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Old 01-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #91
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Default Re: Joe Louis Never Proved That He Deserves The Number One Slot ATG Heavyweights

Originally Posted by Bokaj
Of course, the changing socio-economic factors have played it's part. But I think it's clear from the very rapid entrance black fighters made to the elite levels of the HW-division during the late 40' and early 50's that the segregation began to drastically lessen during the latter stages of Louis' career and immediatly after it. The socio-economic conditions didn't change that much during the 40's for them to be the main explanatory factor, I would say.
Well, I think it's a bit of both.
The point is, many of the white fighters who Joe Louis beat were genuinely good fighters. But, yes, there may have been some good black fighters who were still denied the breaks at that time.

As concerning today's HW-division I must plead some ignorance I'm afraid. Besides W. Klitschko and Valujev which other top-ranked white contenders are there?
Oleg Maskaev
Sultan Ibragimov
Ruslan Chagaev
Alexander Povetkin

Personally I dont think they are even as good as the top (mostly black) mostly American fighters of the 80s and 90s, but they are as good or better than the black Americans nowadays.
I dont know if America has given up with heavyweight boxing but there aren't many new ones, not from what I've seen.
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Old 01-14-2008, 03:46 PM   #92
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Default Re: Joe Louis Never Proved That He Deserves The Number One Slot ATG Heavyweights

Originally Posted by Bokaj
I very much doubt this.

Before Joe Louis black fighters had in effect been banned from the elite levels of HW-boxing, with Jack Johnson as the sole example of someone braking the barrier. But after him it got even worse, until Joe Louis through smart managing and through being clearly superior managed to break through the race divide. During much of his reign there were definitely suspiouscly few other black fighters at the elite level, but towards the end oh his career and especially after the floodgates started to open.
There was always a huge number of active black profesional fighters. Even though they would not be able to contest the title they could still make a lot more money boxing than they could shoveling **** just like any other joe.

What prevented larger numbers of them reaching the elite level is that they tended not to get the same sort of financial backing as white contenders. Jersey Joe Walcott is a clasic example of a fighter who never really broke through to the elite level untill he received the necesary financial backing.

Otherwise, how do you explain that there had been only one black campion before Louis, but almost exclusively black ones after him?
They wernt alowed top compete for the title.

Simple as that.

This did not however stop the outstanding talents such as Peter Jackson, Sam Langford and Harry Wills from becoming legends in their own right. Perhaps more highly regarded than most champions.

Now in Louis's era there were a lot of good black heavyweights but none were particularly outstanding. None really did enough to force a title shot except Walcott. You could argue that Louis should have fought Jimmy Bivins or Elmer Ray but they are borderline cases.
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