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Joe Louis vs. Rocky Marciano
October 26, 1951
After several come-behind victories against Billy Conn and Jersey Joe Walcott, Joe Louis realized that his time in the ring was running out. On March 1, 1949. Joe Louis announced his retirement from the sport of boxing with all intention to live a life of peace. But when the IRS completed their tax audit of Louis in mid-1950, they found Louis $500,000 in arrears. Joe Louis had to return to the ring.
A loss against new heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles had only shaved off a fifth of his debt, and eight subsequent wins against nobodies hadn’t done much for his pocketbook. By 1951, there was only one escape in sight. The International Boxing Club guaranteed Louis $300,000 to fight an up-and-coming contender, a certain Rocky Marciano. 
Fighting at ninety or eighty percent is always dangerous, but fighting against Rocky Marciano with the handicap of age could be dangerous. Marciano wasn’t a smooth points boxer who dominated the ebb and flow of combat. He was a mauler. Marciano hurt people, and not even Rocky, who grew up worshiping Louis, wanted to see Louis hurt. But the $300,000 was too good to turn away. Louis wanted the fight, and Rocky would go along.
Marciano crushed Louis, dropping him in the eighth and knocking him out of the ring shortly thereafter. The fight was stopped with Marciano declared the winner.
"I’m sorry, Joe," Marciano told him in his dressing room. "What’s the use of crying?" Joe replied. "The better man won. I guess everything happens for the best."
With all prospects of another big fight extinguished and his debt all but erased, Louis retired for a second, final time.

Joe Louis vs. Rocky Marciano

October 26, 1951

After several come-behind victories against Billy Conn and Jersey Joe Walcott, Joe Louis realized that his time in the ring was running out. On March 1, 1949. Joe Louis announced his retirement from the sport of boxing with all intention to live a life of peace. But when the IRS completed their tax audit of Louis in mid-1950, they found Louis $500,000 in arrears. Joe Louis had to return to the ring.

A loss against new heavyweight champion Ezzard Charles had only shaved off a fifth of his debt, and eight subsequent wins against nobodies hadn’t done much for his pocketbook. By 1951, there was only one escape in sight. The International Boxing Club guaranteed Louis $300,000 to fight an up-and-coming contender, a certain Rocky Marciano. 

Fighting at ninety or eighty percent is always dangerous, but fighting against Rocky Marciano with the handicap of age could be dangerous. Marciano wasn’t a smooth points boxer who dominated the ebb and flow of combat. He was a mauler. Marciano hurt people, and not even Rocky, who grew up worshiping Louis, wanted to see Louis hurt. But the $300,000 was too good to turn away. Louis wanted the fight, and Rocky would go along.

Marciano crushed Louis, dropping him in the eighth and knocking him out of the ring shortly thereafter. The fight was stopped with Marciano declared the winner.

"I’m sorry, Joe," Marciano told him in his dressing room. "What’s the use of crying?" Joe replied. "The better man won. I guess everything happens for the best."

With all prospects of another big fight extinguished and his debt all but erased, Louis retired for a second, final time.

Tags: boxing Joe Louis Rocky Marciano October 26 1951 martial arts sports sports history
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  10. dementia-pugilistica reblogged this from trianglejake and added:
    Oh, hell. I had this pic listed in my files as Marciano-Louis forever and didn’t bother to check the image. Good eye....
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