The nice Joe Louis, already one thing of a legend, made his first protection as heavyweight champion in opposition to Welshman Tommy Farr simply 9 weeks after his title-winning knockout over James J. Braddock. Few thought Farr able to troubling Louis, not to mention profitable, however the challenger’s stubborn preventing type, coupled with Louis’s lethargy, offered for an extended and fascinating combat wherein each males could be harm and a controversial resolution rendered. The announcement that Louis had retained his title was met not by a Bronx cheer however unabashed booing, as many felt the courageous Welshman had been robbed.
Farr, son of a bare-knuckled battler, started his skilled boxing profession on the outstanding age of 13 and by the point he met Louis he had already fought over 100 bouts. Against this, Louis had solely 33 professional fights, managing in that house to smash his means by way of the rankings and grow to be champion. His solely defeat, an enormous upset, was to Germany’s Max Schmeling a yr earlier at Yankee Stadium, a stain that—to his nice vexation—he nonetheless hadn’t obtained a chance to avenge. Louis had prodigious energy and eight of his final 9 victories had come by way of stoppage. Most believed that as quickly as Louis’ fists made contact with Farr’s chin the Welshman could be retired, leaving Louis to pursue the extra necessary enterprise of a return bout with Schmeling and the reclaiming of his, and America’s, sense of pugilistic superiority.
True warriors like Farr, nevertheless, have an excessive amount of spirit to ever be so casually dismissed, since their identities are indistinguishable from, and principally predicated on, how they carry out in fight. From the opening bell Farr attacked Louis with verve, reaching him with arduous physique pictures. He continued the tempo within the second, touchdown some harmful hooks, after which started coming excessive with the correct hand. This was not a complete, one-sided beating, although, as by this level one of many champion’s blows had opened a nasty gash on Farr’s face which his nook scrambled to take care of.
Preventing irrepressibly, Farr continued attacking, weathering a tricky fifth spherical and profitable the sixth. Within the seventh, Louis hammered Farr with a sequence of uppercuts however the challenger remained undaunted and bipedal. In maybe his greatest second, the Welshman hit Louis with an exquisite left hand within the eighth, sending the group right into a stunned frenzy. For the primary time within the combat, Louis appeared susceptible however the champion reclaimed the bout within the tenth and eleventh rounds when his nice jab started to say itself. Farr’s exercise decreased over the combat’s remaining rounds, however every time it appeared as if his mounting fatigue would result in a stoppage, the challenger, his eyes ever extra veiled by his personal blood, responded with a vigorous assault.
Farr fought valiantly within the remaining spherical as he sensed solely a knockout might unseat the champion. Too clever to be drawn right into a doubtlessly disastrous brawl, Joe’s counter-punching ensured he emerged from the spherical unscathed and from the competition along with his world title intact. Along with the group’s displeasure with the choice, there was some confusion when the decision was introduced because the referee mistakenly raised the challenger’s hand.
Farr although was gentlemanly in defeat and neither protested nor appeared notably aggrieved. Whereas he misplaced the combat, he gained widespread acclaim. He had given a splendid account of himself whereas giving “The Brown Bomber” one in all his hardest fights. As Louis went on to grow to be probably the most dominant champion in heavyweight historical past, this stands as a significant accomplishment all by itself.
— Eliott McCormick