1937-06-03 John Henry Lewis w rsc 8 (15) Bob Olin, The Arena, St Louis, Missouri, USA - NY/NBA/GB
1937-06-03 John Henry Lewis w rsc 8 (15) Bob Olin, The Arena, St Louis, Missouri, USA - USA/GB. Referee: Walter Heisner. Having kept Olin (174¾) at arm's length during the opening two sessions, Lewis (174) decided it was time to go to work and he opened up in the third with a vicious body attack. After putting Olin down in the fourth with a cracking right under the heart that fractured a rib, Lewis continued to attack the body from thereon and at 1.20 of the eighth, with the challenger down for the second time in the round, the referee stopped the fight.
It was clear at this time that Lewis was eying up the heavyweight division and although it was reported in December that he would be making a defence against Fred Lenhart in January it did not happen. Although being pressed by both the NYSAC and NBA to make a defence, on 29 January 1938 it was announced that Lewis would relinquish the title if he could get a crack at Joe Louis for the heavyweight title. At the same time, the NYSAC stated that they would look favourably at the winner of a contest at 175lbs between Tiger Jack Fox and Lou Brouillard at The Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, on 18 February 1938 being given an opportunity to meet Lewis for the title. Fox won by a count-out in the seventh round.
On 24 February it was reported that contracts were in place for Lewis to defend against Al Gainer, but when that match was agreed for June (eventually moved on to October) Lewis continued fighting over-the-weight contests before signing up on 8 April for a title match against Emilio Martinez.