Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott 1

December 5, 1947 (Madison Square Garden, New York City)

On December 5, 1947, at New York’s Madison Square Garden, Joe Louis, the reigning and defending heavyweight champion of the world, defended his long held title against Jersey Joe Walcott, the mercurial boxer-puncher from Camden, New Jersey. The Brown Bomber was approaching the end of his singular career and would retire, albeit briefly, after the rematch with Jersey Joe in June of ‘48. But their first fight was a shocker, confirming as it did that the champ was on the downside of his singular career, and that more things change, the more they stay the same. Louis was 56-1 coming into their first bout. Walcott’s record was 43-13-1. The fight was scheduled for 15 rounds.