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Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling | 80 years on

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

07:30 6 Nov 2018


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David Margolick joined OTB to look backs at arguably the most iconic boxing contest in the sport's history. 

The author and journalist spoke to OTB 80 years on from the iconic pair of fights which both took place in Yankee Stadium, New York City. 

Margolick said he couldn't hide his emotion, even at the mention of the fight.

The New York based journalist cited it as the biggest sporting event of all-time.

Both fights were watched by a combined 140,000 people, unprecedented for the time.   

"Really, even hearing you set-up this piece, I get moved; all over again because I think there was never another sporting event like it" 

The Detroit native's radiant and charming personality, and his general demeanor in and out of the ring was the selling point to the U.S public, says Margolick.

 "Successful, not just in the ring. I mean successful also outside the ring in the larger American  society. In that, he was acceptable to white American in a way that no black boxer had been for many years since the reign of Jack Johnson, and in many ways that had set black American back because Jack Johnson had been such a devicive figure. 

Margolick says Louis' acceptance amongst caucasian America was unprecedented for the time, and beleives it ultimately helped remove racial tension in society at that time. 

"Joe Louis was the one who sort of broke that barrier again, and worked his way into the affections of all Americans - white and black. Which was quite an accomplishment, and that's was why he was even in the ranks of heavyweight contenders. I mean they were not going to give another title shot to a black man who wasn't acceptable.   

You can watch the interview above and/or subscribe to our Youtube channel 

 

 

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