Why did Louis go down against Galento, Baer, Braddock, and Walcott?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mrkoolkevin, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Was it his chin? Lapses in his alertness and awareness on defense? Some other flaw or limitation? Or would those guys so talented and powerful that they would have dropped any ATG heavyweight champion who stepped in the ring with them? Or were the knockdowns just complete flukes?
  2. The Undefeated Lachbuster

    The Undefeated Lachbuster Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jul 18, 2018
    Pretty much a little bit of everything you said. A little bit of lax in defense, a little bit of meh chin, a little bit of power and talent (they were top contenders after all), a little bit of fluke.

    Honestly sometimes I feel that Louis is caught off balance. If one takes a simple look at his career, you could come to the conclusion that he was easy to drop but hard to knock out. My theory somewhat explains that.
  3. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    You could argue in his defense that they were all dangerous punchers, but each case is a bit different.

    Braddock was out to throw him a bit of a curve ball, and just maybe Louis underestimated him a bit.

    In the Galento fight I think that he got careless. Galento had got under his skin, and Louis wanted to teach him a lesson.

    Baer just hit like a freight train, and his size forced Louis to come to him.

    Walcott was a very slick counter puncher, and just found ways to make him walk into traps.

    In all it was a number of factors. The abnormally high number of ranked contenders that Louis fought was a significant risk factor. Louis's style required him to put himself in harms way, and yes you may even take it as a mark against his chin, to a fair an proportionate extent.
    DJN16, Grapefruit, ironchamp and 8 others like this.
  4. Jackstraw

    Jackstraw Active Member Full Member

    Jan 28, 2018
    Years ago I read a story - perhaps it’s apocryphal- and I don’t remember the exact details but here’s the story:
    A trainer had a hot prospect that he was wanting to show off to another trainer. He has the other trainer come to his gym to watch the bad ass tee off on some hapless sparring partner. The hot shot nails the sparring partner and he falls but gets back up. The sparring partner gets dropped again and gets back up. This goes on a few more times. The one trainer asks the other what he thinks about the prospect? The other trainer says I want to know who’s the kid that keeps getting back up?
    The sparring partner was Joe Louis. Don’t know if it’s true or not but it’s a cool story.
  5. TBI

    TBI Member Full Member

    Oct 20, 2015
    Poor chin, defensive shortcomings, dangerous punchers....

    He got sent to ***** street against Conn, who couldn't punch his way out of a wet paper bag...

    Louis had one of the worst chins of any HW champ in history.
  6. Jackomano

    Jackomano Boxing Addict Full Member

    Nov 22, 2014
    Galento had a style that you couldn’t really prepare for and no other fighter could mimic it in sparring. Also, Galento would often leave himself wide open to the left hook in order to bait his opponent to hook with him, but Galento was always in a position that he’d land first. Louis made a textbook mistake of hooking with a left hooker and paid for it.

    Walcott was extremely clever and pretty much the full package as a fighter. His only short coming was getting proper management very late into his career. Walcott had the combination of timing, handspeed, and power to make any heavyweight pay for even the most minor mistake.

    Louis in the Braddock fight was still somewhat inexperienced and underestimated Braddock, so he tried to force an early knockout and paid for it.

    No explanation needed for Baer, since he could knock any fighter into next Tuesday. This also goes for his brother Buddy as well.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
  7. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    1) Technical. He's a counter-puncher who is pressuring the space. He has to lead into that space. That puts his weight over the front foot a lot of the time. His style denotes a certain vulnerability.

    2) Chin. Louis had a very good chin. He was only stopped twice by protracted beatings from elite punchers. But technical shortcomings in balance described above in conjunction with the messages his brain sent his body upon being hit meant that he could be dropped.

    3) It's absolutely normal. ALL heavyweights who protractedly engage with top 3 heavyweights (Excluding themselves) get dropped. Examples include Lennox Lewis (brutally stopped by vastly inferior fighters) Muhammad Ali (dropped by the vastly inferior Henry Cooper) and Wladimir Klitschko (stopped by multiple foes, three of which were inferior). So it's inarguably a pattern.

    4) Quality of opposition. Regardless of what you personally think of the strength of an era, history has shown that anyone who consistently matches top 3 opposition gets flashed at the least and will tend to be legitimately hurt by someone at some point regardless of the perceived quality of their chin. The people who are used as a negative comparison to Louis tend not to qualify. So it was very unusual for Vitali Klitschko to match top 3 opposition. In collusion with a granite chin this made him almost impossible to KD. But he doesn't qualify for a direct comparison. I think that's important to keep in mind.
  8. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    OK so let me get this straight.

    He wen't for ten years domination the heavyweight division without getting stopped, yet he not only had one of the worst chins of any heavyweight champion, but he also had defensive shortcomings?

    That is simply not possible.

    If he was not proficient in either chin, or defense, or both to some extent, he would have got stopped a lot!
  9. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Apr 27, 2005
  10. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Yep ,a little of them all .This is why I'd fear the worst if Louis had to face Foreman ,Dempsey ,Tyson or Lewis .Not sure Joe s chin survive s what they'd dish out .
  11. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Boom goes the dynamite. You hit this one on the head.
    Unforgiven likes this.
  12. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 2, 2006
    It was Buddy who floored him,not Max ,although technically he put him halfway through the ropes.
  13. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Every case of a Boxer getting knocked down is a moment, which has its own set of unique circumstances and characteristics and so, I'm not sure any of the above can satisfactorily answer the question relating to Joe Louis, specifically.

    Persistent, offensive rampancy in Heavyweight Boxing, against ranked opponents, represents a succession of significant high-risk ventures. Even heavyweight out-boxers can be floored (Ali; Holmes) so the occupational hazard for boxer-punchers seems a given, to me.

    Louis fought inside of the danger zone, as a matter of course - and, as such, he had to have some defensive savvy, in order to do so and survive. As an offensive fighter, I think he was capable of defending quite brilliantly, at times, with basic ducking, slipping and countering skills - and, despite his much maligned footwork, he could also use his feet to avoid danger, if needed.

    However, that his patient, continual risk-taking saw these risks realized, on occasion, is no mystery.
  14. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Not here for the fairy tales Full Member

    Jan 30, 2014
    Yeah, I suspect that it has more to do with his balance, or maybe his attention and alertness, than his "chin" per se.

    I don't think the guys who put him down were especially powerful, despite the hyperbole we hear about some of them in this forum, and I don't think all of the punches that dropped or hurt him were especially devastating.
    Pat M likes this.
  15. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Why did Wlad get KOed by Purrity, Sanders and Brewster?

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