1939-01-25 Joe Louis w rsc 1 (15) John Henry Lewis, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD
1939-01-25 Joe Louis w rsc 1 (15) John Henry Lewis, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Arthur Donovan. Forgetting Jack Johnson v Battling Jim Johnson in 1913, which was not generally recognised as a title fight, this meeting was the first occasion that the official championship was contested between blacks. Lewis (180¾), the light heavyweight champion, was already being scrutinised for failing eyesight and should never have been allowed in the ring with Louis (200¼), but the latter was quickly running out of opposition and somehow the fight went ahead. Even at the weigh-in, Lewis looked a shot fighter and after just 2.29 of the opening round he was rescued by the referee at the count of 'five' after being hit by several heavy rights and tumbling to the canvas a thoroughly beaten man. Prior to that Lewis had been dropped for ‘three’ by a right hand to the jaw and on getting up had been put down again, this time for 'two', by another tremendous right to the head after lefts had paved the way. Although the two men were pals outside the ring, Louis treated Lewis just as he would any other challenger, being ferocious in the extreme and getting the job done as soon as he could manage it.