1941-09-29 Joe Louis w rsc 6 (15) Lou Nova, Polo Grounds, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1941-09-29 Joe Louis w rsc 6 (15) Lou Nova, Polo Grounds, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Arthur Donovan. A victim of ballyhoo and nicknamed the ‘Yoga Man’ due to him being a student of that subject, Nova (202½) had been backed to do well against the champion but failed to deliver. With two wins over Max Baer on his record he was expected to give Louis (202¼) a fight, but right from the onset he spent most of his time on the back foot. For almost five rounds both men felt each other out and when Louis occasionally landed a solid blow Nova merely backtracked more. Finally, after being hit by a couple of solid shots, Louis decided to go to work in the sixth and having spotted an opening he smashed in a terrific right to the jaw that dropped Nova in a heap. Nobody really expected Nova to get to his feet, but he did. Up at ‘nine’, Nova was battered from head to body by punch after punch as Louis laid into him and when the referee eventually stopped the fight to rescue the challenger there was just one second of the round remaining. Saved from taking further punishment, his right eye bleeding profusely, Nova was helpless on the ropes when the stoppage came and had to be helped back to his corner, while complaining that he should have been allowed to carry on.

Meanwhile, on 28 November at the Olympic Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, Lee Savold outpointed Jack Marshall over ten rounds in the final of a ‘White Hope’ tournament that was organised to find a suitable opponent for Louis. The recipient of a split-decision verdict, the win barely put Savold’s name up in lights with The Ring magazine rating him at number 16, and it would be almost ten years before he stepped into a ring with Louis.