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Joe Louis TKO1 Max Schmeling, June 22, 1938 – With tensions rising between the U.S. and Germany because of the Hitler regime's aggressive foreign policy, the fight had societal, as well as sporting implications. Schmeling had beaten Louis in 1936 and Americans badly wanted to see Louis get revenge. He did so in a big way, knocking Schmeling down three times in the first, forcing referee Arthur Donovan to stop it.