The Billy Conn Myth

It has become one of those great prize fight myths that all Billy Conn had to do was stay away from Joe Louis for the final three rounds of their 15 round championship fight (Polo Grounds 1941) and he would have won the heavyweight championship of the world. The story is almost true, Conn actually needed to win at least one more round on all three judges score cards or he would have lost a majority decision.

At the end of 12 rounds the official scorecards read:

Eddie Joseph (referee) 7 rounds to Conn, 5 to Louis /// Marty Monroe (judge) 7 to Conn, 4 rounds to Louis, 1 round even /// Bill Healy ( judge) 6 rounds to Conn, 6 rounds to Louis

Had Billy Conn just stayed away from Louis and dropped all three of the championship rounds the final score would have read:

Eddie Joseph (referee) 8 rounds to Louis, 7 rounds to Conn /// Marty Monroe (judge) 7 rounds to Louis, 7 rounds to Conn, 1 round even /// Bill Healy (judge) 9 rounds for Louis, 6 rounds Conn

A majority decision (MD) for Joe Louis

Had Billy Conn won only one round on two of the judges scorecards then the fight would have ended in either a majority draw or a split draw (depended on which two judges) and a draw would have resulted in Louis retaining his title.

Despite Billy Conn's famous quote, "What's the point of being Irish, if you can't be stupid," Billy Conn still needed to take the fight to Joe Louis, at least for one more round, so he did.