on the basis of Louis's promotor promising Braddock 10% of Louis's future earnings should he win the belt.

It also makes you wonder if it was within Braddock's best interest to try and retain the belt.
Jim Hague (the author of Braddock-The rise of the Cinderella Man); suggests that Gould and Braddock wanted to avoid fighting Schmeling because of the growing public concern of the thought of Nazi Germany getting the Heavyweight Champion. And that was worse than a Black American gaining the Championship. Braddock himself as an Irishman with a Jewish manager never had any problems fighting black fighters, he was only intrested in one colour: Green!

No way did Gould or Jacobs think for one minute the deal would go the full 10 years. Braddock indeed had some reservations and wanted 50% of the gate as well (which he got) and that was to make him $500,000 in itself. Braddock and Hague figured the 10% future Louis championship fight gate receipts (not purses) would make them a further $150,000...
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

No, the timing was right.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:08 PM   #14
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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How did Louis get such good promotion?
Black money.

Louis was in part a product of black America having disposable income, and becoming yet another minority ethnic group fort the fight game to cater for.

Louis's promotors were perhaps one step ahead of everybody else in seeing this.
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: Was Joe Louis lucky to get his shot at the title so quick?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius View Post
Not that he didn't deserve it, but considering the racist powers of the time. Last tie a black man got a title shot, the worst possible scenario (for them) became reality. I read that Schmeling was going to get a shot at Braddock earlier.
Well, Mad Max Schmeling SHOULD'VE gotten the chance in '37, but Max's manager was NOT gonna sell his boy down the river like Mike Jacobs did with Joe Louis to Jimmy Braddock and Company.......... Jacobs allowed Louis to challenge Braddock for peanuts and for Louis to give up additional 10% of all future purse income going to Jimmy Braddock as long as Joe Louis remained champion....... Of course Jimmy Braddock signed the contract quickly......... Braddock made out well on the deal.........


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