Premature Championship

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In the “Time Machine” column for May/June you write that the 1936 Schmeling-Louis bout was a “world championship” contest. It was not. Max Schmeling was a thirty-one-year-old former champion, having lost the world heavy-weight title in 1932 to Jack Sharkey. Joe Louis was an undefeated twentytwo-year-old contender. Their second bout, on June 22, 1938, was for the title, which Louis had won on June 22 the previous year by stopping James J. Braddock in the eighth round in Chicago.