Joe Louis, though perhaps not a name particularly familiar to the younger boxing fan, is widely regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time.
Of Louis’ 66 wins, a remarkable 52 came by stoppage, a record that has established ‘The Brown Bomber’ amongst the most lethal finishers in the history of the blue ribbon division.
Though many fighters have been compared to Louis since his career came to an end in the early 1950s, there is an unlikely to have ever been an English featherweight mentioned in the same breath as him – until now.
In a recent episode of his podcast THE FIGHT, former trainer Teddy Atlas praised Leigh Wood for his victory over Josh Warrington last weekend, and said the way Wood dispatched of the Leeds favourite was reminiscent of a prime Louis.
“That’s why he [Wood] was able to finish the way he did. Yeah he landed all those punches, but why? Because he kept space, it wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t luck. He did a marvellous job when he did that, moving those feet back to keep just the right range, so he didn’t get smothered by Warrington.”
“I’m going to give him as good a compliment as I can give a fighter. He looked like Joe Louis, one of the greatest finishers ever, when he caught him with those six clean punches before Warrington went to the floor.”
“That’s what Cus D’Amato used to love about Joe Louis. Once you hurt him, hit him with four or five clean punches to make sure he doesn’t get back up, that’s what Louis used to do.”
Though Wood retained his WBA strap against Warrington at the Sheffield Arena, he may have to do it all over again, as the Yorkshireman was dominating the fight up until the stoppage and there have been strong calls for a rematch at the City Ground in Nottingham.