Joe Louis was more than simply a boxer, more than just a man with a devastating knockout punch. He was the modern version of an offensive machine.

The Louis stance was one of attack. Feet widespread, weight evenly distributed, there was no lost motion in delivering hard, fast punches, since there was an almost imperceptible shifting of the weight from foot to foot. And since all punches come from the feet, we gain our first glimpe into what made the Brown Bomber the scourge of the heavyweight ranks for so many years.

Even the left jab, which, as the name implies, is no more than poke, was turned into a powerful offensive weapon by Louis. He would plant both feet evenly and thrust the jab, let it reach as far as it would go in search of a target. In several fights, Louis staggered a harried opponent with the jab.

The Louis hook was a thing of savage beauty. It traveled short, even when extended, to strike an opponent he couldn't reach with his familiar quick shuffle. The hook, the meat and potatoes punch of the boxing business since it is delivered with the hand closest to an opponent, was usually thrown after the jab and followed by a straight right that came right out of his chest. And, he finished all flurries with a left hand, putting him in position to attack again.

Louis' strength was his attack. It was also his weakness.

His offensive thrust, especially with the left jab, his lead punch often was thrown with too much on it, leavening him open to a right hand counterpunch over the lead.

In their first fight, Max Schmeling hit Louis with more than 50 jabs. he changed his game from boxer to attacker. And that was Louis' game.

At the end, Louis countered a straight line attack by Conn in the 13th round with a short, snappy hook. Conn appeared to have taken the blow well. But Louis, the epitome of the predator in the ring, knew he had him. The powerful and almost nonstop punches that followed could only have been thrown by Louis.

Louis fans are fortunate. We have his films. Clearly they demonstrate that he truly was King of the Ring.