History | Jun 18 2018

On This Day: Joe Louis met Billy Conn in one of history’s most dramatic heavyweight title clashes

Bob Mee looks back at the classic first encounter between heavyweight champ Joe Louis and his light-heavyweight challenger Billy Conn
Joe Louis
joe louis

JOE LOUIS’ 18th defence of his heavyweight crown in 1941, against the Pittsburgh light-heavyweight Billy Conn, should have been a formality… yet there were plenty of good judges who gave the slick-boxing challenger a real chance. How right they were!

Conn was on a roll of 19 consecutive victories, had won, defended and then relinquished the light-heavyweight championship. He brought thousands of fans with him and promised them if he was hurt he would keep his head and not trade toe-to-toe, as he had done at times in the past.

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