"Joe Louis Knocking Out Max Schmeling"
Former World Champion Max Schmeling was publicly considered an underdog when he was going up against rising contender and awesome knockout artist Joe Louis in a major heavyweight showdown in June of 1936. A huge crowd in Yankee Stadium expected to see the veteran humbly fall to the undefeated contender who was viewed as unstoppable, But instead, shockingly, Schmeling went into the ring and dominated Joe Louis, landing a long series of hard right-hand counters before putting Louis down for the count in round 12.
But a year later it was Louis, not Schmeling, who received a shot at the world title. Joe "Chappy" Louis had rebounded with seven straight wins including a knockout over former champion Jack Sharkey. However, the main reason "Chappy" got his shot at the championship was due to some over-lying politics. As a citizen of Nazi Germany, no one was anxious to give Schmeling another chance at the world title while the hated Adolf Hitler was threatening the world with his fascist ideology. Instead, Louis got the shot and he left no doubt as to his worthiness when he scored a clean knockout over James J. Braddock.Louis famously notes after winning the title, “I want Schmeling,” after his knockout win. “I ain’t no champion ’till I beat Schmeling.”
Finally, a rematch with Schmeling was signed and set for June 22, 1938. It was the fight Louis had been waiting for, but it was one sports fans were itching to see as well. The political backdrop for the bout was hard to ignore and quickly was viewed as one of the most significant sporting events in the world.
In the present work by Charles Ellis, he beautifully illustrates Joe Louis's finishing knockout punch on Max Schmeling, finishing him off easily with 2:04 left in the first round. In a strong fashion, Joe "Chappy" Louis erased his original defeat to Schmeling, made it seem like some kind of strange fluke, a phantom, and asserted himself as the most awesome and powerful champion. Afterward, the usually quiet champion, Joe Louis offered the press a rare self-satisfied grin. “Now, I feel like the champ.”