Who did Joe Louis beat to become the world heavyweight champion?

Born Joseph Louis Barrow (1914-83) near Lafayette, Louisiana, the African-American boxer defeated James J. Braddock for the world heavyweight championship on June 22, 1937.

Known as the “Brown Bomber,” Louis held the title for 12 years, from 1937 until he retired in 1949.

During this period, he defended his title a record 25 times.