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Joseph Louis Barrow
Transcript of Joseph Louis Barrow
In his time as a fighter, Joe Louis had 72 fights. He knocked out 57 opponents, endured three defeats and held the championship from 1937 until March 1949, the longest span of a heavyweight titleholder. Louis failed to regain the championship when he returned to the ring in 1950 and when Rocky Marciano knocked him out in 1951. The man who had been called the Brown Bomber was finished. Louis helped elevate boxing from the bottom of popularity after the reign of Jack Dempsey by establishing a reputation as an honest, hardworking fighter at a time when the sport was dominated by gambling. Louis' cultural impact was felt well outside the ring. He is widely regarded as the first African American to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States. Joe Louis still holds the distinction of having successfully defended his title more times than any other heavyweight in history. He knocked out five world champions and will remain a powerful part of boxing history for many decades to come. His life and success story serve as proof that black and white Americans can coexist. Joe Louis is a role model for all of us and proved that good sportsmanship can exist even in a sport as violent as boxing. Louis died of cardiac arrest in Desert Springs Hospital near Las Vegas on April 12, 1981, just hours after his last public appearance viewing the Larry Holmes-Trevor Berbick Heavyweight Championship. "You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." - Joe Louis