Three Jews Now Hold Four World Boxing Championships
Menu JTA Search

Three Jews Now Hold Four World Boxing Championships

Download PDF for this date

As a result of Maxie Baer’s decisive victory over Primo Carnera Thursday at the Madison Square Garden Bowl, three Jewish boxers are world champions.

Max Baer is king of the heavyweights and supreme ruler of fistiana today. “Slapsie” Maxie Rosenbloom is the light heavyweight titleholder and young Barney Ross, the clever fighter from Chicago, is champion of both lightweight and welterweight classes. Never before in the history of boxing, that is, since the adoption of the Marquis of Queensbury rules, has one race dominated a sport the way Jewish fighters have at the present moment.

Not only is Maxie Baer the first Jew in modern times to hold the heavyweight title, but he is also the first Jewish fighter to get as far as challenging for the crown.


Daniel Mendoza, one of the greatest fighters of the old regime and probably the most widely celebrated boxer of the pre-Sullivan era, was a thoroughbred champion. He fought in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and kept in trim until he was fifty-five years old. He won his last fight at that ripe old age and then hung up his gloves.

Another great heavyweight slugger, but of more recent times was Joe Choynski. He was one of the greatest of the Jewish fighters who had their heyday in the ’90s and early 1900s.


Since Choynski’s time no Jewish heavyweight fighter came into prominence until Max Baer clowned, sang and danced his way into the boxing stadiums of the country. However, Max had what Choynski lacked when the latter fought Corbett, Jeffries and Fit-zimmons and even Johnson. Max has the killer punch. Max is a tiger who fights with the ferocity of a wounded animal at bay. He is a savage in the ring. At the same time he possesses a technique and finesse that has carried him to the greatest boxing pinnacle of all time — the world’s heavyweight championship.

There are other Jewish heavyweights in the game today who are coming along. King Levinsky, the Windy City Assassin, may prove to be more than a threat and finally wind up with a chance at the big money. Art Lasky of the Pacific Coast is still another.

Maxie Rosenbloom, though he holds the light heavyweight title now, will not keep his crown for any length of time. He is aging quickly, but we have seen another Jewish fighter in action recently who will probably fill Rosenbloom’s shoes.

Jewish boxers for the most part concentrated on the lighter divisions of the game. That is why the names of Leonard, Tendler, Singer, Kaplan, Goldstein, Terris, Glick and Ross will live forever. Fans the world over know that a Jewish boxer can take it. They like to see a Jewish fighter make the grade and when two cracker-jacks are on the card gate receipts tell the story. The Benny Leonard-Lou Tendler scrap at Boyle’s Thirty Acres in 1924 set an all-time record for fights of its class.

It will be a long time, if ever, before any other nation or race will duplicate the feat of having three men sitting on stars of the greatest magnitude in the pugilistic firmament of the universe—Maxie Baer, monarch of all he surveys; Maxie Rosenbloom, king of the light heavies, and Barney Ross, ruler of the welters and lightweights.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund