On June 18, 1941, The Brown Bomber Joe Louis was the heavyweight champion of the world when he took on Billy Conn, the light-heavyweight titleholder….as seen in these video highlights herewith….as Conn was leading on all three scorecards….and would have captured the title were the bout only 12 rounds long….which might have prevented Louis from retaining the title by knocking out Conn with a six-punch barrage in the 13th round.
Billy Conn was an Irish American professional boxer ….who was the reigning light heavyweight champion prior to fighting Joe Louis….whenIn May 1941, he gave up his title to challenge world heavyweight champion Joe Louis…..as Conn attempted to become the first world light heavyweight champion in boxing history to win the world heavyweight championship when he and Louis met on June 18 of that year….and incredibly, to do so without going up in weight.
The fight became part of boxing’s lore because Conn held a secure lead on the scorecards leading to round 13…..who according to many experts and fans who watched the fight….Conn was outmaneuvering Louis up to that point….then in a move that Conn would regret for the rest of his life…. he tried to go for the knockout in round 13….and instead wound up losing the fight by knockout in that same round himself….when ten minutes after the fight, Conn told reporters, “I lost my head and a million bucks”. When asked by a reporter why he went for the knockout, Conn replied famously, “What’s the use of being Irish if you can’t be thick [i.e. stupid]?” Later he would joke with Louis, “Why couldn’t you let me hold the title for a year or so?”, to which the Brown Bomber responded, “You had the title for twelve rounds and you couldn’t hold on to it.”
Any you cut the pie…..this is rare historic boxing footage….which we at ImaSportsphile are overjoyed at having in our library….for it is “pure gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.