By JOE REICHLER
NEW YORK, Oct. 27 A.P. - Tears
flowed openly and unashamedly
in Joe Louis' dressing room - but
not from Joe.
There wasn't a dry eye - except
those of the former great heavy-
weight champion. His were bright
Middleweight Champion Ray
Robinson sobbed softly. Ex-heavy-
weight champion Ezzard Charles
blinked and blinked. Others in the
sweaty room. some of them veter-
an newspapermen, had large
lumps in their throats. The only
lumps Louis had were on his
cheeks and forehead.
They realized it was the end
of an era. Louis' glorious and his-
tory-making ring days were over.
Everybody hated to see it end
that way - Louis sprawled out, flat
on his back on the ring apron, his
legs tangled around the ropes -
knocked out by Rocky Marciano,
a rough, tough, hard-punching kid
out of Brockton, Mass.
Rocky was just a kid, who three
years ago was digging ditches,
working in a shoe factory, wash-
ing dishes - never dreaming that
one day he would be fighting
against the great Joe Louis, let
alone knocking him out.
Secretly, however, those in the
hot steaming room listening to the
balding, 37-year-old gladiator
mumble replies last night to
countless questions, were glad Joe
Maybe now, they reasoned,
Louis would see the light. Maybe
now, they hoped, Joe would real-
ize he is but a shell of his former
self. Maybe now he would decide
once and for all to quit before he
suffered serious injury.
"Please, Joe, quit," they were
thinking. "Say it is so."
But Louis, his face bloated, his
lips and nose puffed, his left hand
swollen and in pain, his legs and
body weary, would not say. Al-
ways truthful and to the point
with his answers, Joe parried this
"I'd rather not say now," he
muttered in a voice that was bare-
ly auduble. "I'll let you know
Monday in the IBC office."
"I don't want to make a hasty
decision," he added. "I had an ex-
hibition tour planned (to Tokyo
and Korea). It all depends upon
whether the people will still want
me to go through with it."
"Maybe they won't want me
now," he said as an afterthought.
Louis had nothing but praise for
Marciano, the first to score a kayo
over him since Max Schemling
flattened him on June 19, 1935.
"He's a good, strong fighter, a
stiff puncher and hard to hit,"
said Joe. "He knocked me out
with a right hand, but it was his
left that set me up. That one did
Marciano's dressing room re-
sembled a madhouse, but Rocky
shared little of the wild exulta-
tion. He was naturally elated with
the most important triumph of his
life, but he looked soberly about
as he spoke of Louis.
"I feel sorry for Joe," he said
seriously. "I'm glad I won, but I
feel sorry I had to do it to him."
Marciano grinned for photogra-
phers and hugged Charley Gold-
man, his pudgy little trainer. But
his elation seemed entirely syn-
thetic. It was as if his heart wasn't
in it. He also seemed downheart-
"I knew I was going to catch
him with a left hook," he explain-
ed. "He was dropping his right."
Rocky took some punishment,
too, and he showed it. His nose
was bleeding badly and there
were cuts over and under both
"Joe's left jabs," he explained.
"What surprised me was that
Joe didn't have much of a right.
They told me he had lost some of
his power, but I didn't expect
nothing. That's what his right
hand was - nothing."
Louis accepted his defeat calm-
ly, too calmly, his well wishers
"It's no use crying," he said
philosophically. "The better man
won. That's all."
"I'm not too disappointed. I
only hope everybody feels the
way I do about it. I'm not looking
for sympathy from anybody. I
have no alibis. I hurt my hand in
my last fight (against Jimmy Biv-
ins last August), but it didn't
bother me much tonight. I wasn't
hurt much. I was just tired.
Louis gave a hint he might re-
tire when he said:
"Well, I guess everything hap-
pens for the best. I guess I am just
Please, Joe, say it is so.