1947-12-05 Joe Louis w pts 15 Jersey Joe Walcott, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD

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1947-12-05 Joe Louis w pts 15 Jersey Joe Walcott, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA - WORLD. Referee: Ruby Goldstein. Scorecards: 9-6, 8-6, 6-7. This was the first time Louis (211½) had successfully defended his title, courtesy of a points decision, since his meeting with Tommy Farr back in 1937 and it proved that, at the age of 33, he was no longer the fighter he once was, especially bearing in mind that Walcott (194½) was a few months older. While it was true that Louis had done most of the leading, Walcott had scored two knockdowns following cracking rights to the jaw, the champion being put down for a count of ‘two’ in the first round and for ‘seven’ in the fourth. However, because Walcott decided that the best way to fight Louis was to circle around, jab with left and sprint backwards whenever the latter got near him, only the first, fourth and ninth sessions were exciting. After the ninth, when both men mixed it for a time and Walcott came close to being put down, the latter continued to stay on his bike and the bout lacked thrills despite Louis trying to catch up with his challenger. In the 11th Walcott was hurt by a powerful left to the jaw, but came back well to outbox Louis in the next two rounds. According to Nat Fleischer of The Ring magazine, if Walcott had continued to box in that fashion, instead of backing off again, he would undoubtedly have won the title. After a contest which many thought Walcott had won, the two men were signed up for a rematch.

In May 1948 many papers in America were reporting that Henry Flakes was the next big thing and was the man who could eventually replace Louis and Walcott. A pro since January 1947 Flakes had run up 24 wins, beating Pat Comiskey (twice), Bill Weinberg and Lee Oma (twice), lost to Colion Chaney and Charles Lester and drawn with Chaney. Just as these pronouncements were being made Flakes was being told that he could never box again due to cataract problems, and in 1960 he was executed for murder.