1938-04-01 Joe Louis w co 5 (15) Harry Thomas, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - NY/NBA/GB

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1938-04-01 Joe Louis w co 5 (15) Harry Thomas, The Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA - NY/NBA/GB. Referee: Dave Miller. After taking the first session with the left jab, the champion was forced to endure an uncomfortable second round as Thomas (196) smashed in several big rights and lefts to both head and body to look anything but the mug he was supposed to be. Leaping out of his corner for the third, looking to put the record straight, Louis (202½) rammed in several solid blows on Thomas, but was forced to take a fair few himself before a left hook had the latter out on his feet, grasping the ropes for support. At that point the referee had obviously made his mind up to stop the fight, but chaos ensued after Thomas’ trainer assisted his man to his stool from outside the ring. By the time the referee had worked out what was going on the bell to end the round clanged and after a discussion with the officials it was decided to let the bout continue rather than disqualify Thomas for his corner’s misdemeanours. From thereafter Thomas had no chance and in the fourth he was knocked down four times, but still surprised the crowd when staggering Louis a few seconds prior to the bell. Coming out for the fifth with the intention of finishing the contest, Louis was forced to take a few shots before dropping Thomas for ‘eight’ with a short left. Although Thomas bravely tried to fight his way back, Louis knew what he had to do and another cracking left hook sent Thomas down and out with ten seconds of the round remaining.

Following the international boxing convention, held in Rome during April 1938, Louis was generally recognised as champion.

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