Full ticket (7.25 x 2.75 inches) to the "World' Heavyweight Championship" bout between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling held at Yankee Stadium on June 22, 1938. This ticket is for the second fight between champion Joe Louis and German-born challenger Max Schmeling, which is regarded as one of the most significant and celebrated sporting events in history. For boxing purists it offered the opportunity to witness Joe Louis square off against the only man who had beaten him professionally (Schmeling knocked Louis out in 1936). For others the bout took on even greater importance due to the political and social ramifications of the time. Adolph Hitler had risen to power in Germany and had already begun his persecution of the Jews as well as a pattern of territorial expansion that would result in World War II. Schmeling, unfairly it seems, was used as a tool by Hitler to promote his views of Aryan supremacy (Schmeling held the heavyweight title briefly in 1930). For that reason the bout was viewed by many as a fight not only between men, but of ideals. As the fight date grew closer the hysteria over the bout began to consume the American public. Louis was even summoned to the White House, where the New York Times quoted President Roosevelt as telling him, "Joe, we need muscles like yours to beat Germany." When the day finally arrived, over 70,000 fans packed Yankee Stadium and the fight was broadcast in four languages as millions around the world listened to the call. With the weight of a nation resting squarely on his shoulders, Louis responded with one of the greatest performances of his career. The "Brown Bomber" pummeled the challenger unmercifully at the sound of the bell and knocked him down twice before Schmeling's corner quickly threw in the towel. The fight lasted just two minutes and four seconds. Just as Jesse Owens had done previously in the 1936 Olympics, Louis had not only retained his title but repudiated on the world stage Hitler's claims of Aryan supremacy. In a career punctuated by numerous highlights, this was clearly his finest hour. Schmeling only fought six times after that bout, and only in Germany. Though he was vilified at the time, Schmeling was clearly a pawn in Hitler's propaganda machine. He was never a member of the Nazi party, nor did he share the beliefs of the party. In fact, the manager for all of his American fights, Joe Jacobs, was Jewish. Louis successfully defended his title over the next ten years and is considered one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time. The ticket, which features portrait images of both fighters, remans in Near Mint to Mint condition. This is both a rare and significant full ticket from one of the most important boxing matches in history. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+.
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