Boxing

Benny Bass

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The diminutive Benny Bass was pound-for-pound one of the most bruising boxing champions of the 20th century, with more than two-thirds of his 176 victories coming by way of the knockout. Born in Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine, the 5 ft.1 in. Bass won two world titles within the span of 25 months. He… Read more »

Beloff Family

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The Beloff Family — David Beloff, Harriet Beloff Goodwin and Bethanne Beloff Goodwin-Nolan — represents three generations of outstanding and talented Philadelphia athletes who have excelled in the fields of boxing, coaching and ice skating. Dave Beloff was an exceptionally versatile young athlete while growing up the son of Russian immigrants in South Philadelphia. On… Read more »

Joe Brown

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Joe Brown had hands hard enough to knock out a light-heavyweight and soft enough to sculpt a remarkable figure of a beaten boxer. His story is fascinating, the transformation from athlete to artist, from pugilist to Princeton professor, and his work brightens Philadelphia’s cultural landscape. Brown’s toughness was tested early, growing up in Grays Ferry…. Read more »

Phil Glassman

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According to the late Joe Gramby, the legendary dean of Philadelphia fight managers, Phil Glassman was the greatest boxing manager he ever knew. Glassman, the son of Polish immigrants, made his bones in the first half of the 20th century, most notably handling two of the greatest fighters ever to come out of Philadelphia, lightweight… Read more »

George Katz

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George Katz, a colorful and charismatic devotee of the “sweet science”, was born in South Philadelphia and lived there his entire life. Katz’ career was eclectic and varied ranging from ownership of a billiard parlor to serving as Secretary to Philadelphia Mayor Joe Clark. In the 1940’s he turned to boxing full-time and managed such… Read more »

Battling Levinsky

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Using his ring name, “Battling Levinsky “, Barney Lebrowitz was the light heavyweight champion of the world from 1916 to 1920. During his professional career he fought heavyweight legends Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey, losing both matches. His official professional record boasted 287 bouts with 192 wins (34 by knockout), 52 losses, 34 draws and… Read more »

J. Russell Peltz

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From the time J. Russell Peltz saw his first live boxing match at age 13, he knew it wouldn’t be his last. He was hooked for life. After a brief career as a journalist, a young Russell Peltz promoted his first boxing card on Sept. 30, 1969, selling out the 1,300-seat Blue Horizon with the… Read more »

Steve Smoger

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As a professional boxing referee, Steve Smoger has long ranked at the pinnacle of his profession. He has refereed 185 World Title fights all over the globe and has officiated in more states and countries than any other professional boxing referee in the history of the “sweet science”. Honored several times as “Referee of the… Read more »

Herman Taylor

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The book on Philadelphia’s storied boxing past could not be complete without several chapters on Herman Taylor, the legendary Philadelphia boxing promoter who for 79 years brought Philadelphia fight fans the greatest prize fighters and the most unforgettable boxing matches ever held in the city. Before his death in 1980 at the age of 93,… Read more »

Lew Tendler

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Philadelphia boxer Lew Tendler fought 167 fights during his ring career, going 159 and 8. In 1913, at the age of 15, Tendler was one of a group of newsboys hawking newspapers for the late Phil Glassman, where he earned the nickname “Lefty Lew”. That same year in Philadelphia neighborhood boxing ring, he fought his… Read more »