Ringside Radio
The First Match The Rematch June 19, 1936 | Yankee Stadium, New York
Fight Preview Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8 Round 9 Round 10 Round 11 Round 12 Post-Fight

Preview

Radio commentator Ed Hill describes the scene at Yankee Stadium. (4:56)

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Audio recordings of the Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling boxing matches are the copyrighted material of Cayton Sports, Inc. and are provided courtesy of Cayton Sports, Inc.

Louis and Schmeling weigh in 1936

Audio Transcript

Ed Hill:
Yes, this is Edwin C. Hill in the Yankee Stadium in New York City, pinned right against the ringside, broadcasting the human side of the fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. They are going to fight it out to see which will battle Jimmy Braddock next September for the heavyweight championship of the world. The promoter of this thrilling spectacle is Mike Jacobs, who has more than filled the shoes of the late Tex Rickard and who is the cleverest showman of the world today, so I am told by my friend Charles Gannon, advertising manager of the Buick Motor Car Company. Within a few minutes now, Clem McCarthy will be pouring into your ears, every detail of the three-minute rounds, punch by punch and blow by blow. Every move and every echo. The Buick people have asked me to set the stage for you, to draw the picture right up to the electric moment the bell rings, so that sitting in your own home, you'll be able -- I hope -- to see it all with a kindling eye of imagination. The huge crowds. The shifting ever-changing scene, winking pinpoints of light from 50,000 cigars and cigarettes, for all the world like fireflies in the blue-black night. Wave on wave of sound, rising and falling. The great stadium, a vast well of darkness walling in one brilliant square of light, set in the center of this vast throng reaching back, back, back so that the last rows are lost in blank obscurity.

In the very center of the ring, blazing out under the white-hot glare of the flood lights, like an enormous square diamond on black velvet. The crowd makes you catch your breath. It stretches back endlessly, the first 40 or 50 rows of panorama, white mask-like faces, the rest disappearing in the gloom of night. More than 70,000 people who paid all the way up to $40 to see the dark boy from Detroit clash with German Max. There's no time in this swiftly moving drama to broadcast who's who in the Yankee Stadium, but five governors are here, half a dozen mayors, postmaster Jim Farley, a flock of notables from Washington, and the top-notchers of business and the professions. It's an amazing cross section of America: rich men, poor men, beggar man thief, doctor, lawyer, merchant, chief. And around the ring, hunched over their typewriters, elbow to elbow over the telegraph operators, are the famous sporting writers who columns you follow everyday in your own papers: Damon Runyan and Bill Corling and Franklin Rice. Jack Smiley and Dan Parker, Frank Graham, Wilbur Wood, Bill Cunningham and many more. Cool as ice in all the uproar and excitement, missing nothing, shooting out their stuff to every corner of the civilized world.

But the fighters, Joe and Max, they are the real show. And a word about this marvelous dark boy, who hits with the speed of Tunney and the power of Dempsey, and about the rugged courageous German who carries a stick of dynamite in his right hand and never backs up when his light goes out. Let me try to sketch for you so you can close your eyes and see them in action, as Clem McCarthy machine guns his round by round description. Schmeling, 30 years of age -- that's getting along for a fighter -- stands six feet one inch, while Joe Louis, only 22, is six feet one and three-quarters, having grown an inch and taken on 10 pounds in the last year since he rendered Max Baer null and void. He goes into the ring several pounds heavier than Schmeling but his people claim the weight hasn't slowed him by the bat of an eyelid and that he's faster than ever. Physically these gladiators, perfect specimens of the hard trained animal, are as closely matched as your apt to see in the ring. Both in absolutely perfect condition, trained to the second, no excuses or alibi for the beaten man. Joe Louis is a little bigger around the chest. His reach is longer by an inch, and he is a bit stockier in the legs. But unless you had the figures, you would scarcely realize there was even a slight difference. The big difference is age. Joe at 22 represents all the speed power and endurance of youth. Max at 30, must spot the dark boy those eight years. Joe at 22 is springing uphill, Max at 30 may be trudging down. We will soon see. The betting is now five to one that Louis wins by a decision. Two to one that he wins by a knockout. A word about their records, Schmeling first came to America eight years ago, claiming the championship of Europe. A big, nice-looking German boy who copied his style from Jack Dempsey and who looked quite a little like Jack. He caught the eye of the late Tex Rickard, went on and won the championship from Jack Sharkey. And now Clem will tell you they're meeting in the center of the ring. And now Clem McCarthy.

Clem McCarthy:
Arthur Donovan has called them into the center of the ring. Max Schmeling is standing on his left and Joe Louis is on his right. Joe Jacobs the manager of Schmeling is right in there close. Arthur Donovan is calling their attention to all the rules, to what he expects of the men, how he wants them to break, and Max Mackham is standing there beside Max Schmeling and ready to tell him anything that Max doesn't catch from Arthur Donovan. Max Schmeling's understanding of the English language has improved a whole lot in the last two years, and today the boys of the newspaper world say it's a great pleasure to talk and visit with him, he no longer has trouble understanding them. They'll be sent back to their corners in just a moment. Max Schmeling has sent back for something in his corner... no. Now the microphone has been lifted high up to the ceiling of the ring. And in about five seconds the fight will be on.