When The Gloves Are Off, These Are The Ultimate Joe Louis Mementos Runcorn, England auctioneers The Auction Centre will sell two pairs of boxing gloves previously owned by Heavyweight Champion of the World Joe Louis. The sale is on August 27, estimate £1,000 ($1,600)
News-Antique.com - Aug 01,2011 - Harold Dorian thought himself fortunate to have been billeted with footballer Billy Wright. Both men were PT instructors and for Harold, it was a happy wartime memory. But it was meeting reigning Heavyweight Champion of the World Joe Louis, the legendary "Brown Bomber", that Harold boasted about most. And he had pairs of boxing gloves to prove it.
His children were less impressed - they used them as boots to slide across the linoleum, but now, those iconic match-worn Everlast gloves - one pair maroon, the other chocolate brown - are to be sold. Runcorn-based The Auction Centre has estimated they could fetch up to £1,000 in a sale on August 27.
Joe Louis, a PT instructor himself after enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1942, was sent over to England with General Patton to train men in readiness for the Normandy landings. He was stationed at Oulton Hall in South Cheshire - now Oulton Park racing circuit. Apparently people in the local pubs used to pay money to punch him in the stomach, but Louis was such a hard nut, the punches had no effect.
Harold and Billy, meanwhile, were stationed at Ditherington, near Shrewsbury, in a vast warehouse used as a barracks for men of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. As a primary training centre, it was Harold's and Billy's job to get them fit before being posted to a battalion, so a morale-boosting exhibition match by the champion boxer was considered ideal
"My father told me Joe gave him the gloves as a thank you for setting up the ring and attending to him when he came to fight in the exhibition match," said Mr James Dorian, 65, a retired telecoms manager from Newton-le-Willows.
"He cherished them and took them with him when he was stationed with the Royal Artillery in the Shetland Isles. When he was demobbed, they came home with him, but my sister Angela and I used to play with them. We used to put them on our feet and slide along the landing on the oil cloth. They were huge, like a child putting a hand in a man's glove."
Since then, however, the gloves have been treated with more care. Carefully wrapped in a cotton bag, they have been tucked away in the loft. But now Mr Dorian feels it is time they went to a more deserving home.
"I'd like them to go to the right place, perhaps a sporting museum or a gym where young boxers are trained, so that people can see them and appreciate them for what they are, as used by the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time."
Born into an impoverished cotton-picking family, Louis was born Joe Louis Barrow in 1914 and died in Las Vegas in 1981. His boxing career began in 1934, after the family moved to Detroit, when he won the Golden Gloves light heavyweight title. Within a year of this victory he had turned pro and won 12 fights.