More Info on Joe Louis
June 22, 1938 - Two years after being knocked out by Max Schmeling, Joe Louis sought revenge. But the fight was for more than the heavyweight championship, more than two individuals competing. It was built into a battle of two ideologies.
In one corner was Schmeling, representing Hitler (though Schmeling wasn't a Nazi) and everything fascism stood for. In the other corner was the champion Louis, representing the U.S. and everything democracy meant. Louis was invited to the White House, where President Franklin Roosevelt felt the champ's biceps and told him. "Joe, we need muscles like yours to beat Germany."
There were reports of messages to Schmeling from Hitler warning him that he had better win for the glory of the Third Reich. Hitler hailed him as a paragon of Teutonic manhood, and telephoned him personally before he left the dressing room.
Schmeling wasn't gone from the room long. There had been a statement attributed to Schmeling that the Negro would always be afraid of him. Angered by the comment and seeking revenge for his only defeat, the 9-5 favorite Louis pulverized the reluctant Aryan figurehead before some 70,000 fans at Yankee Stadium.
He knocked Schmeling to the canvas three times. Just 124 seconds into the fight, the German laid broken on the canvas, counted out, as Louis won one for himself and for America.
"Now I feel like a champion," Louis said.
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