The Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling fights are among boxing's most talked about fights. Although the two champions met to create a pugilistic spectacle remarkable on its own terms, the two fights came to embody the broader political and social conflict of the times. As the first significant African American athlete since Jack Johnson, Louis was the among the few focal points for African American pride in the 1930s. Moreover, as a contest between representatives of the United States and Nazi Germany during the 1930s, the fights came to symbolize the struggle between democracy and fascism. Louis' performance in the bouts therefore elevated him to the status of the first true African American national hero in the United States.