SEVENTEEN years separated Joe Louis’ defeat to Max Marek in the 1934 national amateur championships and Rocky Marciano rampaging through the last remnants of “The Brown Bomber”. Between those two ugly bookends, Louis crafted a handsome story that transcended sport and changed the pale face of the world.
Before Joe landed on the coarse heavyweight landscape, only John L. Sullivan – the great bareknuckle king – and Jack Dempsey enjoyed similar popularity to that which Louis would subsequently experience. The fact the colour of his skin didn’t match those previous heroes made his impact all the more sensational in a time of grotesque racial prejudice.
Register now to keep reading
We're chuffed that you are enjoying our website. To continue reading and to help us to provide the best coverage and a great online experience please take a few moments to register. You'll be able to read more online content and get the latest news via the Daily Jabs newsletter.
For unlimited access to all our award-winning content including exclusive subscriber-only stories and a digital archive of editions back to January 2012 you will need to subscribe
Got an account? Sign in