Joseph Louis Barrow (1914-1981) was an American professional boxer.
Louis is well-remembered for his rivalry with German boxer Max Schmeling. The two first met in 1936. Louis, rated the number one challenger in the world heavyweight division and undefeated thus far in his career, was heavily favored to beat the former heavyweight champion; however, Schmeling prepared more thoroughly than Louis and won an upset victory by knocking Louis out in the twelfth round of their match.
In 1937, Louis defeated James Braddock to become heavyweight champion of the world. He would reign as heavyweight champion until 1949 and would defend his title a record twenty-five times, including a rematch with Schmeling in 1938, where his victory badly embarrassed the Nazi Party, and a storied, hard-fought victory over Billy Conn in 1941. Louis served in the United States Army in World War II, rising to the rank of sergeant. After the war he resumed his boxing career, continuing to defend his title but clearly no longer at the prime of his career. He announced his retirement in 1949, ceding the championship to Ezzard Charles. He returned to the sport in 1950 and briefly attempted a comeback, but retired for good in 1951 after an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Rocky Marciano.
Pete McGill reflected that the United States Navy's attempts to offer battle to its Japanese counterpart did not resemble the epic bout between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling. (The Navy's commanders had expected a massive engagement resembling the Battle of Jutland, but were forced into retreat by enemy aircraft without even making contact with the main Japanese naval formation.)
After enduring a heavy Soviet artillery bombardment, Luc Harcourt felt like he'd just gone fifteen rounds with Joe Louis.