Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling (2nd meeting)

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Challenger rankings
Last Rankings Min. 2 Mth Old
NBA 1 28.03.1938
Next-To-Last Rankings Min. 3 Mth Old
NBA 1 19.12.1937
Louis puts Schmeling down for the third and final time.

Joe Louis 199 lbs beat Max Schmeling 193 lbs by KO at 2:04 in round 1 of 15


  • Louis floored Schmeling three times.
  • Schmeling was hospitalized after the fight. A doctor who treated him said, "Schmeling suffered fractures of the transverse processes of the third and fourth lumbar vertebra with a hemorrhage of the lumbar muscles."
  • Louis was a 3-to-1 favorite.
  • Gross attendance was 72,000, and paid attendance was 66,227.
  • Total gross receipts were $1,015,096.17. Gross ticket sales totaled $940,096.17, and the net gate was $803,113.
  • Louis received 40 percent of the net gate, and Schmeling got 20 percent.
  • The fight was named "Fight of the Decade" by The Ring magazine.

From the New York Times, June 23, 1938:

As far as the length of the battle was concerned, the investment in seats, which ran to $30 each, was a poor one. But for excitement, for drama, for pulse-throbs, those who came from near and far felt themselves well repaid because they saw a fight that, though it was one of the shortest heavyweight championships on record, was surpassed by few for thrills.

With the right hand that Schmeling held in contempt Louis knocked out his foe. Three times under its impact the German fighter hit the ring floor. The first time Schmeling regained his feet laboriously at the count of three. From the second knockdown Schmeling, dazed but game, bounced up instinctively before the count had gone beyond one.

On the third knockdown Schmeling's trainer and closet friend, Max Machon, hurled a towel into the ring, European fashion, admitting defeat for his man. The towel sailed through the air when the count on the prostrate Max had reached three.

The signal has been ignored in American boxing, has been for years, and Referee Arthur Donovan, before he had a chance to pick up the count in unison with knockdown timekeeper Eddie Joseph, who was outside the ring, gathered the white emblem in a ball and threw it through the ropes.

Returning to Schmeling's crumpled figure, Donovan took one look and signaled an end of the battle. The count at that time was five on the third knockdown. Further counting was useless. Donovan could have counted off a century and Max would not have regained his feet. The German was thoroughly "out."

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