June 13, 1944
Joe Louis, “the Brown Bomber” from Detroit, and world heavyweight champion, will make his first appearance on Merseyside when he appears in an all-Services boxing tournament at Liverpool Stadium on Tuesday, July 4 – Independence Day.
Louis is now in the American Army and has been over here some time entertaining his colleagues in exhibitions with his sparring partners. It is intended that Joe shall figure in one of these exhibitions on the Stadium show.
The tournament will feature six first-class amateur bouts – three English and three American. Unfortunately for the keen boxing fans, the general public will not be admitted to the show, which is for Services only, but no doubt many will go along to Bixteth-street that night to give the “Champ” a warm welcome.
Mr. Johnny Best, managing director of Liverpool Stadium, will endeavour to secure permission for Louis to attend the Stadium show on July 6 just to say “Hello,” but this depends entirely on American military requirements and consent. Joe appears in Manchester on July 5.
Louis will be the first world heavyweight champion to visit Liverpool since Gene Tunney made a fleeting appearance here on one of his European tours. Jack Johnson, of course, made two appearances here.
Curiously enough, it was 34 years ago to the day – July 4, 1910 – that Johnson pricked the “White Hope” bubble be defeating Jim Jefferies, who had been brought out of retirement especially to regain the title for the white race. Johnson easily put an end to that plan.
Old-timers of the fight game are convinced that Louis is not only the greatest champion of the decade, but the greatest heavyweight boxing has ever known. Certain it is that Joe has proved a wonder titleholder, defending his title time after time and never worrying about the strength of the opposition.
Our own Tommy Farr accomplished the best feat by lasting 15 rounds against Louis, and the next best performance came from Billy Conn, of Pittsburgh, who was heading for victory when he tried to fight it out with Joe and paid the penalty.
Louis became world champion by knocking out Jimmy Braddock in eight rounds on June 13, 1937. The only blot on his record was when being knocked-out in 12 rounds by Max Schmeling on June 16, 1936, in a non-title bout, but when they met in a return Schmeling was battered to defeat inside a round.
(Evening Express: June 13, 1944)