Ezzard Charles vs. Joe Louis

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Charles hits Louis with a right

Joe Louis 218 lbs lost to Ezzard Charles 185 lbs by UD in round 15 of 15


  • Louis retired as World Heavyweight Champion in March 1949. In need of money, he returned to fight Charles.
  • This was Louis' first fight in two years and three months.
  • Louis' purse was $100,458, and Charles' was $57,405.
  • A crowd of 22,357 at Yankee Stadium produced a gross gate of $205,370.
  • Radio and television brought in $140,000.
  • The fight was televised live on television by CBS.
  • Louis was a 2 to 1 betting favorite.
  • At the official weigh-in, Louis tipped the scales at 218 pounds, which was the heaviest of his career at that time.
  • The Associated Press scored the fight for Charles, twelve rounds to two with one even.
  • Entering the fight, Charles was recognized as the Heavyweight Champion of the World only by the National Boxing Association. After defeating Louis, all except the British Boxing Board of Control recognized Charles as champion. The BBBofC's champion was Lee Savold. After Louis knocked out Savold in June 1951, the BBBofC declared Charles the champion.