By H.G. Salsinger
NEW YORK, June 23. -- Joe Louis said that he was coming out of his corner fighting and he did. The fact that he came out of his corner fighting and that he swarmed over Schmeling kept the challenger from landing a single solid punch.
Schmeling has to set himself to hit. He had every chance to set himself and swing on Louis two years ago; he had only one chance last night. That was right after the start of the fight, when Louis landed his first flurry of punches. Louis stepped back, Schmeling set himself, over came the right. Louis pulled his head back to one side and Schmeling's glove grazed by Louis' cheek. Schmeling never had a chance to set himself after that; Louis kept on top of him.
Brain Against Brawn
It was to be a battle of brain against brawn. It was widely advertised as such. Schmeling did much of the advertising. He said Louis was big but dumb and that he was too smart for him, but Louis' left hooks will jar the smartest boxing brains in the game into a state of befuddlement. They jarred Schmeling's last night.
There is no question that Louis has improved in the last two years. He said the other day:
"Yuh can't keep on fighten' fuh two years without learin' sumtin'."
Among the things he learned in the last two years was how to beat Schmeling. Incidentally, the same method will beat any other fighter.
The most astonished man was Schmeling. He maintained right along that Louis could not change his style; that he could do nothing that he hadn't always done. Louis crossed Schmeling there and crossed him completely. Before Schmeling fully realized that Louis had completely changed his style he was beyond ability to do anything about it.
First a Fluke
What Louis wanted to do more than anything else last night was to prove that Schmeling's knockout victory two years ago was a fluke. He proved that convincingly.
Two years ago they told Louis that he was the softest of his career. Louis believed them on both counts. He did not train for Schmeling and he stalled along when the fight started. He was still stalling, with his guard only half up, when Schmeling landed that solid right on his left temple. He never fully recovered from that punch.
When he saw Schmeling fight Harry Thomas in the Garden last winter he said to John Roxborough:
"Is that the fellow what beat me?"
He felt ashamed of himself. He couldn't realize that anybody like Schmeling could knock him out.
After he beat Jim Braddock for the heavyweight championship last summer, Louis, in a burst of frankness, remarked:
"I got to beat that Schmeling before I's a real world champion."
Well, he's a real world champion today and the boys who were saying that Louis was full of flaws after Schmeling knocked him out are again sounding the trumpet call in his behalf. They once more see him as the invincible matador of the prize ring.
Two years ago the boxing writers of the country went overboard on Louis, telling the world that he would flatten Schmeling in the three or four rounds. When Schmeling knocked out Louis in 12, the writing fraternity took a "terrible beating" in the language of sport, but he vindicated them last night; he knocked out Schmeling quicker than even his most optimistic admirer was willing to predict in 1936.
Calling the Round
Louis again has proved his own best prophet. His predictions, with the exception of the first Schmeling fight, have been uncanny.
In his second fight with Lee Ramage he said he would knock out Ramage in two rounds, and he did.
He said he would stow Red Barry away in three rounds, and he did.
He predicted that he would deck Primo Carnera in the fifth and he knocked him out in the sixth, explaining this later by saying that he lost track of the rounds.
He said he would flatten Max Baer in five rounds and he did it in four.
He promised to polish off Kingfish Levinsky in two rounds and did it in one.
He said that Paolino Uzcudun would not last longer than four rounds and knocked him out in the fourth.
He gave Schmeling two rounds and Schmeling did not last one.
There were many people who hoped, for one reason or another, that Schmeling would beat Louis last night and they probably would not have minded so much seeing their favorite beaten had he played the string out.
Tossing in the towel while Schmeling was lying on the floor was an unchivalrous act.
Claiming that he should have won the fight on a foul did not help his case. For one reason, Louis did not foul him; for another reason, it was poor sportsmanship to cry foul.
It was an inglorious way to pass from the boxing scene. It left Schmeling with no admirers, and few sympathizers.
Don't Come Back
It is still true that they don't come back in the heavyweight class. Away back in the bare knuckle days there was a mighty fist man named William Thompson, who was billed in the fighting pits as "Bold Bendigo." He lost the world's championship twice and won it back twice.
That was before boxing became a sport in the United States. Since the first prize fight was held on this of the Atlantic no heavyweight has ever regained the title.
-- The Detroit News, June 23, 1938