Have news relating to Jewish boxers? Email the editor here!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Freddie Roach on Zac Wohlman

Freshjive Moving Pictures - Freddie Roach on Zachary Wohlman from Freshjive on Vimeo.

Zachary Wohlman is scheduled to get back in the ring in a four rounder on March 31, at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seldin Gets First Round KO

Welterweight Cletus Seldin improves to 6-0 after a first round knockout of Tyler Pogline at the Paramount Theatre in Long Island, New York. The bout ended 2:25 into the opening period. Seldin earned his fourth career knockout while Pogline fell to 5-10 with four KOs.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nakash and Seldin Sign

Ran Nakash (26-1, 18 KOs) and Cletus Seldin (5-0, 3 KOs) have signed with different promotional companies. Nakash has signed with DiBella Entertainment and Seldin with Star Boxing.

Nakash fought last Saturday for the first time under the DiBella flag and won his New York debut by comfortable unanimous decision over Derek Bryant.

Of Nakash, Lou DiBella told The Ring's Mike Coppinger, “He’s got marketability as an Israeli army guy who right now probably is the best active Israeli fighter and maybe even the best active Jewish fighter. He’s sort of like a fireplug, throws a lot of punches, fun to watch. There’s some things for him as a small heavyweight and immediately as a cruiserweight title challenger.”

Seldin will make his Star Boxing debut this Saturday. Star Boxing's CEO Joe DeGuardia said of Seldin, "We’re very proud to bring Cletus aboard to the Star Boxing team. I’ve watched his exciting, fan pleasing style as an amateur and pro. Most recently he electrified the crowds at Madison Square Garden in October and on our last show at the Paramount Theatre in November. His aggressive, all-action style has made Cletus among the most popular fighters in the New York City area and we plan on keeping him very busy this year.”

Seldin's bout is scheduled to take place at the Paramount Theatre in Long Island, New York.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nakash and Melson Win

Both Ran Nakash and Boyd Melson won lopsided unanimous decisions at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York last night. Both fights were part DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing.

Nakash bullied his opponent, Derek Bryant (20-7-1, 17 KOs), for eight rounds. Bryant's southpaw stance posed few problems for Nakash, though the Philly man was able to connect with a couple of straight lefts during the fight. He found very little success otherwise.

Nakash, coming off of his first loss, a disputed decision against beltholder Marco Huck, worked Bryant's body effectively. He utilized a right to the body followed by a left hook to the head on numerous occasions. Nakash also threw one-twos to the body, ending the combos with an uppercut. Nakash was able to pin Bryant on the ropes several times during the course of the contest, most notably in the fifth.

The shorter Nakash controlled distance and did damage on the inside. When he was done, he turned Bryant and eluded the tough lefty's counterattack. The Israeli did not experience the same stamina issues that bit him in the fight against Huck. All three judges saw Nakash winning 80-72. He moves to 26-1 with 18 KOs.

Boyd Melson, who was cheered wildly when he entered the ring, set the tone of his fight against Sean Rawley Wilson from the outset. Melson backed up Wilson (6-6, 1 KO) whenever he wanted, rushed in when he saw fit, and boxed when the mood struck him. Wilson, who is from Nebraska, knew the score early and rarely threw throughout the bout.

The southpaw Melson overwhelmed Wilson in the third with a Nakash-like aggressive attack. Ironically, Nakash's trainer, Raanan Tal, worked in Wilson's corner. Wilson withstood the onslaught partly because of his tremendous heart, but also because Melson's many combination punches weren't always accurate. The fighters' reactions to being hit was the best indication of the nature of the bout. The few times Melson was hit cleanly, his face showed disappointment; when Wilson was hit, his face showed resignation.

The stronger, superior-skilled Melson (8-0, 4 KOs) won the contest 60-54 on all three judges scorecards. After the bout, he was greeted in the ring by the West Point Boxing Team, of which Melson is a former member. As always, Boyd donated his purse to help stem cell research for spinal cord injuries. More information can be found at Justadollarplease.org and Team Fight To Walk.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wohlman Wins Again

Coming off of a lopsided victory in his debut, Zachary Wohlman coasted to a unanimous decision over Tatsuro Irie at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California. Wohlman boxed his way to three scores of 40-36, utilizing his left hook and counter punching abilities. He was willing to stay in the pocket more than in his debut and it worked to his favor.

Wohlman, who is trained by Freddie Roach, advances to 2-0. Irie falls to 0-2. Before the fight, Wohlman received a good amount of press. He was recently interviewed by Elie Seckbach, interviewed by DoghouseBoxing.com, and was featured on The Sweet Science.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weights from New York

Two Jewish fighters are scheduled to participate on DiBella Entertainment's Broadway Boxing card at Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York.

Ran Nakash weighed in at 201 pounds for his fight tomorrow against Derek Bryant, who was 196. Nakash (25-1, 18 KOs) last fought in April, a loss to Marco Huck for a cruiserweight belt. Bryant (20-6-1, 17 KOs) has lost two straight fights, including a first round KO loss to Seth Mitchell in July of 2010. Nakash-Bryant is scheduled for eight rounds.

Boyd Melson (7-0, 4 KOs) came in at 155 pounds. His opponent, Sean Rawley Wilson (6-5, 1 KO), was 154.5 pounds. Melson KOed Daniel Lugo in the third round last month. This bout is scheduled for six rounds.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Look Back: Joe Benjamin

In an effort to link the past with the present, The Jewish Boxing Blog will present monthly a short biography of notable former Jewish boxers.

Rated a top Jewish lightweight of all time by Allen Bodner, Joe Benjamin was known for being a playboy, a man with a quick temper, and an action fighter. He cavorted with Hollywood and boxing royalty though he was never crowned champion himself.

Joe Benjamin was born September 7, 1898 in Portland, Oregon. The family later moved to Spokane, Washington. Benjamin's true occupational goal was to become a cowboy and he ran away from home a couple of times during his teens in pursuit of his goal. At 16 years old, Benjamin became an amateur boxer.

Benjamin made his debut in a four-round affair late in 1914. During this period, California had outlawed boxing except for four-round bouts, so whenever Benjamin fought in the state, he had only four stanzas to dismiss his opponent. Moving down to Los Angeles, Benjamin became the trainer of actor Douglas Fairbanks and was friendly with Charlie Chaplin. The boxer also made appearances in movies. By this point, Benjamin was already friends with Jack Dempsey, having met the future heavyweight champion while the men were riding the rails.

Benjamin was also chummy with writer Damon Runyon, who nicknamed the lightweight "The Sheik of San Joaquin." In 1918, Benjamin fought four-rounders in San Francisco against the likes of Frankie Farren and Joe Duffy. The Sheik, who was known as a smart boxer, could punch. Unfortunately, he had brittle hands, which hurt his chances at obtaining a title shot. Benjamin was also known to use gambling and drinking as training methods.

In 1919, Benjamin fought the great Benny Leonard in a four-round loss. Leonard's team was hoping to nurture Benjamin so he could replace Leonard when the great champion retired. Joe was poised for a shot against Leonard after defeating Joe Welling in November. But a month later, Welling won the return bout.

In 1920, Benjamin had set himself up again for a title shot. But a loss to Richie Mitchell in Milwaukee derailed those plans. The Sheik lost twice to Joe Tiplitz and once to Johnny Dundee. But Benjamin was able to defeat his old nemesis Phil Salvadore (who he fought a total of five times according to BoxRec) on multiple occasions to work his way back. He defeated Jack Silver in 1925, giving him a chance to fight for the title. Instead, he took an interim bout against Ace Hudkins. It would be Benjamin's last. Hudkins beat up Benjamin and the latter retired for good.

After the fight, Runyon wrote:
Two hundred Queensberry tussles
And some of them mighty tough-
But the secret to my success was-
I knew when I had enough.

BoxRec has Benjamin's with only 100 bouts, but Ken Blady argues that the West Coast lightweight champ had over two hundred. He was KOed just once. Benjamin went on to act in movies and run a liquor store. He dated scores of women, even punching out movie star Grant Withers and Dempsey over them.

Joe Benjamin died on July 6, 1983 in San Francisco.

Blady, Ken. The Jewish Boxers Hall of Fame. 1988.
Bodner, Allen. When Boxing was a Jewish Sport. 1997.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Seckbach Interview with Kid Yamaka

Here's an interview that Elie Seckbach conducted with Zac "Kid Yamaka" Wolhman.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seldin to Fight at Home Again

Welterweight Cletus Seldin (5-0, 3 KOs) is scheduled to fight in Long Island, New York once again. The 25 year old  "Hebrew Hammer" also fought at home in his last fight, a third round TKO victory over Rashad Bogar in November. Seldin's upcoming fight will be at the same venue, the Paramount Theatre, on January 28.

Seldin's scheduled opponent is veteran Tyler Pogline (5-9, 4 KOs). Pogline, a 31 year old from Colorado, has lost his last two bouts to prospects with a combined record of 16-1. In Pogline's interesting career, he lost his first five fights and took a five year hiatus from 2004-2009.

The contest is scheduled for six rounds.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nakash and Melson at Roseland

Ran Nakash and Boyd Melson are both scheduled to fight at the Roseland Ballroom in New York, New York on January 21. This would be Nakash's first bout in New York. Melson would be making his third appearance at Roseland.

Nakash (25-1, 18 KOs) is slated to take on Derek Bryant (20-6-1, 17 KOs) from Philadelphia. Bryant, who usually fights at heavyweight, has lost his last two fights. Both were against noted opposition. Jason Estrada easily outpointed Bryant over three years ago. In 2010, Seth Mitchell knocked out Bryant in the first round.

Nakash hasn't fought since his aggressive and gritty showing against Marco Huck for the WBO cruiserweight crown last April. The fight resulted in a controversial and lopsided points victory for Huck in his adopted home country of Germany. Ran's cruiserweight battle against Bryant is scheduled for eight rounds.

Melson (7-0, 4 KOs), whose opponent hasn't been named as of yet, last fought Daniel Lugo on December 17, 2011. Melson won that contest with a third round KO. "The Rainmaker" has four knockouts in his last five matches. This next one is scheduled for six rounds.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kid Yamaka Back in Two Weeks

Zac "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman is scheduled to be back in the ring on Friday, January 20. Wohlman is penciled in to fight Tatsuro Irie (0-1) in a four round bout at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California.

Wohlman showed impressive boxing skill in his debut, which took place last month. Wohlman defeated veteran Ricardo Malfavon by unanimous decision in that contest.