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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Weights From Long Island, Woodland Hills

Cletus "Hebrew Hammer" Seldin (6-0, 4 KOs) weighed in at 143.25 for his scheduled six round bout at the Paramount Theatre in Long Island, New York tomorrow. His opponent, Marcus Hall (5-4-1, 2 KOs) weighed in at 142 pounds.

Zachary "Kid Yamaka" Wohlman (2-0) is slated to fight tomorrow in a four round welterweight contest at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills, California against Clifford McPherson (2-8-1, one KO). McPherson has lost his last seven fights. Both Wohlman and McPherson weighed in at 146.3 pounds.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Barry Groenteman vs. Houssain Ghulian

October 3, 2010
Schagen, Netherlands

Groenteman: blue and white trunks
Ghulian: red trunks, white trim

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chilemba, Groenteman, and Netzer Update

Isaac Chilemba hopes to fight WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly (24-0, 11 KOs) on April 28 in London, England. Cleverly had announced Robin Krasniqi as his opponent, but the WBO vetoed his choice. Chilemba said, "I would like the opportunity [to fight Cleverly]."

Chilemba (19-1-1, 9 KOs) certainly deserves a title shot. He is coming off of a convincing victory over veteran Edison Miranda last month. Last year, he gave prospect Maxim Vlasov his first career loss. And in 2010, he battled Ring rated (6th in the super middleweight division to be exact) Thomas Oosthuizen to a draw, the only blemish on Oosthuizen 's record.

Barry Groenteman (7-5-1, 2 KOs) is scheduled to fight in an eight-rounder on April 21 at the Wellness Profi Center in Pumerand, Netherlands. He is coming off of a split decision loss this month against Andrea Carbonello. Groenteman believes he deserved to receive the victory.

Danny Netzer (1-0, one KO) is penciled in to fight on April 26 in a middleweight contest at the Arena Roberto Duran in Panama City, Panama. The bout will be four rounds or fewer.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Look Back: Leone Efrati

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.

At the pinnacle of his career, Leone Efrati was a world class featherweight. The Italian traveled to the United States just before World War II raged in Europe. Efrati was eventually deported back to Italy where he was arrested and sent to Auschwitz.

Leone Efrati was born on May 16, 1916 in Rome, Italy. When he was 19 years old, Efrati debuted as a professional boxer. He fought ten times in Rome during the first seven months of his career and amassed a record of 6-2-2 during this time.

Efraiti continued to box successfully in Italy until December 1937 when he moved his career to France. Within a year, Efrati, nicknamed Lelleto, shifted to the United States. His U.S. debut occurred on September 30, 1938, a draw against Gene Spencer. After several fights in the Chicago area, Efrati took on veteran featherweight Frankie "Kid" Covelli on November 23. That exciting bout ended in a draw. The two did it again just two weeks later. During that second contest, Efrati fought much better and won a ten-round decision.

Leone's next fight was three weeks later in Chicago against Leo Rodak. This fight was for the NBA featherweight championship. The two men gave the fans a rousing battle. Efrati was knocked down in the fourth. In the end, Rodak was awarded the decision after ten rounds, much to the chagrin of Efrati and his corner.

Efrati would not win another professional boxing match. He drew with veteran Pete Lello in January of 1939. On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. Though Italy was officially a non-belligerent nation in the wake of Germany's invasion, the country was allied with Germany. Efrati fought three more times in the United States after the breakout of war in Europe. Those fights resulted in one draw and two losses, including to Covelli in a third contest. After his November 16, 1939 loss to Jackie Callura, Leone was deported back to Italy despite the objections of his supporters. Deportation meant sure-death.

Efrati was eventually arrested in Rome and sent to Auschwitz. There he was forced to engage in cruel boxing matches for the amusement of the Nazi prison guards. Young Perez and Harry Haft fought in similar circumstances. On April 16, 1944, Efarti was murdered in Auschwitz.

According to BoxRec,  Efrati's professional boxing record was 27-10-12. He was elected to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2000 as a representative of Italian-Jewish athletes who died in the Holocaust.

"Leone Efrati." BoxRec.
"Leone Efrati." International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

Update: An article by Harvey Starkman called "The Final Victory of Leone Efrati" was published on May 26, 2023. Starkman argues that his article corrects some inaccuracies in the sources used for this profile.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Nakash in "Last Man Standing" Tournament

Ran Nakash will be in an eight man cruiserweight tournament based in South Africa called "Last Man Standing." The first round will take place on June 16 at Emperor's Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa and feature four eight-round bouts. The seven other combatants reside in South Africa. Nakash, who is the top seed in the tournament, is scheduled to face Johnny Muller first.

Let's take a closer look at the announced participants in the tournament.

Ran Nakash (26-1, 18 KOs) vs. Johnny Muller (10-1-2, 7 KOs)
Notable fights-
Nakash: L by UD to WBO cruiserweight titlist Marco Huck on April 2, 2011.
Muller: none.
Record vs. other fighters in the tournament-
Nakash 0-0
Muller: 0-1, L by 3rd round TKO to Tshepang Mohale on June 4, 2011.
Nakash: After a controversial loss in a world title challenge to Huck, he outpointed Derek Bryant in January by a wide margin.
Muller: His last four fights have been at light heavyweight. Following the loss to Mohale, he decisioned Donald Kampamba in November.

Zack Mwekassa (12-2, 11 KOs) vs. Tshepang Mohale (8-4, 7 KOs)
Notable fights-
Mwekassa: none.
Mohale: L by 4th round KO to Thomas Oosthuizen on October 31, 2009.
Record vs. other fighters in the tournament-
Mwekassa: 1-0, W by 4th round TKO over Thabiso Mchunu on September 24, 2011.
Mohale: 1-0, W by 3rd round TKO over Muller on June 4, 2011.
Mwekassa: He won four fights in 2011 after taking 2010 off in the wake of consecutive losses. He's 0-1 in fights that go more than six rounds.
Mohale: He was KOed in his last fight in August by Ryno Liebenberg and has been stopped in three of his last six.

Flo Simba (12-2, 10 KOs) vs. Thabiso Mchunu (9-1, 6 KOs)
Notable fights-
Simba: L by 6th round KO to Frans Botha on June 4, 2011.
Mchunu: none.
Record vs. other fighters in the tournament-
Simba: 1-1, W by UD over Daniel Bruwer on March 3, 2012; L by 1st round TKO Danie Venter on September 24, 2011.
Mchunu: 2-1, W by UD over Daniel Bruwer on November 5, 2010; W by MD over Daniel Venter on June 4, 2011; L by 6th round TKO to Mwekassa on September 24, 2011.
Simba: His last fight was a win at cruiserweight, but is usually a heavyweight. He has been KOed in two of his last four.
Mchunu: His last fight was the loss to Mwekassa.

Daniel Bruwer (22-4-1, 19 KOs) vs. Danie Venter (12-5, 9 KOs)
Notable fights-
Bruwer: L by 8th round TKO to Alexander Alekseev on November 18, 2011.
Venter: none.
Record vs. other fighters in the tournament-
Bruwer: 0-2, L by UD to Mchunu on November 5, 2010; L by UD to Simba on March 3, 2012.
Venter: 1-1, W by 1st round TKO over Simba on September 24, 2011; L by MD to Mchunu on June 4, 2011.
Bruwer: He's lost three of his last four and is 2-3 since moving up to cruiserweight.
Venter: His last six fights have been at heavyweight.He's won two of his last three.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Groenteman Falls in Split Decision

Junior welterweight Barry Groenteman fell to Andrea Carbonella today at Wellness Profi Center in Purmerend, Netherlands. Referee Chris Dijkstra of the Holland saw the fight 58-56 for Groenteman. He was overruled by judges Henk Meijers and Robert Verwijs, both also from Holland, who scored the bout 58-57 for Carbonella of Belgium.

Groenteman falls to 7-5-1 with two Knockouts and Carbonella improves to 8-1 with one KO.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Seldin to Fight on March 31

Cletus Seldin is scheduled to participate in a welterweight clash with Marcus Hall on Saturday, March 31 at the Paramount Theatre in Long Island, New York. This would mark the third time Seldin will fight at the Paramount.

Seldin (6-0, 4 KOs) kayoed Tyler Pogline in the first round back in January. Hall (5-4-1, 2 KOs) is a 21 year old from Rochester, New York. He was knocked out in the first round of his last fight, a contest last August against against the undefeated Eddie Gomez. Hall has been KOed in two of his last three bouts. In 2010, Hall drew with Andrew Jones, who is now 0-10-1 including a loss to Boyd Melson.

The Seldin-Hall bout is slated for six rounds.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Melson Edged in Thrilling Fight

Boyd Melson showed all the heart, determination, and punching power in the toughest fight of his career tonight  against Delen Parsley at BB King's Blues Club in New York, New York. After three total knockdowns, Parsley came away with a unanimous decision victory to remain undefeated. The judges' scores were  76-73, 76-73, and 75-74.

Melson started off quickly, not allowing the taller man to use his height advantage. In the second round, Boyd cranked up the pressure and had Parsley in trouble. But the Rainmaker faded and Parsley took control of the fight. That is, until the sixth, when Melson put Parsley on the canvas. In the incredible eighth and final round, both men were knocked down.

The promoter of the event, Lou Di Bella called the bout "a tremendous war" and added, "Both fighters should be proud." Boyd, who was 154.5 pounds for the fight, falls to 8-1 with four knockouts, but earned more respect for his performance in the ring tonight than he had in any of his eight victories. Parsley, who was 153.5, is now 7-0 with two KOs.

Melson will donate his purse from the fight to Justadollarplease.org and Team Fight To Walk.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Carolina Duer vs. Milena Tronto

March 3, 2012
Anfiteatro VerĂ³nica
Buenos Aires, Argentina
WBO super flyweight championship

Duer: white skirt
Tronto: black trunks

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Duer Defends Title

Carolina "The Turk" Duer defended her WBO super flyweight belt by stopping Milena Tronto in the second round in Buenos Aires, Argentina last night. Duer had her opponent down earlier in the round before referee Gustavo Tomas stepped in to halt the bout after Tronto received a wicked combination to the head and body.

Duer, of Argentina, raised her record to 11-3 and earned her fourth knockout. The Italian Tronto is now 6-2-1 with one KO.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Nakash in Cruiserweight Tournament?

Promoter Rodney Berman has set up an eight man cruiserweight tournament featuring predominantly African fighters. But Ran Nakash, a highly rated Israeli, could participate in the tournament.

Ron Jackson reports that Zack Mwekassa (12-2, 11 KOs) from the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the favorite, but if Nakash (26-1, 18 KOs) should be a participant, he would have a good shot at being the last man standing.

Nakash, who is coming off of a blowout unanimous decision victory over Derek Bryant in January garnered some buzz from The Ring last month. Michael Rosenthal mentioned that Nakash was considered for a possible top ten spot among world cruiserweights ironically on the strength of his only career loss, to Marco Huck last April. Ultimately, Nakash came up a little short.