The Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame has inducted boxers, trainers, promoters, even a referee – but never before a judge. Yet this isn’t the first time Carol B. Polis has made history, because 47 years ago she became the first woman boxing judge, appointed by then Pennsylvania governor Milton Shapp. Polis has made her mark in the ring, having worked 27 championship fights in nine different countries.
That’s when she wasn’t busy raising four children, co-writing a book, “The Lady is a Champ” and beating cancer.
The woman once known as “Rocky with a Purse” who learned the ropes at Philadelphia icon Joe Frazier’s gym, later became friends with Muhammad Ali as well as trainer and 2002 PJSHOF inductee J Russell Peltz. Polis also appeared as a mystery guest on “What’s My Line” and “To Tell the Truth,” followed by a cameo as a judge in “Rocky V.”
But since 2007, the confirmand at the old Keneseth Israel and Abington High graduate, has been engaged in a different fight, after being diagnosed with breast cancer. As a survivor, Polis tries to pass her experience onto others as a professional speaker. Her main message: “With courage anything is possible.” That is something Polis, a pioneer for women in sports as well as life, has repeatedly proven true.