Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling II | Ring Talk with Lou Eisen | TalkinFight.com
EPISODE: Episode 2
Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling II | Ring Talk with Lou Eisen | TalkinFight.com
Lou discusses the controversial second fight between Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling. Two separate fights happened between the men which are among boxing’s most talked-about bouts. Schmeling took the first match in 1936 by a knockout in round 12 but Louis won the second bout in 1938 with a knockout in the first round.
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[, Music, ] hi good afternoon, i’m lou eisen, and this is ring talk today we’re going to talk about i, the fight.
I would consider the most the most important fight of all time in boxing history, and this is the rematch in 1938 june 22nd between world heavyweight champion joe lewis and former world heavyweight champion max schmeling or as he pronounced it.
Schmaling joe lewis was born in lafayette.
Alabama he was born on may 13, 1914 and uh to monroe in lilly, barrow and uh, the father.
Shortly after he was born.
Uh lewis and his family were told that he was that he had died in a work accident.
In fact, he hadn’t he wouldn’t place in a mental institution.
His mother moved the family up to detroit and his mother remarried.
And what happened at that point was he, you know, lewis was growing up, didn’t do well in school and um got job in the ford factory got a job delivering ice people today think what do you mean delivering ice? Can’T you just go to the gas station or grocery store and just get a bag of ice.
It didn’t work like that back then people didn’t have ability to make ice at home, so they would order these gigantic blocks of ice.
That weighed a couple hundred pounds and they had a little freezer in their apartment or house and louis – was the guy that had to lug these two 300 pound blocks of ice and detroit up four or five flights of stairs, and he could do it.
He was, he was uh extraordinarily strong, uh max schmeling was born september 28th in locale, germany 1905, and he grew up as a successful amateur boxer and became a professional boxer and he was managed by a uh uh boxing editor of a newspaper when he first started.
But when he came to america he knew he had to go to the united states to get good fights and get a shot at the world heavyweight title.
He dropped his german manager because he just wasn’t connected and he hooked up with uh joe jacobs, who was called yeso.
The muscle joe jacobs, was the one who coined the phrase.
You know we was robbed and we should have stood in bed rather than we should have stayed in bed and schmeling was beating american fighters uh in germany.
He was knocked out in two rounds by the torontonian larry gaines, one of the greatest uh heavyweights.
This country’s ever produced he never got a shot at the world title because he was an african canadian.
In fact, uh jack, dempsey’s manager, doc kern said you know larry.
If you were white you’d, be the heavyweight champion of the world.
Also uh fought in various parts of europe and eventually came to united states started to beat american heavyweights.
Casey was his trainer doc casey was a great veteran trainer and he showed uh smelling all the ins and outs of the sport and in 1930 he held the title from 30-32.
He beat jack sharkey shinami became the first and only heavyweight champion.
Uh boxing historians, harcourt fans, will know this to win the title by disqualification.
Sharky hit him low.
There’S no doubt that sharky hit him well below the belt and smelling went down.
He was in pain, but he was getting up and joel jacobs.
His manager ran around to the side of the ring and said stay down, don’t move just keep being in pain, don’t move and he didn’t get up and then jacobs got in the ring, ropes and grabbed the referee said: what are you doing? Disqualify him disqualify sharky? He hit him low, he hit him low and that’s what happened.
He got disqualified and to prove it.
Uh jacobs took out uh, schmeling’s, um athletic supporter and showed the hugh denton he was hit low.
It was an ignominious way to win the title and schmellen took a lot of heat for both in germany and around the world and the rematch um smalling dominated it, but they gave the decision to sharky joe lewis.
There was no one like joe lewis, joe lewis was magisterial.
He was he.
He was the greatest finisher in the history of professional boxing going back over 300 years.
No one could punch like joe lewis, joe lewis, threw straight accurate, murderous short punches that never traveled more than six inches.
He could knock you out with a jab.
He broke dozens of fighters noses knocked out their teeth with just his jab.
He was perfect, absolutely perfect.
He was flawless in the ring.
He ended every flurry with the left hook because, as he was topped by one of the all-time greatest trainers ever jack blackburn, that to end with the left hook, leaves you perfectly balanced in the ring his trainer jack blackburn.
I could do a 10-hour podcast on jack blackburn jack blackburn uh fought in the 1890s early 1900s about 6-1, never weighed more than 135 to 150 pounds.
He fought everyone from lightweight to heavyweight.
He fought sam langford.
He fought joe gaines.
He fought all the greats, never got a shot at a title because of the color of his skin.
He was a great great great trainer.
He knew all the ins and outs of boxing and he was the one that said to joe lewis.
Let your fists be the referee, because you’re black, you will never get a decision and at first, when lewis was brought to him by by um uh john roxborough and julian black two numbers runners from chicago and detroit.
These guys were mobsters and they brought joe lewis to him, and lewis had done incredibly well as an amateur winning the heavyweight aau knocking everyone out.
Uh blackburn saw him and said no, not interested, and they offered him really good money for the time.
This is during the depression, the early 30s and they’re, offering hundreds of dollars per week and blackburn said nope wasted time.
No black men will be given a shot ever again at the heavyweight title.
I train white fighters and white fighters only won’t waste.
My time with a black fighter and they kept upping the money and blackburn needed the money.
It was the depression, and so he took joe louis on and what blackburn was afraid of, of course, was because of the reign of jack, johnson and and the controversy johnson that that swirled around johnson that uh no other black heavyweight, would be given a shot at The title, i don’t think johnson did anything in particularly bad.
He was convicted of breaking the man act, violating it by transporting a woman, specifically a white woman across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.
Although the woman he did he transported was his wife.
They were trumped-up charges, but because jack johnson made a point of rubbing it in society’s face which upset not just whites but also african-americans after he lost his title in 1915 to jess willard.
There was sort of a gentleman’s agreement that no black man would be given a shot against heavyweight titles.
So when rossboro and black got a hold of joe lewis, you know they had a set of rules for jokers.
You can never smile or gloat over a fallen opponent.
You can never be seen in public with a white woman, you can never have your picture taken with a white woman and you always have to be.
You know, dressed in a suit and tie.
You always have to speak well and be polite and and just be very gracious for the opportunities being afforded you now over the years.
Some people have viciously mistakenly called joe lewis and uncle tom, but that’s simply ignorant it’s not true at all, but most people don’t know they would say that joe lewis never spoke out about civil rights.
He never spoke out publicly because he wasn’t physically able to he had a very, very pronounced stutter and when he spoke in school and later on, when he started his boxing career because of his stutter people would laugh at him.
So he figured the best way to stop.
That is just not to speak and he didn’t lewis had a lot of power behind the scenes in the state department.
He had friends in the office of president roosevelt so when there were when there were problems, racial problems, when he was in the army in world war ii, he would make private phone calls to people.
He knew in the state department or department and the white house, and he would have the problem fixed that way and he did that all through his life, including up into the 1960s.
Now joe lewis, was this man coming up through the heavyweight ranks he was considered.
Unbeatable he beat he was destroying everyone on the way up to fighting max schmeling.
He knocked out – and i i just made a list here of some of the guys that he knocked out – i mean charlie rhett’s laughing.
He knocked out max, bear he destroyed primo carnera and when he beat max there, they asked bear after the fight bear.
Was the former world champion and they said to him.
What’S the definition of fear – and he said the definition of fear is standing across the ring from joe lewis and knowing that he wants to go home early.
So he was running through all these fighters and lewis was part of a struggle within the boxing community.
What happened was madison square garden was being run by jimmy johnson, the boy bandit who was pretty much in the pocket of only the killer, madden, the mobster.
So in blackburn, when julian black excuse me and john roxborough called jimmy johnson johnson, didn’t know when speaking to them that they were african-american.
So when they said we have a fighter, joe lewis, who johnson had heard of, we want to bring them to new york, and they said well, your boy is, of course, uh and they use the n-word so he’s going to have to take some dives and they Just said, no we’re not doing that.
Well, you know what then the hell with you.
He doesn’t fight in new york, but they had an ace up their sleeve.
They spoke with the great mike jacobs.
Jacobs was the one who funded all the fights gave the seed money to the great tax record for all jack dempsey’s million dollar gates.
You hear a lot with dempsey’s fights that these stadiums are being built and, and you know millions of dollars were offered up front as a guarantee that was all mike jacobs.
Jacobs was the number one scalper in new york, which made him the number one scalp around.
The planet – and there was an area in new york known as jacobs, beach and jacob’s, got the best tickets, not just for boxing for baseball for hockey for opera for broadway.
For anything, if there was an event, he had the best tickets and he made millions off of that and he wanted to unseat jimmy johnson as the promoter at madison square garden, black and roxborough called him and jacob said.
Listen, i’m a jew, i’m also an outsider.
I don’t care what color your guy’s skin is the only color i care about it’s green and he booked yankee stadium and he started the book joe lewis and yankee stadium and lewis was drawing.
You know his first fight there against primo carnero, which is the one that really sent the media across the country.
Wild uh drew over 60 000 people and he knocked corner out in six rounds.
He more than knocked him out.
He butchered him, and so he kept fighting and fighting eventually jimmy johnson couldn’t draw flies to madison square square garden, and so he was fired and he was replaced by mike jacobs.
Schmeling at that time was still fighting, even though he had lost his title back and he was still trying to get his career back on track and the fight between them between uh, schmeling and lewis.
The first fight in june of 1936 was considered an easy tune-up, smiling was thought to be way past.
His prime lewis was killing everybody.
I think going into the fight.
Lewis was 24-0 with 21 ko’s and smelling.
I think at that point with something like 48 wins.
Seven losses four draws and 34 ko, so not a shabby record, but they went in they fought and before the fight smelling did a smart thing.
He watched film of lewis and he noticed – and this was a flaw that lewis was making because he was just so sure of himself.
He was overconfident, he’d, throw that left jab and when you throw the jab you’re supposed to bring it back up to your hand, your head excuse me to protect a counter shot.
He didn’t do that.
He threw it dropped it.
Leaving his head open and schmedling said.
I see something, but i’m not going to tell you what it is and before the fight lewis was overconfident, he wasn’t doing his road work wasn’t doing the sparring.
He was eating gallons of ice cream.
He was golfing and his trainer jack blackburn said.
Listen the muscles! You use in golf aren’t the muscles you use in boxing.
You know you got to get back there.
You got to run.
You got to do your road work.
You got to do your sparring got to hit the heavy bag got to do the calisthenics speed bag.
Lewis didn’t do it, he thought this is an old man.
I’M going to hit him once he’s done, so they have the fight at yankee stadium and, i think uh.
As i noted here.
Yes, 57 million people were listening to the fight around the world.
At the time, schmeling fought him in 36, hitler had already come to power and world war ii was just about to start and he was promoting the garbage of the aryan race and the superiority of the iran race and a lot of things that schweins supposedly had Said about louis and african americans wasn’t true: it’s put up by the minister of propaganda for the nazis, joseph goebbels, so they have.
The fight schmelling in the first round is doing well he’s letting lewis hit him with his jab because he has to get close to lewis to land the right hand and schmeling knows if i throw the right hand right away when he drops his jab, and i Miss he’s going to pick up on that and there goes my opportunity so schmelin took it for three rounds.
He took lewis’s jabs and some right hands, but imperceptibly was inching closer and closer and closer and finally, lewis threw a jab dropped the hand.
The fourth round.
Schmelin came over bang with the right hand, hit louis staggered him, lewis, staggered back towards the ropes schmelin, followed up his advantage hit him four or five shots dropped him from that round.
On lewis was out in his feet, didn’t know where he was and for the rest of the fight.
He took a uh, just a ferocious beating to the point where his mother, you know lily barrel, ran out of the yankee stadium.
Saying to you know, please don’t let them kill my son 12th round he caught louis again, lewis, staggered back into the ropes fell down was on his knees.
Kept shaking his head could not beat the count and referee arthur donovan counted them out 12th round.
Everyone was crestfallen, my father was quest, fallen, louis meant so much it’s it’s hard to explain to people today that louis meant everything to everyone, especially to oppress people throughout the world.
Millions of people were listening to lewis, wanting lewis to win on the radio in germany.
Mostly jews and and throughout europe they wanted lewis to win.
He had the weight of the free world on his shoulders, but he didn’t win, he made mistakes and after the fight he was very angry with himself and he promised jack blackburn.
I’M never going to do that again and mike jacobs.
The promoter did a very smart thing.
Often when a fighter loses a fight like that they’ll, let him take eight months every year off they didn’t do it.
They thought you know.
Lewis has got to get right back on the horse two months later, and i have it down here two months after that fight joe lewis is again in the ring two months.
He he beats, charlie rhett’s laugh knocks out max bear or he beaten bear before.
Excuse me beats uh all these fighters.
You know paulino oscar dunn, lee ramage, charlie mizera, patsy peroni and 80 brown.
He beats seven fighters in a row and then he faces james j braddock in chicago.
For the title lewis got married the day of the fight to marvin trotter in the first round of the braddock fight, braddock dropped him short right hand and lewis got up right away and he went back to the corner.
His trainer, jack blackburn was furious with him.
He said why’d you get up right away, who you think you could turn back time, you’re already down.
Take the nine count.
Take the time gather yourself and he said, listen joe braddock is a former world champion he’s not a bum.
He knows what he’s doing.
Don’T let him do that to you take your time and you know, brad came into the fight and braddock had arthritic ribs and you know his his left arm was was arthritic, so he wasn’t in great shape, but lewis took his time.
Kept jabbing kept pounding him to the body, jabbing him to the head and finally, in the eighth round he hit him a right hand and he knocked him unconscious.
He was out before he hit the canvas now he used to heavyweight champion in the world, but he would not allow anyone, including the press, to call him that he said i’m not the champ until i beat smelly now.
People think – and this is a common misconception that well the next fight was smelling.
The next fight wasn’t schmemann.
The next fight was tommy farr, he had far, and then he fought nathan mann and then he fought harry thomas and then all by all by uh knockout.
He fought max schmeling in 1938 june 22nd, over 60 000 people were there at yankee, stadium and crowded in and at this point in 1938.
The second world war is just about underway.
Hitler’S openly supporting schmeling schmeling, never liked the nazis.
He was never a member of the nazi party didn’t allow athletes to join because athletic success was transitory in their eyes and schwelling felt all alone, because, as he’s walking towards the ring in yankee stadium, that night people are throwing cups of warm urine at him.
Empty bottles spitting at him, threatening to kill him two hours before the fight, most important fight not only of joe lewis’s life, but probably in the history of all boxing, because the fate of the free world depends on this.
Joe lewis takes a nap in the battles of yankee stadium in his dressing room two hours before he goes on, he’s sound, asleep, chappie blackburn, they called each other chappie that was their nickname.
Blackburn was like a father to him wakes him up about half hour before he goes in the ring.
Tapes lewis’s hands up lewis starts to punch, gets up and starts to.
Shadowbox develops a really good, sweat and blackburn’s.
Talking to him saying you know, you’re gon na be all right, joe, you put in a lot of training, we’ve had seven other fights, you could go 150 rounds and lewis looks at him and said one round and he said no, no, no, don’t don’t don’t make A mistake you could go 15.
lewis said: if i don’t kill him, it doesn’t count round chappie.
He goes in one jimmy cannon, the great sports writer was there and he was the one who came up the famous phrase and accurate phrase.
That boxing is the red light district of sports.
He said how’s it going to happen tonight, joe.
What round you’re going to get him.
He said first, first round he goes up lewis walks to the ring.
He looks like a king going to his throne.
He sits in the corner, while his gloves are put on the announcer harry beloy gets up and makes an impassioned speech.
You know in all fairness and and the world of sportsmanship may the better man win and louis is ready.
Lewis is looking across during it smelling and smiling, but he’s looking at him the whole time once he enters that ring his eyes.
Don’T ever go off smelling, so the bell rings.
Louis comes out blackburn, his trainer outside the rope just thinking just jab, just jab him and circle him jab him and circle.
Him jab him in circle and just jab.
Keep jabbing and circling him make the old man use his legs, and schmeling was nine years older than joe lewis.
Lewis, walks out throws a couple of jabs stiff jabs lands in the smell in his face, smelling through the entire fight and landed.
Two punches schmadling did hit louis a good right hand, but lewis was so zoned in he was so focused to make no difference.
Lewis starts lathering him with leather.
He just hits him a couple jabs right hand on the chin left to the side right to the side.
Another left to the chin right to the chin he’s just going full till louis, is in the zone, he’s moving forward and he’s pounding smelling and schweinling has taken these shots.
Schmeling’S balance is now gone because he’s hurt, which means that he can’t brace himself for each punch he’s taken every punch, the full impact at the point of impact he gets to the far ropes lewis hits him a right hand into his left ribs and no one Had ever seen this before smelling, let out a scream, he was in serious pain.
Lewis had broken three of the lumbar vertebrae, as well as his ribs, with that one right hand and lacerated his kidney hitch smelling again hit him again smelling hanging onto the ropes, which should be a knock down.
Referee, arthur donovan separates them.
Lewis stands back, schmelin comes out, lewis comes forward left hand out, hits him with a quick right hand, which travels faster than the speed of sound schmalling’s head.
You know reverberates back and forth, bang hits the canvas and his eyes are open wide and sixty thousand people in that audience are going.
Berserk schweinle gets up, lewis comes at him again left hand, another left hand right, uppercut straight right hand, left another right hand.
Schmelin goes down a second time.
At that exact moment, all the radios in germany are turned off by the nazis.
They cut the feed that they’re getting from american radio because they know what’s about to happen, they couldn’t believe it.
They believe this master race garbage that a black man couldn’t defeat a white man and louis was just taking it apart.
Taking smelling apart, punch by punch, schmeling, somehow manages to get up again.
Lewis comes in hits him a left to the belly right to the hand, smelling goes down again on his knees and before the fight, his trainer was disallowed from being there.
Actually, his manager max jacobs because of uh infractions he’d made during a fight with two-ton tonight.
Lentil his trainer dog casey said i don’t want any part of this.
This is gon na be an ugly night and he left so he just had max man in his corner.
That was all schmeling had a max man, as they would do in europe, took a towel and threw it into the ring.
The towel landed on arthur donovan’s, head donovan in the united states and didn’t recognize that you couldn’t do that.
Took the towel, threw it to the side and it landed on the middle strand of the rope where you could see it, swaying he’s counting over smelling and then before he reaches the end of the count.
He just waits to fight off max mann’s already in the ring, and you know dealing with his fighter and after the fight lewis said now, you can call me champ and of course, the announcer said what became familiar for the next 11 years.
You know the winner.
Two minutes and four seconds of the first round and still the heavyweight champion of the world.
Joe lewis lewis went on to have 25 title defenses.
He held the title for 12 years.
He was the greatest finisher.
The sport of boxing has ever seen.
There’S never been anyone who could punch as straight as joe lewis, who could punch as quickly as joe lewis, who put his punches together as well as joe lewis.
The other great thing about lewis that i wanted to clear up was the fact that people always mention the bum the month club, and they do it in such a way as to denigrate his opponents, and that’s the easiest way for someone to insult a fighter is To denigrate their opponents thumb the month club did not in any way shape or form mean that joe lewis’s fighters, or the guys that he fought excuse me couldn’t fight.
What it meant was that his his skill level his technique, his power, was so vastly superior to anyone else in the world that he made even really good and great fighters and schmeling was a great fighter.
Look like bombs.
That was the gift of joe lewis, so schmelin continued to fight after this, of course, lewis did too and they both served in world war ii and after the war smelling uh had a much better life than joe lewis.
He bought the rights to many coca-cola bottling plants.
Excuse me ended up a billionaire helped joe lewis, out with expenses he went to visit joe lewis.
Often they weren’t friends, people said well, they were friends, they only saw each other once every several years, but whenever they would swelling would slip him some money they liked each other.
They weren’t exactly close, as people like to believe lewis in his later years.
Had a lot of problems he he was suffering for dementia.
He was hooked on drugs and, of course, he had all those problems with the irs.
They taxed him on fights where he’d, given the entire person, the army navy relief funds, which they should not have done and even when frank sinatra paid it off for him, they still went after him, but he was always remembered as being the man who put america And the entire world on its back, he saved the free world.
This is why a lot of people who felt sorry for him after when joe ended up as a greeter at las vegas at casinos, especially his palace.
He didn’t feel that way.
He thought i shouldn’t have to work.
I saved the world, i beat max schmeling, you know what he was right.
He did save the world in a time of fear and desperation coming out of the depression and a world war against these monsters.
Louis put the entire world on its back and ensured everyone that things would work out in our favor and he was the one who came up the phrase we will win because we’re on god’s side.
Now that’s a famous quote by him.
He, the quote, was supposed to be gods on our side, but louis joe, the great joe lewis.
You know stuttered and he was dyslexic and he would often get things like that mixed up, but he was one of the most beloved fighters of all time.
The very few fighters that came after him that didn’t credit their success to him rock and marciano loved him when marciano beat him in lewis’s last fight, marciano turned away after he knocked him down in the eighth because he was crying because he loved joe lewis.
So much everyone loved joe lewis and one of his last interviews max melling, said everyone said that he fouled me.
It may have been an illegal punch.
He said that was 60 years ago, and the only thing that counts is that i love joe lewis and schmeling ended up paying for lewis’s funeral uh, the two men, as i said before, weren’t close close, but when they saw each other, they they got along.
Never been a fighter like joe lewis, i don’t know if anyone has the ability to explain how magnificent he was, but everyone that came after him was influenced by him and joe lewis’s appeal cut across all ethnicities and all religions.
My father told me – and i heard the actor jack clubman from the odd couple say this when joe lewis fought, especially when he fought schmeling, but when he fought in the radio in new york in philadelphia, in los angeles in england, in toronto, in vancouver and montreal.
In cities all over the world, the streets were empty.
All you could hear were the open windows from houses and apartments and the radio broadcast of joe lewis and when the fight ended, thousands of people would swarm onto the street.
Did you hear that punch and that’s the influence that joe lewis had on everyone around the world and after he beat smiling the second time? This was, i think, the third of four consecutive knockouts after he won the title and he just had a glorious reign.
He was, he was a magnificent world champion and you can’t rate him any less than the greatest of all world champions.
I would put ali up there as his equivalent, but ali’s reigns were interrupted because of political interference and also because of racism towards ali, whereas lewis, although he had to put the title on ice for four years during the second world war, still managed to come back.
He wasn’t what he once was, but he was still better than anyone else.
12 years 25 title defenses never will be equal again in any way class.
He was without a doubt not just a brown bomber.
He was pound for pound the greatest fighter to ever step into a prize ring.
He was absolutely perfect.
I’M lou eisen and this has been ring – talk
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