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Friday, September 29, 2023

Chilemba-Obinna Postponed

Isaac Chilemba's bout against Obinna Mathew has been postponed, according to a report from the Nyasa Times. Chilemba was scheduled to battle tomorrow in a homecoming fight at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Chilemba suffered a rib injury in sparring over two weeks ago. He had hoped to fight anyway, but doctors did not clear Isaac for tomorrow's contest. Instead, he will undergo surgery to repair the injury that has nagged him since 2006. As a result, the fight against Mathew has been postponed indefinitely.

Chilemba has fought all over the world, but never in his home country of Malawi. As a teenager, he moved to South Africa around the time of his mother's passing.

Even without the main event, the rest of the card is set to take place. It marks a big moment in the history of boxing in Malawi.

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Top 5 Jewish Dutch Boxers

 Erik Brouwer's Top 5 Jewish Dutch Boxers

An award-winning writer and journalist, Erik Brouwer has written for a plethora of Dutch publications. The author of nine books, his latest is called The Fighter of Auschwitz about the great Jewish boxer Leen Sanders, a Holocaust survivor who was forced to fight other inmates at Auschwitz. It's truly an incredible book that beautifully sets the Dutch boxing scene of the era (The JBB's full review can be found here.)

This terrific list includes both amateur and professional achievements. It should also be noted that Sam Kingley was born Samuel Glasoog.

1. Leen Sanders
2. Ben Bril
3. Sam Kingsley
4. Barry Groenteman
5. Isaac Brander

Other Top 5s
Jewish French Boxers
Jewish Female Boxers
Jewish Israeli Boxers
Jewish British Boxers
Jewish Canadian Boxers
Jewish North African Boxers

Monday, September 25, 2023

Introducing Tomer Benny

Subscribers to the Jewish Boxing Newsletter already know Tomer Benny's name. Soon, the rest of the boxing world will learn it as well.

A native of Tel Aviv, Benny has recently been training in Las Vegas, Nevada. During his time in Sin City, he has gained some hard-earned experience, sparring with some tough pros. Jamel Herring, the former world champion, gave him some good work this past weekend.

A junior welterweight, Benny is in Vegas preparing for an amateur bout there before he fights in a tournament in Arizona. He's targeting the Under-22 European Championships in November.

The 18 year old prospect has big plans. "I'll try to qualify for the Olympics next year, and hopefully I'll turn pro right after," he told The Jewish Boxing Blog.

"His future depends on him, but his talent is definitely champ quality," David Alaverdian, an undefeated pro who has trained a bit with Benny, told The JBB. "And the kid works hard. That's for sure!"

Keep an eye out for Tomer Benny. He's one to watch.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Review of Stars and Scars

Stars and Scars: The Story of Jewish Boxing in London

By Jeff Jones
Amberley Publishing, 2023

Jeff Jones's noble mission in Stars and Scars is to show "the importance of Jews to sport" and to dispel "the perceived notion that their involvement was marginal." Through plenty of fascinating anecdotes, biographical sketches, and wonderfully illuminating information, Jones more than meets his aim.

He contends, "From Mendoza to Milch, 230 years of London Jewish boxing has witnessed some astonishing events." Jones recounts the enthralling lives of men like the colorful Cockney Cohen, the slick Harry Mizler, the elite Ted "Kid" Lewis, the incomparable Micky Duff, the whirlwind Jack "Kid" Berg, the veteran Sid Nathan, and many more.

A scattershot organization and the need for a good line edit prevent this book from being on the "Mount Rushmore" of Jewish boxing books, however. Everything from bareknuckle brawlers to stars, journeyman, promoters, referees, and venues are covered. There are chapters on boxing families and boxers who fought in war. The piecemeal stories of Berg, Mizler, and Lewis - to name a few- could have been more powerful if they had been weaved into a chronological narrative that provided clearer context for their careers. The terms "reasonable" and "useful" are overused to described serviceable fighters, admittedly a minor quibble.

The organization does serve to prove the author's argument: that Jews were featured in every nook and cranny of boxing in London for nearly 200 years. Though the wealth of information is vast and somewhat disjointed, it is eminently accessible, which makes Stars and Scars a great introduction for all readers to Jewish boxing in London. Its focus on breadth rather than depth makes it an appropriate jumping off point to learn more about these legendary Londoners. Experts and those with limited knowledge of the subject can't help but learn a ton while simultaneously being entertained.

Fans of Jewish boxing and of British boxing should have Scars and Stars in their personal libraries. The richness of boxing history within its pages easily outweighs any of its shortcomings. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Cletus Seldin’s Fight Postponed

Cletus Seldin was scheduled to fight Patrick Okine on Thursday at Sony Hall in New York, but the entire show has been postponed after several unfortunate happenings resulted in cancellations that left only three fights on the bill.

Boxing Insider, the promotional company, announced on Instagram that one fighter tested positive for covid, another failed the physical, and another just checked into a hospital. For the past week, Boxing Insider’s IG account has been posting cryptic stories about the difficulties of running a club show in New York these days. High costs from venue fees and medicals and NYSAC’s strict requirements for boxers’ licenses are two challenges.

Boxing Insider said the show will be postponed until October. Seldin said he heard October 5 as the possible date.

For Seldin, it’s another unfortunate postponement, a reality that has become all too common in recent years for the 37 year old junior welterweight.