“There’s no more Jew in Baer than there’s Italian in me,” announced Art Lasky, the sensational young Minneapolis heavyweight who is in hard training here at the Flagler Country Club in preparation for his ten rounder against Steve Hamas next Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
It was after a stiff workout that Lasky emitted this blast at Maxie, the champ who sports a Mogen David on his trunks. This fellow Lasky should know a good Hebrew when he sees one. He is an Orthodox Jew and lives up to every tenet of the Jewish religion. In fact he is a fanatic on the history of his race.
“They built up the new heavyweight champ on the Jewish angle from a box office standpoint and it went over big,” added the twenty-five-year-old lad, who owns a string of thirty-three knockouts scored in forty-four contests. “Baer doesn’t exactly deny his race but he ducks the thing whenever it comes up. He’s what you call a trick Jew.”
LASKY LOOKS LIKE A WINNER
Aside from the fact that Lasky looks like a winner and much better than Steve Hamas, the pride of Pennsylvania, he also resembles Maxie in physical appearances. Both are good looking, bearing sharp Hebraic features. But like Dempsey and Schmeling, who. too, could be taken for twins, Art and Max are far apart from a race angle. Dempsey is an Irish-Scotch American, Schmeling, German. Lasky is a Russian-Jewish American and he claims that Baer is only German American.
As we learned from Maurice Lasky, brother of the Minneapolis mauler and co-manager of the fighter, Art is the first real Orthodox Jewish heavyweight in boxing history and the third prominent candidate for the big honors. His predecessors include Dan Mendoza, a Spanish Jew who ruled with iron fists, so to speak, over the length and breadth of England back in 1795, and Joe Choynski, one of the two men to flatten the Negro, Jack Johnson.
This last feat was accomplished by Joe back in 1901. Choynski never reached the dizzy heights of championship but old-timers agree that he was “a considerable heavyweight.” It remained for an Englishman named Jackson to stop short Choynski’s achievements.
Lasky, during the last month, has cut short practice on each of the six Holy Days despite the ravings of manager Gig Rooney.
At present Art rules as favorite over the hard-hitting and clever Steve Hamas at the price of 6 to 5. Most of the boxing betting boys are ready to lay 1 to 2 that Hamas will not be there at the end of the tenth round. This, we believe, is the way it should be, because Art is the rip-tearing type of fighter who pleases the fans. He’s the kind that never stops from the moment of the opening bell until he scores a knockoutâ€”or is carried out. Lasky is a murderous puncher who gives no quarter and asks no mercy.
‘THE GREATEST JEWISH PRIZEFIGHTER’
It’s quite some time since we completed the contest that elected Benny Leonard as the Jewish idol of all time. However, the Jewish Chronicle of England has one or two protests.
“Our boxing correspondent, commenting on the results of a competition in an American contemporary to find the greatest Jewish prizefighter of all time, says that, as is usual with Americans, they have apparently confined their interest to those who have fought mainly in American rings. They have entirely ignored the claim of the famous Ted “Kid” Lewis, whose proud record can compare with any for whom they have voted. Lewis’ record is too well known to call for recapitulation, but here are the titles he held: Featherweight champion of England, welter and middleweight champion of Europe, and welter champion of the world.”
LEWIS FOUGHT BENNY LEONARD
“Ted’s cyclonic type of fighting earned for him the sobriquet of the ‘dashing, smashing, crashing Kid.’ and it is true to say of him that his name will be a legend to those who follow him. Lewis fought many notable battles in American rings, where he was much admired. He met Jack Britton there for the welter title on several occasions and these two must surely hold the record for the number of timesâ€”about twentyâ€”they met each other, holding decisions one over the other.
“Lewis also fought the famous Benny Leonard when he was world’s lightweight champion and Lewis was a welter champion. Although Lewis was in the heavier division, it was doubtful whether he was the heavier for this bout which was a six rounds no-decision contest.
“There can be no quarrel with the result of the competition, which declared that Benny Leonard was entitled to be regarded as the great Jewish boxer of all time. But our correspondent gives it as his opinion that Lewis should have been considered in connection with the competition, which apparently he was not. Lewis also met the famous Welsh champion, Johnny Basham, with whom he fought memorable bouts on more than one occasion. The last contest, when he knocked out Basham in the nineteenth round, was, in the opinion of many critics, the finest and most thrilling bout ever seen in England.”
HARRY DANNING AND THE GIANTS
Because we have gone to see almost every game in which Harry Danning, catcher for the New York Giants, has played, he reversed the situation and came out to see the first football game which your sports scribe played out in New Jersey.
Of course, Danning couldn’t say anything about our brand of play, inasmuch as he was afraid we would retaliate with the question: “What happened to the lead the Giants had in early September.
However, he told this corner, “All I see is Red Birds wherever I go. When I drink coffee, go to bed, or look in the mirror the Cardinals are sure to be there.”
When asked what he did on his day off last week, he answered, “I took in the Yankee ball game at the stadium and then went to see the movie ‘Death on the Diamond’ at night. I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the sequences and had to stay for the whole show three times to make sure that it was me.”
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The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.