Joe Louis vs. Buddy Baer (2nd meeting)

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Challenger rankings
Last Rankings Min. 2 Mth Old
NBA 3 09.09.1941
Next-To-Last Rankings Min. 3 Mth Old
NBA 3 27.06.1941
Louis-Buddy Baer II U633632ACME.jpg

Joe Louis 207 lbs beat Buddy Baer 250 lbs by KO at 2:56 in round 1 of 15


  • Louis was a 6-1 betting favorite. [1]
  • This bout was a benefit for the Navy Relief Fund, which received a total of $89,092.01. Louis donated his entire net cut of $47,100.94, promoter Mike Jacobs contributed his entire net profit of $37,229.96, and Baer gave one-sixth of his purse, $4,081.11.
  • The gross gate was 189,700. [2]
  • There was a crowd of 16,689.
  • In the dressing room before the fight, Louis' trainer, Jack Blackburn, who was suffering from arthritis and a weak heart, told Louis that he didn't think he was strong enough to make it up and down the steps to the ring for fifteen rounds. Louis replied, "If you get up those stairs with me, I'll have Baer out before you can relax."
  • The 250-pound Baer was knocked down three times and counted out at 2:56 of the first round. [3]
  • Jack Guenther of the United Press wrote: "Buddy Baer came in at 250 and went out at 2:56." [4]
  • This was Baer's last fight.

Buddy Baer Car Accident

On Christmas Eve 1941, Baer was involved in a car accident. Baer and his trainer, Issy Kline, were riding in a car driven by Jerry Casale, a training camp assistant, when it collided with another car, which was driven by a Wilma H. Wilkins. The following day, United Press reported: "Heavyweight challenger Buddy Baer of California suffered face scratches and bruises. . . . Physicians said his injuries were so slight they would not interfere with the Louis bout." [5]

On January 3, 1942, Baer was named as a defendant in a $36,000 damage suit filed by Wilkins and her husband, Wellington H. Wilkins, Jr. Casale and Anna Griefenhein, owner of the car Casale was driving, were also named in the suit. [6]

After Baer was knocked out by Louis in their rematch, he sued Wilkins and her husband for $150,000 in damages. Kline, Casale and Griefenhein also filed suit against the couple. Baer's attorney, Howard A. Lawn, said the suit was delayed until after the fight rather than jeopardize attendance. The Associated Press reported on January 23, 1942: "The bill of complaint . . . said the heavyweight had suffered torn muscles and tendons in the right shoulder area. These made normal use of the right arm impossible and caused its numbness whenever Baer received an ordinary punch on the head." [7]

The case went to trial in 1949, and neither side received any compensation nor had to pay any damages. [8]