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Lot # 1336 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1936 and 1938 Joe Louis and Max Schmeling Complete Boxing Tickets (2)

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,998

Collection of two rare complete tickets to the first and second Joe Louis/Max Schmeling heavyweight boxing matches, held on June 18, 1936, and June 22, 1938, at Yankee Stadium. Each ticket (7.25 x 2.75 inches) is similar in design and features portrait images of the two fighters. Both of these fights were important in boxing history, but it was the second of the two bouts that is best remembered today for is sociopolitical ramifications. Schmeling upset Louis in their first bout by knocking out the legendary “Brown Bomber” in round twelve. Although the loss, which was the first of Louis’ professional career, did not derail his career (he became the first black heavyweight champion since Jack Johnson in 1937 by defeating Jimmy Braddock), it weighed heavily on his mind. After winning the heavyweight championship he even remarked that he would not consider himself a champion until he beat Schmeling in a rematch. That rematch came in 1938, but the story was no longer about boxing. The bout had taken on 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 also 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 also repudiated Hitler's claims of Aryan supremacy on the world stage. In a career punctuated by numerous highlights, this was clearly his finest hour. Schmeling only fought six times after that bout, all of which were 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. Both tickets are crisp and clean, both front and back. The June 18, 1936, ticket displays a very tiny edge tear along the bottom border (of no significance and mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy), a tiny surface chip (in the "t" in the word "Stadium"), as well as light corner rounding, and is technically in Very Good condition, but with an Excellent appearance. The June 22, 1938 ticket displays a tiny corner crease in the lower right and is otherwise in strong Excellent condition. Both are rare and exceptional full-ticket examples. Total 2 tickets. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,998

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