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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Welcome, champ

   November 14, 1944 … Joe Louis fought in public only once between 1942 and 1946. You guessed it -- it was in Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo.

   Louis had a fight at the Aud against Johnny Davis. If he was looking for a little work, he didn't get it. Davis only lasted 53 seconds before losing on a TKO.

   It's a curious fight, because of the timing. World War II was still going on, and Louis was serving in the Armed Forces at that point. Plus, while there are references to it as a non-title bout, one Web site says the New York State athletic commissioner called it a title defense.

   Davis wasn't exactly a quality opponent. He was 3-3 going into the fight, and that .500 record looked pretty good when he was done. Davis finished his career with a 5-21 record, and was knocked out 19 times. He was from Brooklyn and mostly fought in the New York City area.

   Louis held the heavyweight boxing championship from 1937 to 1949. He is considered one of the greatest champions in history, and it was nice to have him perform here ... even if it was for only 53 seconds.

 ---Budd Bailey


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