Ezzard Charles vs Jersey Joe Walcott IJune 22, 1949
World Heavyweight Championship
Rounds 14-15, Kinescope
When heavyweight contenders Ezzard Charles and Jersey Joe Walcott fought for the first time, it was for the vacated title of retired champion Joe Louis. Charles won a 15 round decision in a fight that lacked the excitement that fans had expected. The two fought three more times, with Walcott winning the last two. Despite the deterioration this is historic footage, it’s a rare look at Charles at the start of his two year reign, and of Walcott bouncing back from his loss to Joe Louis a year before.
A Kinescope is a film photographed directly off a TV screen. This was the original method of recording television broadcasts until it was replaced by video tape around 1956. In fact, in the years just following the Second World War, many television programs were either not recorded or have since been lost. This fight took place during that period. Footage of the last three Charles-Walcott fights has been available for years, but images of the first fight have been scarce. However, this brief kinescope shows the last two rounds of that fight and the historic decision.
My original source was poor to begin with, but I was able to enhance the picture contrast, color and tone, as well as the sound. Enjoy this brief look at this rare fight.