United states V. Intern. Boxing

World Boxing Association

The Goverment's Complaint

The Government's civil complaint charging appellants with a combination and conspiracy in unreasonable restraint of trade and commerce among the States in the promotion, broadcasting, and televising of professional world championship boxing contests, as well as a conspiracy to monopolize and monopolization of the same. in violation of the Sherman Act. After a trial, the District Court, in an opinion incorporating detailed findings, found that the allegations of the complaint had been sustained, and adjudged that appellants had violated the Sherman Act.


After further hearings on the case, the District Court entered a final judgment dissolving the two international boxing clubs, directing the individual appellants to divest themselves of their stock in Madison Square Garden, and granting injunctive relief designed to open up the market in the business of promoting professional world championship boxing matches.

People involved

On January 1949 James D. Norris and Arthur Wirtz, who controlled boxing at several major arenas including Madison Square Garden, Chicago Stadium and Detroit Olympia, paid the recently retired Joe Louis $100,000 for four fighters he managed. They agreed that those fighters would fight it out among themselves for the new heavyweight title, and in return fight only in matches Norris and Wirtz promoted for several years.
Joe Louis Biography
Joe Louis Barrow: A Life and Career in Context - Opening and Preview