Jim Braddock vs. Joe Louis
1937-06-22 : Joe Louis 197¼ lbs beat Jim Braddock 197 lbs by KO in round 8 of 15
- Location: Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, USA
- Referee: Tommy Thomas
- World Heavyweight Championship (1st defense by Braddock)
- Photo of the stadium
- Photo of the crowd
- Program cover
James J. Braddock won the World Heavyweight Championship from Max Baer on June 13, 1935. Baer, a lethal puncher, was a 10-1 betting favorite.
Former champion Max Schmeling, who knocked out Joe Louis on June 19, 1936, was scheduled to fight Braddock for the championship on September 26, 1936. However, Braddock withdrew from the fight on August 18 due to a hand injury.
Braddock and Louis signed to fight at Comiskey Park, home of the Chicago White Sox, on June 22, 1937. Promoter Mike Jacobs, who represented Louis, convinced Braddock to fight Louis instead of Schmeling. Jacobs guaranteed Braddock a purse of $300,000 and ten percent of the promoter's net profits from promoting Louis over the next decade.
One minute into the first round, Braddock and Louis started to exchange punches, and Braddock dropped Louis with a right uppercut to the chin. Louis got up quickly and went on to dominate the rest of the bout. Due to severe bleeding and a badly swollen face, Braddock's manager, Joe Gould, wanted to stop the bout between rounds seven and eight, but Braddock convinced Gould to let him go on.
In round eight, Louis threw a left to the body and followed with a hard right to the chin that put Braddock down. While Braddock laid lifelessly on the canvas, the referee counted him out at 1:10 of the round.
Braddock later said, "When he hit me with that left-right combination, I could've stayed down on the canvas for three weeks."
Entering the fight against Louis, Braddock had been knocked down just twice, and he got up each time to win. Louis was the only person who managed to put him down for the referee's count of ten.
Louis held the title for twelve years and defended it twenty-five times, both records for all weight divisions.