1937-06-22 Joe Louis w co 8 (15) Jim Braddock, Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA - NY/NBA/GB
1937-06-22 Joe Louis w co 8 (15) Jim Braddock, Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA - NY/NBA. Referee: Tommy Thomas. Out of the ring for almost two years was not the ideal way to prepare for a defence of his title, but Braddock (197) confounded many when taking the fight to the red-hot Louis (197¼) and even dropping him in the opening session. Up without a count, even though Louis came back strongly to cut Braddock over the left eye in the second he still lost the round. Picking it up in the third Louis rammed home heavy blows as he looked to find openings, although Braddock would not be denied either. Boxing well, going forward with both hands, Braddock took the fourth and fifth before coming under fire in the sixth and being cut over the right eye. With Braddock now beginning to take a battering from the educated fists of the challenger, although being badly wobbled he refused to give ground. Immediately under pressure in the eighth Braddock weakened badly, and following an exchange of lefts he walked into a crushing right to the jaw that sent him down to be counted out on the 1.10 mark.
In victory, Louis became the first black champion since Jack Johnson, while Braddock gained much acclaim for his gritty performance.
With Tommy Farr and Max Schmeling due to contest the vacant world title, as recognised in Britain, on 30 September, a furious Mike Jacobs who was in danger of being upstaged turned his attentions to stop the fight taking place. Having been turned down by Schmeling, he next offered Farr the chance to meet Louis in America and got his man. In agreeing to take on Louis the Welshman risked substantial claims for damages on behalf of Schmeling, but, ultimately, the courts decided there was nothing contractual to stop him fighting in the meantime.