Joe Louis vs. Max Baer

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by William Walker, Feb 22, 2021.

  1. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Yeah I meant as a fighter, not boxer.

    Primo's ankle injury against Baer is completely irrelevant to the discussion as the injury discussion pertains to their respective performances against Louis, not each other.

    Also, Baer's hand injuries were well regarded going into the bout, whereas Primo came in the fight against Baer 100% (to my knowledge at least). Completely different situation.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  2. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Most well rounded heavyweight in history imo.
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  3. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Do you think that Joe came in differently due to respecting Baer s power, George?
  4. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft 'Snarky Little Gobshite' - IntentionalButt Full Member

    Mar 3, 2019
    Yeah, for sure. Although that respect didn't last very long.
    Fergy likes this.
  5. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Be real• Full Member

    Oct 12, 2020
    He was a perfect specimen that night, a boxing bible on taming a brawler.

    He had a serial killers expression whenever he entered the ring it was business as usual, he had such an emotionless distance from many other fighters in history in the face of extreme violence he was such a smooth operator-
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  6. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Definitely not.. Once Joe started in on him, I think he realized he was getting home early.
    George Crowcroft likes this.
  7. shza

    shza Member Full Member

    Dec 15, 2018
    Legend has it Joe got hitched on the eve of this fight but deprived himself of conjugal bliss until he’d finished with Baer as to incentivize an early knockout... A gentleman and a scholar, Louis.
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 22, 2015
    Great post George.
    You’re spot on about Louis’ footwork.
    I think he respected Baer’s power was on his toe’s more, showed him lateral movement, utilised that great jab and really if he hadn’t even been a puncher he could have outboxed Max over the stretch anyway.
    People who say Joe was a bit of a flat footed plodder regarding his footwork and some do, should watch this fight.
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  9. The Senator

    The Senator Active Member Full Member

    Dec 10, 2017
    This performance was a thing of beauty. It reminds me a bit of Ali vs Cleveland Williams, a fight against a depleted opponent that's so sublime in its display that one can just watch to marvel at the skill and ability at hand, Louis's jab is just an icepick here, battering Baer at every opportunity and keeping him from initiating his bull rush charges. His combinations are incredible in their fluidity, accuracy and violent power. His demeanor is confident without undue arrogance, walking forward and keeping the pressure on Baer, and his footwork is subtly fast and purposeful. A masterclass from one of the best to ever do it.
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  10. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Active Member Full Member

    Feb 18, 2019
    Baer was a big man with a big punch and had the size to reach Carnera. But skill wasn't his strong suit, and after flooring Primo early, Max had his problems through the middle rounds.

    I stick with Carnera put on a better show against Louis. His first three rounds on film are competitive and basically even. Baer was never really in his fight. He opened up in the first round but his offensive went south quick when Louis turned it around.

    "his right hand was rendered useless going into the fight"

    Why did he go into the fight then? It is crazy to fight Joe Louis with one hand. Are you saying it was the purse for Baer? Grab the money and run?

    I checked the internet on Baer's supposed broken hand and couldn't find any original source. Maybe one of you young fellows can come up with one. I did find a discussion here on Eastside Boxing from 8/2014 and some interesting posts:

    Burt Bienstock--"Watching fights since David KO'd Goliath, I have never heard that Max Baer had a 'bad' right hand entering the Joe Louis fight in 1935."

    McVey--"As far as I am aware there is no proof Baer went into that fight with a broken hand."

    Janitor--"Baer did say that his hands had been fine after the fight, and that he had no excuses."

    As someone who also been around and reading about boxing since the 1950's, I find Burt to the point. Why did this excuse only pop up after over 70 years?

    I note that it isn't like Baer looked scintillating in his subsequent career. He turned in a good performance in the return against Farr. He proved better than the even cruder Galento. But Nova, who could box a bit, but not in Louis' class, beat him badly twice. Watching the films as we have, I don't see Baer having much skill or almost any defense at all. He was made to order for a good boxer with a strong jab. Louis was in another class. So I don't find anything that happened in this fight surprising.
    Cecil likes this.
  11. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    I've found the thread you're referring to. Here's what Janitor said
    • Baer entered the fight against Louis with a broken right hand and a bone chip in his left wrist. His manager,
      This content is protected
      , pleaded with him to postpone the fight and get a specialist to examine his injuries. Baer was examined by Dr. William Healy, an orthopedic surgeon, at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland. Dr. Healy told Baer that his left wrist would heal over time, but his right hand should be operated on before he fought again. Baer decided to go ahead and fight Louis instead of having the operation. Just weeks before he was to meet Louis, Baer wrote his wife, "I hope to God my hand heals before the fight." Dr. Max Stern gave Baer several shots of Novocain in his right hand in his dressing room before the fight. However, the fight was delayed for 45 minutes due to rain, and the Novocain started to wear off by the time Baer entered the ring.
    Source: Boxrec.

    It's also not true this excuse randomly propped up 70 years later. Here's something from 1948, verifying that Baer did use Novocain to ease his hand issues.
    This content is protected

    I also found something from 1935 verifying Baer indeed injected Novocain into his hand because he was having issues with it at the time, but since it didn't specifically mention a broken hand, I've chosen to omit it.

    The only reason, their isn't more on it is because Baer clearly did not want it getting out.

    Regardless, all of this is easily verifiable and corroborated by film.

    Also, against Nova he was clearly not the fighter he used to be in previous years.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
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  12. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    On the flip side of the coin, Baer was working the heavy bag in the run up to the Louis fight.

    Would he have done this if his hands were not in decent shape?
  13. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Active Member Full Member

    Feb 18, 2019
  14. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Active Member Full Member

    Jun 1, 2018
    Great stuff!
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  15. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Appreciate it! Means a lot coming from you. What's your take on this if you don't mind my asking?
    KasimirKid likes this.