This day in sports: Max Schmeling of Germany knocks out an undefeated Joe Louis

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Max Schmeling of Germany knocked out undefeated Joe Louis on this date in 1936 in the 12th round of their heavyweight fight at Yankee Stadium in New York.

Louis, a 10-1 favorite, entered the fight overconfident and ill-prepared after spending time in Hollywood playing a boxer in a movie, while Schmeling used his time to study films of Louis’ boxing style.

The defeat was a devastating blow to the Black community in America because Louis had become a symbol of enormous pride.


When Louis and Schmeling met in 1938 for a rematch, Louis knocked him out in the first round.

This week, in games postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dodgers were set to start a three-game interleague series Friday with the Detroit Tigers at Dodger Stadium, and the Angels were scheduled to celebrate Hawaiian shirt night against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium.

Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1867 — In the inaugural running of the Belmont Stakes, Ruthless, a filly ridden by jockey J. Gilpatrick, beats De Courcey by a head at Jerome Park Racetrack in New York. Ruthless earns $1,850 for her victory against three other horses and is the first of only three fillies to win the Belmont Stakes.

1955 — In one of the biggest upsets in golf, Jack Fleck, a municipal course pro from Iowa, beats Ben Hogan by three strokes in an 18-hole playoff to win the U.S. Open on the Lake Course of the Olympic Club in San Francisco. Hogan trails by one stroke on the last hole of the playoff but hits a poor drive and ends up making a double-bogey to Fleck’s par, which gives the winner a 69.

1986 — All-American Len Bias of Maryland, who is the second pick in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics two days earlier, dies of a heart attack induced by cocaine intoxication. The Celtics, the defending NBA champions, saw Bias as the future star who would eventually succeed Larry Bird on the court in Boston.

1992 — Evander Holyfield wins a unanimous decision over Larry Holmes to remain unbeaten and retain the undisputed heavyweight title at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Holmes opens a deep cut above Holyfield’s right eye but shows little aggression afterward while Holyfield maintains an offensive pace to the final bell in the 12th round.


1999 — The Dallas Stars bring the Stanley Cup to Texas when Brett Hull scores a controversial goal at 14:51 of the third overtime, giving the Stars a 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres in Game 6 of the final series. Hull’s foot is in the crease when he puts a rebound past Dominik Hasek, but the goal is allowed because Hull is deemed to be in possession of the puck.

2005 — Michael Campbell of New Zealand answers every challenge by Tiger Woods for a two-shot victory in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina. Campbell makes clutch par-saving putts to go along with a 20-foot birdie on the 17th hole, allowing him to shoot a final-round score of 69. Retief Goosen, the two-time U.S. Open champion, has a collapse that ranks among the worst in major tournament history when he loses a three-shot lead in three holes and meekly finishes with an 81 to tie for 11th at eight over par.

2005 — Michelin advises the 14 cars it supplies that its tires are unsafe for the final banked turn of the Formula One race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Unable to forge a compromise, all 14 Michelin teams pull off the track after the warm-up lap, leaving winner Michael Schumacher and the five other drivers who use Bridgestone tires to race among themselves.

2011 — Rory McIlroy runs away with the U.S. Open, winning by eight shots and breaking the tournament scoring record by four strokes. McIlroy shoots a two-under-par 69 to close the four days at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., at 16-under-par 268. The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland is the third player in U.S. Open history to break 70 in all four rounds.

2014 — Stacy Lewis plays bogey-free on a shorter but equally tough Pinehurst No. 2 course to take a one-shot lead over Michelle Wie in the first round of the U.S. Women’s Open. Eleven-year-old Lucy Li holds her own — at least for 15 holes. The youngest qualifier in women’s Open history has a triple bogey and two double bogeys in a round of 78. Li shoots another 78 the next day and misses the cut. Wie goes on to beat Lewis by two shots and win her first major tournament.

Sources: The Los Angeles Times, Associated Press