Menu JTA Search

Slants on Sports

Download PDF for this date

A young Jewish lad with great ring aspirations submitted his application to a New York paper in 1928 in order to fight on the Golden Gloves team of that year. He was a chunky lad, weighing 175 pounds, which qualified him for the light heavyweight division. He hadn’t done very much in amateur boxing. He had participated in eight bouts and had won every fight.

This lad placed in the finals of the Golden Gloves made his debut before a Garden audience late in 1928. He won the light heavyweight Golden Gloves title.

At that time a far seeing manager took hold of young Bobbie Olin. Although he kept Bob in the amateur ranks for some time he had his eye on the big money that comes with a good professional fighter.

Olin fought in thirty-five amateur scraps before he became a professional boxer and he emerged victorious in every one of these ring battles. At this time his manager believed that young Olin was wised up to all the tricks of the resined arena and matched him with an Irishman, Larry Hogan—a top notch light heavy. Bob kayoed the Irisher in the first round of their scheduled six round tussle.

From then on Olin, the fighter from Brooklyn, had his mind set on the championship and he came through.


Young Bob—he is only twenty-five years old—is the type of fighter who should bring the light heavyweight division back to the standard of the days when Paul Berlenbach, Jack Delaney, Mike McTigue and Tommy Loughran fought in the 175-pound class.

He proved his ability to take it in the six years he has been fighting to reach the top. Likewise his long list of knockouts and victories rolled up in his years as a pro has shown that he can dish it out as well.

In Bob’s first year as a pro fighter he fought fifteen times. He knocked out ten of his opponents in the first five rounds of their scraps and took the decision from five others. A crackerjack record for a lad in his first year of money fighting. And, according to the books, his opponents were far from being pushovers.

All in all, Olin has participated in fifty-five fights in the eight years he has been in the resined arena as a professional. In this time he scored eighteen kayos and twenty-two victories. On the red side of the ledger he has only been held even four times and on the short end of the game ten times.


Bob was born on New York’s lower {SPAN}#east{/SPAN} side—where a great many good Jewish fighters have come from. He was graduated from P. S. 4 and then his family moved over to Brooklyn. Four years at Boys’ High School were enough for him and he left school to get a job. “All I had,” he told your {SPAN}sp###{/SPAN} scribe, “was a high school diploma and a good left. It was pretty good in those days.”

“I got myself a job in a Wall street brokerage house and was making out pretty well as an amateur boxer. I liked the fight game ever since I was a kid on the east side and had to fight with the Irish in order to get the ice for the family. I won the Golden Gloves contest in 1928 and shortly after that Harry Scadron picked me up.”

Scadron, a debonair fight manager who knows good thing when he sees it, broke in at this point and said, “When I saw Bobbie fight that night in the Garden I nudged the guy next to me—and told him that I was going after the future light heavyweight champion of the world. The guy next to me didn’t think so. He was Joe ‘Muscle Yussel’ Jacobs. I sent Joe a wire the night we beat Rosenbloom.”

The depression cut short Olin’s career as a broker’s clerk and as soon as he lost his job he asked Scadron if he could fight for money. The latter didn’t think he was ripe for the money ring and nursed him along until he had won thirty-five consecutive fights in six months against the cream of the amateur ranks.


When Bob Olin took the title from Maxie Rosenbloom last month he became the third Jew to hold the 175-pound championship. Barney Williams took the title away from Jack Dillon on October 24, 1916, to become the first Jew to wear that crown. Boxing fans knew Barney by the name of Battling Levinsky.

Maxie Rosenbloom knocked out Jimmy Slattery early in 1930 and held the title for four years before he lost the decision to Bob Olin at the Garden last month. Maxie was the second Jew and Bob the third of his race to be the champ. Three is not a bad percentage when only fourteen men have held this crown since 1903.


Jack Horman, a famous promoter of another era, instituted the class between heavy and middleweight boxing back in 1903 to settle a long standing grudge between Jack Root and George Gardner. Since that time the light heavyweight division became a real money proposition. In 1926 Paul Berlenbach fought against Jack Delaney in a fight that drew more than $400,000. This division was a popular one with the fight fans until Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom came along and knocked out Slattery. In the last four years Maxie’s antics outside the ring had made the fight fans very uninterested in the 175-pound class. Maxie’s bag of tricks in the ring have made the cash customers absolutely apathetic to this class and Bob Olin will encounter many difficulties to erase the present sentiment against his division.

Bob, however, is the man to do it. He is a good hard fighter who will do everything he can to be liked by the fans. Before his championship battle with Maxie Rosenbloom he told your sports scribe, “I’ll shoot the works in this fight. I’m certain I’ll win. I’ll make Maxie fight with me or jump out of the ring.”

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