Joe Louis to Celebrate His Thirty - Sixth Birthday Today: Retired Heavyweight Champ Back from South America; Await Decision on Plans, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-13


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; Joe Louis to Celebrate His Thirty-Sixth Birthday Today ] , j 1 ■ 1 • 1 : • 1 s 1 i " I 0 • II Retired Heavyweight Champt~ Back From South America; Await Decision on Plans By JACK CUDDY United Press Sports Writer NEW YORK, N. Y., May 12 UP .—Joe Louis, who will return from a South American tour tonight, will observe a very important birthday tomorrow — his thirty-sixth. It could be the most important sports birthday of 1950, for it adds another year to a retired fighter who may return to the ring and try to, reclaim the heavyweight crown he relinquished 13.% months ago. No previous heavyweight ever wore the crown a second time, after losing it or after giving it up. Of course. Gene Tunney did not try to win it back. Tunney and Jim Jeffries were* the only champs to- abdicate the heavy throne before Louis did it. Louis, who was born at Lexington, Ala., on May 13, 1914, may come out of retirement and claim the title at the age of 36, in case Ezzard Charles fails for the third time to pass a heart examination in August. Charles of Cincinnati is recognized as champion by the National Boxing Association. The International Boxing Club, in which Louis is a director, has an exclusive, long-term contract on Charles services. The IBC must keep control of the heavyweight title in order to dominate big-time boxing. With the single exception of Gene Tunney, every heavyweight champion since John L. Sullivan came out of retirement at least once for a comeback campaign. Six of them had return shots at the title: Jim Corbett, Bob Fitzsimmons, Jim Jeffries, Jack Dempsey, Max Schmeling and Jack . Sharkey. Jeffries Attempt to Regain Crown However, neither Dempsey nor Schmeling had retired before their return title bouts — Dempsey with Tunney and Schmeling with Louis. Jim Jeffries made the most widely pub-| licized return to the ring in"an attempt to regain the heavy crown. Big Jim gave up the crown and retired in 1905.. Five years later, he came out of retirement, and with-1 out any preparatory competition, attempted to wrest the title from Jack Johnson, a great fighter who was at his peak. Jeffries was 35 on that broiling after-" noon of July 4, 1910, when he climbed into the ring at Reno, Nev. Despite his yen for battle, Jeff had no chance against his sleek, brown-skinned opponent. Johnson knocked him out in the fifteenth round after giving him a thorough beating. Jeffries was 35, a year younger than Louis will be tomorrow. But Jeffries had been out of action for five years, and he was called upon to face a most formidable opponent. Louis has been in retirement but a short time. Moreover, he is confronted with no opponent of Jack Johnsons ability. In fact, he would be returning to compete with probably the worst batch of heavy contenders in history. Joe would be favored to beat- any of them, with Charles on the sidelines. Bob Fitzsimmons retired for nearly two d years after one unsuccessful comeback e campaign and then returned to the ring e and tried to wrest the title from Jeffries at ;- San Francisco in 1902. Fitz was 40 years ;s old at the time. Jeffries knocked him out ie in the eighth round. In the case of Fitz, d it must be remembered that he didnt win the heavyweight crown, originally, until ie nearly 35 years old. He knocked out Cor-is bett at Carson City, Nev. s, If Louis does try to reclaim the title and defend against outstanding contenders, : therell be more stories about age and the Ie ring written this year than at any time *t since Jeffries groomed for Johnson 40 years d, ago. Thats why tomorrow shapes up as »e such an important sports birthday. 1 . DON NEWCOMBE — Negro pitching ace reported back to the Brooklyn Dodgers yesterday and said his arm felt fine after a 15-minute workout. -

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