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Joe Louis (born Joseph Louis Barrow, May 13, 1914 - April 12, 1981) was an American boxer. He was the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949. Louis won the title from James Braddock. He made a record twenty-five title defenses before giving up the title in 1949.
Perhaps his most famous fight was his one-round knockout of Max Schmeling, the German former heavyweight champion, in 1938. Schmeling had given Louis his only loss up to that point, and was widely seen at that time as a representative of Nazi Germany. The buildup to the fight was wrapped up in the politics of the United States versus Nazi Germany.