The Greatest Fight of Our Generation

Louis vs. Schmeling
Erenberg, Lewis A.
Date published: 
November 2005

Held on June 22, 1938, in Yankee Stadium, the second title fight between black American Joe Louis and white German Max Schmeling sparked excitement around the globe. It remains one of the most memorable events in boxing history and, indeed, one of the most significant sporting events ever. Erenberg sheds light on what these fighters represented to their nations, and why their contest took on such international importance as a match between Nazism and American democracy. He discusses how Schmeling's ' dramatic first-round defeat was a devastating blow to Hitler, and how Louis, went from being a hero of his raceOur Joe to the first black champion embraced by all Americans, black and white.