By Alton Mitchell
Several weeks ago when Mayor Walter Maddox of Tuscaloosa, Alabama approached LaFayette Mayor Barry Moody it was the start of something that would display the power of athleticism that runs deep historically in the city of LaFayette and its people. The result of that encounter would land a LaFayette native in the history books and a newly formed hall of fame.
Joe Louis a native of LaFayette by birth was inducted into the Alabama Boxing Hall of Fame along with four others in its inaugural class. Louis who had a career 66-3 match history to include 52 knockouts and 25 successful title defensive matches was a prime candidate for induction into the Hall of Fame.
On Monday evening Mayor Barry Moody displayed an award in the shape of a box ring that he had been presented with to show honor to Joe Louis and his induction into the Alabama Boxing Hall of Fame. Mayor Moody says the award will be on display for a long time.
Louis was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the class of pro boxer. The requirement is that a boxer must have been retired for at least five years. Other inductees in the ingural class included; Deontay Wilder in the category of Amateur Boxer, Petey Sarron for Old Timer, Eddie Surrett as Manager/Trainer/Promoter, and Billy Martin in the category of support personal.
Mayor Moody expressed his appreciation with the fact that Joe Louis should be an inspiration to young people in LaFayette. “Joe Louis was just a country boy from LaFayette who made it to Detroit. He shows you can go anywhere and be anything if you have a heart and desire for it,” explained Moody.