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Monday, July 26, 2021

Foreman Says Show Must Go On

In a social media post, Rabbi Yuri Foreman said that during training runs the last couple of days, "All I hear in my mind is... 'The show must go on!' That's it."

Foreman, the best Jewish boxer of the 21st century, is 35-4 with 10 KOs. The 40-year old is a former junior middleweight champion, the first Israeli world titlist. After nearly four years out of the ring, Foreman defeated Jeremy Ramos by decision last December. He was scheduled to fight Jimmy "Quiet Storm" Williams in March, but he experienced covid-like symptoms just prior to the fight and ultimately tested positive for the virus.

Last month Foreman took on Williams in Atlanta. The Brooklyn-based fighter lost the contest by split decision. Before the fight, Foreman told Michael Woods of The Ring, "I'm good. I'm recovered [from covid-19]." He hasn't used the virus as an excuse for his narrow defeat to Williams, but it is a respiratory condition and Foreman relies on constant movement in the ring. The long term of effects of the virus seem to vary from person to person.

During his nearly 20-year pro career, Yuri has fought the likes of the legendary Miguel Cotto, a top pound-for-pound champ in Erislandy Lara, and world title belt-holders Daniel Santos and Cornelius Bundrage, to name a few.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Kaminsky Involved in Wild Brawl after Celebrity Boxing Match

David Kaminsky, an active boxer who worked as a trainer for a celebrity boxing match last night, found himself in the middle of a wild post-fight brawl. Kaminsky, a 6-1 (3 KOs) Israeli-born middleweight, trained Johnathan "Blueface Bleedem" Porter for his bout against Kane "Neumane" Trujillo in Tampa, Florida.

Blueface and Neumane fought in a bout billed as a bareknuckle boxing match although they both wore gloves. The ring was a circle. Both celebrities were new to boxing. Blueface, a rapper and gang member, holds down the more respectable day job as Neumane, a TikToker, has been accused of stealing other's material.

Inside the squared circle- er, I mean circled... uh, circle- Blueface came away with a unanimous decision victory. After the fight, an unauthorized man stormed into the ring and began yelling at Blueface. Kaminsky did what any good trainer would do and backed up his charge.

Blueface punched the man several times as security rushed in. Seven men surrounded Kaminsky and separated him from the intruder. It was likely a wise decision on all accounts as the 20 year old pro boxer was probably the most dangerous man in the ring. (link to video here) It also prevented Kaminsky from falling into trouble with the law. The interloper was yanked out of the circular ring after a struggle and eventually arrested, but not before tensions boiled over out of the ring in the back.

Speaking to Elie Seckbach, Kaminsky recounted the moment the trespasser entered the ring, "He swung at Blueface first and... we all tried to jump on him, but security was holding us back."

About the incident in the back, Kaminsky said, "He tried to talk shit again, he started coming up to Blueface, so we rushed him again."

Kaminsky also admitted to Seckbach that he's recovering from an ACL injury which is currently keeping him out of the ring.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Olympic Boxers: Jew or Not

Most people who run sites dedicated to Jewish athletes share a common dislike: determining who is Jewish. We just want to cover the athletes, not act like the chief rabbinate of Israel. The rule at The Jewish Boxing Blog is if a person identifies as Jewish or feels some connection to the religion or the people and wants to be included in The JBB's coverage, then they will be included.

That sounds like a simple enough policy, but it turns out not to be so simple. A boxer's religion isn't often mentioned in their coverage. If they're alive, you can ask them, but asking the boxer is quite awkward and the question is usually ignored. If they've already died it becomes that much more difficult.

That leads us to two boxers who are often included on lists of Jewish Olympians. Albert Schneider's name can be found on most lists of Jewish Olympic boxing medalists, and Waldemar Holberg is counted among Jewish Olympic boxers. After much research conducted for The JBB's Olympic series, they shouldn't be on those lists.


Bert Schneider won a gold medal for Canada at the 1920 Olympics as a welterweight. Born Julius Gustav Albert Schneider in Cleveland, Ohio in 1897, he moved with his family to Canada when he was nine years old. The 1911 Canadian census lists the religion for each member of his family as Lutheran. His obituary states a pastor officiated his funeral service. The few sources that refer to Schneider as Jewish can be primarily traced back to Mike Silver's Stars in the Ring. Despite participating in at least 53 pro bouts, Schneider's only mention in the book is on the list "Jewish Boxers Who Won an Olympic Medal" and he's listed incorrectly as a middleweight. JewsInSports.com lists two different "references" for Schneider, but Schneider is included in neither. Here's a list of Jewish Olympic medalists included in one of the references. There is no mention of Schneider being Jewish in his Canadian Hall of Fame profile and he's not in any Jewish Hall of Fame. Schneider lived an interesting life worth remembering, but I could find no real evidence that he identified as a Jew.
Here is The JBB's list of Jewish Olympic medalists in boxing.

Waldemar Holberg fought in the 1908 Olympics as a lightweight. He lost in the first round to Matt Wells, a Jew from Great Britain. BoxRec and Wikipedia categorize Holberg as a Jewish boxer. However, in the Denmark Church Records 1880-84, Vol 3. page 154, Holberg's name appears as Valdemar Birger Marten Holberg, born on May 29, 1883 and Christened on August 5. In 1914, Holberg married Elsa Schwartz, who may have been Jewish, in New York. Perhaps he converted to Judaism, but that is mere speculation as no records have been found. Some sources list his death year as 1927 and others list it as 1947. He and Elsa appear together in the 1930 Denmark census, but 1947 could not be confirmed as the year of his death.
Here is an incomplete list of some Jewish Olympic boxers.


This is not an authoritative account of course, but it makes sense to leave Schneider and Holberg off lists of Jewish boxers since there is no evidence (that I found, at least) of either identifying as Jewish while there is evidence that they identified as Christian. I'd be curious to learn when and why they have found themselves on lists of Jewish boxers or if there is any evidence that they identified as Jewish. Please comment below or email me at JewishBoxing at Yahoo if you have any information about either.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Jewish Olympic Boxers

With the Tokyo Games approaching, here is an incomplete list of some Jewish boxers who fought in the Olympics over the years. For Jewish boxing medalists, see this post.

 

 Name

 Year

 Country

 Weight Class

 Notes

 Matt Wells

 1908

 Great Britain

 light

 Beat Abe Attell as a pro

 Ben Bril

 1928

 Netherlands

 fly

 Holocaust survivor

 Harry Mizler

 1932

 Great Britain

 light

 British 135lb champ

 Ivan Duke

 1932 

 South Africa

 fly

 aka Isaac Tich

 Shlomo Niazov

 1984

 Israel

 light

 4-1 (4 KOs) as a pro

 Yehuda Ben-Haim

 1984, ‘88 

 Israel

 light fly

 1-0 as a pro

 Yacov Shmuel

 1988

 Israel

 feather

 7-0 as a pro

 Aharon Jacobashvili

 1988

 Israel

 middle

 lost to Sven Ottke

 Vladislav Neiman

 1996

 Israel

 fly

 now 55 years old

 Pavlo Ishchenko

 2012

 Ukraine

 bantam

 3-0 as a pro


Additional notes:
Matt Wells fought at least 85 times as a pro. He beat Attell and Leach Cross by newspaper decision and out-pointed Freddie Welsh for the European lightweight title (and staked a claim to the world title as a result), all in 1911. He beat another Hall of Famer, Owen Moran, in 1913. From then on, Wells lost his biggest fights. World title challenger and fellow Jew Charley White beat Wells in 4 out of 5 fights. Another world title challenger Jimmy Duffy defeats Wells twice. Well also dropped a fight to Ted "Kid" Lewis in 1919.

Ben Bril was one of the youngest Olympic boxers in history. He never turned pro. He was interred in Bergen Belsen during the Holocaust. Bril lived until 2003 and died at the age of 91.

Harry Mizler lost in the Olympics to fellow Jew Nat Bor. Born Hyman, Mizler had at least 81 pro bouts and won over 60 of them. He lost the British lightweight title to Jackie "Kid" Berg.

Yehuda Ben-Haim's first match in the 1988 Olympics was scheduled for Yom Kippur. He was eliminated when he didn't fight on the holiday. He also fought in the 1986 world championships. He died at the age of 56 in 2012.

Yacov Shmuel (sometimes written Ya'acov) is a boxing trainer in Israel. Check him out on  Instagram.

Aharon Jacobashvili, born in the country of Georgia, never turned pro. Sven Ottker was a three-time Olympian, won a world title as a pro, and retired with a 34-0 record.

Pavlo Ishchenko last fought professionally in 2016.

Waldemar Holberg is sometimes included on lists of Jewish boxing Olympians. A forthcoming article will explain his absence from this list.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Jewish Olympic Medalists in Boxing

With the Olympics (finally) starting later this week, here is a list with short bios of Jewish Olympic medalists in boxing.

Samuel Berger - 1904 - Heavyweight - USA - Gold
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1884 and died in San Francisco, California in 1925. Berger had a brief pro career in which he fought Hall of Famer Philadelphia Jack O'Brien to a newspaper draw in a six-rounder. He then stayed in boxing as an instructor, referee, and promoter. He promoted heavyweight champion Jim Jeffries.

Sam Mosberg - 1920 - Lightweight - USA - Gold
Born in 1896 in Austria and died in Brooklyn, New York in 1967. Mosberg (sometimes spelled Mossberg) was a pro for just under three years and had at least 31 fights. His prizefighting career featured mixed results including a 12-round loss on points to the respectable Mel Coogan. Mosberg served as the U.S. boxing coach in the 1953 Maccabiah Games.

Moe Herscovitch - 1920 - Middleweight - Canada - Bronze
Born in Montreal, Canada in 1897 and died in Montreal in 1969. He fought at least 27 fights in three and a half years as a pro. He went 3-1 against Bert Schneider, who won a gold medal at welterweight in the same Olympics. Herscovitch was stopped by future middleweight and light heavyweight champion Mickey Walker in 1923. He also had a career as a rugby player. After his pro career, he became a boxing coach at the local YMHA.

Jackie Fields - 1924 - Featherweight - USA - Gold
Born in 1908 in Chicago, Illinois, he died in 1987 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Fields was the youngest even Olympic gold medalist in boxing. He was an all-time great as a professional boxer. He won the world welterweight championship twice and was inducted in the Boxing Hall of Fame. He had at least 86 prizefights in his eight year career. He spent the next two years as a referee. He later coached the 1965 U.S. boxing team at the Maccabiah Games.

Harry Isaacs - 1928 - Bantamweight - South Africa - Bronze
Born in 1908 in Johannesburg, South Africa and died in 1961 in Johannesburg. Isaacs was initially declared the winner of his semifinal match in Amsterdam against American John Daley. But American fans were so upset about the decision they rioted. Despite a counterriot in favor of Isaacs, the decision was overturned and Isaacs was relegated to the bronze medal match. Isaacs didn't fight as a pro but trained Jewish orphans when he returned home. He later trained famed South African boxer Alf James.

Harold Devine - 1928 - Featherweight - USA - Bronze
Born in 1909 in New Haven, Connecticut and died in 1998 in Worcester, Massachusetts. Devine was a good regional boxer, winning the New England welterweight title. The southpaw split fights with Chick Suggs early in his career and later fought Baby Joe Gans and Jack Portney. Four times he beat the not-so-legendary Pancho Villa (of New Bedford, Mass). After 60 pro fights, Devine stayed in boxing as a trainer, manager, and judge.

(Michael) Jacob Michaelsen - 1928 - Heavyweight - Denmark - Bronze 
Born in 1899 in Sundby, Denmark and died in 1970 in Frederiksberg, Denmark. Michaelsen won bronze in the 1927 European championships and gold in the 1930 European championships. There is no record of him turning pro.

Nathan Bor - 1932 - Lightweight - USA - Bronze
Born in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1913 and died in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1972. As a pro, Bor was a solid regional fighter, campaigning mostly in New England with two sustained trips out to California during his eight-year, 50-fight career. He started 30-2 as a pro against mediocre competition. Nat's success in the ring dwindled as the opponents' level slightly increased. He joined the marines and fought overseas during World War II.

Gyula Torok - 1960 - Flyweight - Hungary - Gold
Born in Kispest, Hungary in 1938 six years after the previous Jewish boxing Olympic medalist and died in 2014 in Budapest. Torok never turned pro, but had a long and distinguished amateur career. He won silver at the 1959 European championships. He fought in the 1964 Olympics as a bantamweight, but lost in the opening round due to injury. After retiring in 1967, he became a boxing coach and helped the Hungarian national team.

Gyorgy Gedo - 1972 - Light flyweight - Hungary - Gold
Born in 1949 in Budapest, Hungary, he is 72 years old. He fought in the 1968, 1972, 1976, and 1980 Olympics. He was the first boxer to fight in four, and no boxer has fought in more. Gedo won the 1969 and 1971 European championships and finished third in 1975. The aggressive southpaw made the quarterfinals in the '76 & '80 Olympics. Gedo never fought as a pro.

Victor Zilberman - 1976 - Welterweight - Romania - Bronze
Born in 1947 in Bucharest, Romania, he is 73 years old. Zilberman fought in the 1968, 1972, and 1976 Olympics. He earned silver medals in the European championships in 1969 and in 1975. His citizenship was revoked shortly after winning his medal and found a new home in Montreal, Canada. He didn't turn pro. He moved to Toronto to help Adrian Teodorescu train boxers, including Lennox Lewis when he was an amateur. His Romanian citizenship was later restored.

Shamil Sabirov - 1980 - Light Flyweight - Soviet Union - Gold
Born in 1959 in Karpinsk, Soviet Union, he is 62 years old. Sabirov (also spelled Sabyrov) won gold at the 1979 European championships and bronze at the 1981 European championships. He retired from boxing in 1985 and didn't fight as a pro. He earned a PhD in exercise science and spent some time as a boxing referee.


Notes:
*I included boxers on this list that are featured on other lists of this kind as long as there was no information excluding them from being Jewish. For info on Bert Schneider please check out a forthcoming post Olympic Boxers: Jew or Not, 

*Most of the boxers on this list obviously identified as Jewish according to profiles of these men. 

*Michaelsen is included on most of the lists of Jewish Olympic medalists in boxing. His name is sometimes written with Jacob, Jakob, or Michael as his first name. Sometimes Jacob or Michael is included as a middle name. After an extensive search, I could find no record in which he identified as Jewish, but I couldn't find anything to suggest he didn't identify as Jewish, either. 

*Sabirov is also on most of the lists of Jewish boxing Olympic medalists. After much research, I could find nothing that proves or disproves whether he identifies as Jewish. Some sources describe his ethnicity as Tatar.

*Any concrete information about Michaelsen or Sabirov is welcomed.

*There is a Victor Zilberman, born in 1947, who immigrated to Canada in the mid-1970s, settling in Montreal and became a well-respected wrestling coach. Believe it or not, this is not that same Victor Zilberman who won the bronze medal at the '76 Olympics.

The wrestler, born in March of ''47 in Chisinau, Soviet Union (now Moldova), won a bronze medal as a wrestler for Israel in the 1974 world (wrestling) championships. He won silver at the 1978 Commonwealth Games for Canada. He earned his PhD and coached the Canadian Olympic team on multiple occasions. His son David wrestled in the 2008 Olympics. He also trained Georges St-Pierre.

The boxer was born on September 20, 1947 in Bucharest. After a falling out with Teodorescu, he became an optometric technician and still enjoys watching the fights. Some sources confuse the two Victor Zilbermans.

Some additional information:
Article on Samuel Berger
Article on Sam Mosberg
Article on Moe Herscovitch
Article on Jackie Fields
Article that includes Harry Isaacs (second bio down)
Article on Harold Devine
Article on Nathan Bor
Article on Gyula Torok
Paragraph on Gyorgy Gedo
Article on Victor Zilberman (in Romanian)

Friday, July 16, 2021

Review of Newark Minutemen

Newark Minutemen: A True 1930's Legend About One Man's Mission to Save a Nation's Soul Without Losing His Own: A Novel
By Leslie K. Barry
Morgan James Publishing, 2020.

If nonfiction history books provide the foundation for knowledge of the past, historical fiction adds the color. Barry's novel paints vibrant strokes of life in Newark, New Jersey during the 1930s. The book traces the rise of the German-American Bund, a Nazi-allied group, and the efforts of the Newark Minutemen to stop them.

The Minutemen, a group of Jewish boxers, served as mob boss Longie Zwillman's enforcers. During this period the group, aided by the FBI, focused on protecting the community against the rise of Nazism in America. Part of that protection involved pummeling Nazis at rallies in the Tri-state region. Eventually it morphed into infiltrating the American Nazi ranks.

The novel is written in first person vignettes primarily from the points of view of a Jewish boxer named Yael, a young German-American woman called Krista, Zwillman, and the leader of the Bund Fritz Kuhn. The description within those vignettes is extremely vivid. and the story is enthralling. Yet, it is not a light read.

The Nazis, as more and more people sadly seem to forget, were bad people who did bad things. Those despicable deeds can be excruciatingly painful to recall. Barry's evocative writing makes reading about those instances all the more difficult.

The tensions between the Minutemen and the Bund provide the background for a forbidden love story. Despite being a central component of the story, it felt like an unnecessary addition to the already fascinating struggle of the Minutemen to defeat Nazism's encroachment into America. And yet, paradoxically, the centrality of this superfluous love story doesn't detract much from the quality of the novel. It's a credit to Barry's ability as a writer that it doesn't.

As striking as Barry's writing is, it isn't perfect. There are moments when it's too good. From Jewish boxer to 17 year old girl to mob boss, each first person account reads like it's by an accomplished novelist- and is quite distinct in tone from the dialogue. In the beginning, the expressive verbs and adjectives create a distracting disconnect between what is being said and who is saying it. But as the suspense picks up, that disconnect gradually vanishes.

As for the dialogue, it seems to fit the characters better than the first person monologues, but the language of the boxers can be a bit stereotypical at times. The word "Palooka" is used just once, but  the dialogue can fall into Palooka-like tropes on occasion.

One last quibble deals with anachronisms. Historical novels are wonderful because good authors include those little nuggets of information that can only be found through extensive research- and Newark Minutemen contains many golden ones- but there are moments when some of them misfire.

One German teen is said to be "drinking the Kool-Aid" (pg. 173). That phrase originated in the aftermath the Jonestown Massacre in 1978, in which hundreds of cult members were forced to drink a poisoned Kool-Aid type of beverage in Jonestown, Guyana. Later, a Jewish boxer is described "as cool as the other side of the pillow" (pg. 217). The origin of this phrase can be traced back to Stewart Scott, of ESPN's SportsCenter fame, who coined it when he first started out in broadcasting in late the 1980s.

While historical novelists are well within their rights to play with facts and chronology, the "drinking the Kool-Aid" and "as cool as the other side of the pillow" lines can prevent a reader from accepting the other interesting bits of historical information. And that would be a shame, because it's clear that the book is well-researched.

Minor issues aside, if you are a fan of Jewish boxers beating up Nazis and working towards saving the United States from fascism, you will enjoy this book. And as a bonus, actual Jewish boxers Nat Arno, Maxie Fisher, his brother Al Fischer, Puddy Hinkes, Abie Bain, and the author's uncle Harry Levine, a New York Golden Gloves champ, are all featured in this tale.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Successful Night for Gloves and Doves in Israel

Gloves and Doves, a program run by former professional boxer Tony Milch that promotes peace and coexistence in the Middle East, hosted a successful night of boxing in Isfiya, Israel this past evening. Former world champion Rabbi Yuri Foreman along with former world title challenger and current promoter Dmitriy Salita both sent their support for the event.

A current pro, Yotham Shalom, boxed in a three round exhibition while another active boxer Igor Lazarev refereed. Sagiv Ismailov, who is 2-0 as a pro, also laced up the gloves. Members of the Israeli national amateur boxing team also showcased their skills in the ring. They are of different backgrounds and religions but represent one country. The featured attraction of the evening was Adham Kayouf, a Druze fighter from Isfiya.

Gloves and Doves is an endeavor worthy of support regardless of one's politics. Peace benefits us all and while sports may not work miracles, it can create progress. Ping-pong diplomacy helped thaw relations between China and the United States during the 1970s ultimately leading towards an economic relationship between the two nations. Cricket has helped direct tensions between India and Pakistan to the pitch instead of the battlefield. And athletes such as Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and Bill Russell helped bridge the racial divide in the United States and set the stage for increasing integration.

With the recent deadly conflict in Israel, an initiative that promotes peace and coexistence in the Middle East is needed now more than ever. Boxing is an apt avenue to create progress towards that goal. Boxers pound each other during the fight and yet often form a lifelong friendships after the final bell has rung. To donate visit their crowdfunding page and follow Gloves and Doves on Instagram. A replay of the event can be watched here.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Gloves and Doves to Host Historic Night in Israel

Retired boxer Tony Milch's Gloves and Doves initiative is hosting its first event in Israel. The event, which will take place on Thursday, July 15 in Isfia, will promote Milch's mission of coexistence by featuring amateur fighters of different religious backgrounds. "Druze, Christians, Jews, and Muslims," Milch explains, "all boxing as teammates promoting the message of unity!"

"Boxing helps bring communities together and keeps kids away from crime and violence," he adds. Donations for Gloves and Doves can be given here.

Monday, July 5, 2021

Three Jewish Boxers Scheduled to Fight in September

Cletus Seldin, Benny Sinakin, and Dr. Stefi Cohen are all scheduled to fight in September on separate cards. Each of the three fighters are at a different stage in their careers.

Seldin, the veteran, is scheduled to fight on September 4 at the Paramount Theatre in Huntington, New York, USA. The "Hebrew Hamma" is 25-1 with 21 KOs. This would be Seldin's 18th fight at the Paramount. The 34 year old will have had a 19-month layoff between fights when Labor Day weekend comes around.

Benny Sinakin, the up-and-comer, is scheduled to return to the ring on September 17 at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Sinakin is 6-1 with 3 KOs after suffering his first pro defeat last April at the same venue. This will be Bulldog Benny's fourth prizefight in 2300 Arena. Six of his seven bouts have been in his hometown of Philadelphia.

Stefi Cohen, the novice, is slated to have her second pro fight on September 18 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. Cohen won her debut by way of third round stoppage on June 4. The 29 year old native of Venezuela is a record-breaking weightlifter with a million Instagram followers.

Neither Seldin, Sinakin, nor Cohen have an announced opponent.

Friday, July 2, 2021

David Kaminsky Training Rapper Blueface Bleedem

Super middleweight David Kaminsky is training rapper Blueface Bleedem for a bare knuckle boxing match on July 23. Blueface faces a TikTok comedian named Kane Trujillo. While this match won't be the reincarnation of Hagler-Hearns, we cannot blame Kaminsky for accepting this celebrity boxing assignment. Enhanced notoriety for Kaminsky Boxing Gym and beefing up his Venmo make it well worth it.

Blueface, born Johnathan Porter, is a rapper known for his offbeat rhymes primarily about his life in a gang. Porter played college football but had no formal training in combat sports before meeting Kaminsky.

Those who decry the increasing prevalence of celebrity pugilists such as Blueface as bad for boxing miss the point. That there is an audience willing to watch celebrity boxing matches shows the power of the sport. No one wants to watch Logan Paul or his brother Jake play tennis or basketball. They'll pay to witness the Pauls lace up the gloves, though.
                               
Boxing at its most exhilarating can be a thrilling action movie. The aforementioned Hagler-Hearns, Chavez-Taylor, Corrales-Castillo, or Ward-Gatti all fall into this category. The difference between an action movie and boxing is that in boxing, the protagonist doesn't reveal himself until the end. The plot is rarely predictable. The action is spontaneous and unscripted.

At its most beautiful, boxing can also take the form of artwork. The masterful performances of Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones, and Pernell Whitaker fall into this category. Their hit-and-not-get-hit styles were the manly art of self-defense personified.

Boxing is such a special sport, spectators will even watch a rapper fight a comedian. But the rise of celebrity prizefights exposes the failure of the business of boxing. While the combination of violence and artistry is at the heart of boxing's appeal, its failure to market its dedicated, yet anonymous, fighters is at the core of its shortcomings. Kids from hardscrabble beginnings, who toil in sweaty gyms for countless years dreaming of a world title, are too often left behind.

Actual professional boxers almost unfailingly possess interesting backstories. Many, if not most, have lived incredible lives. Yuri Foreman, for example, was twice an immigrant before winning a world title, the first Israeli to do so, and then became a rabbi. Yet, for whatever reason, their stories aren't told in a way that captivates the audience in the same manner as these celebrity YouTubers and TikTokers.

Mayweather's career shines light on the road ahead. He crept into the minds of casual boxing fans with a supremely-skilled safety-first style. He managed to promote himself into hundreds of millions of dollars while leaving the bloodthirsty unquenched. The problem is Mayweather and the industry were unable to raise the rest of the business.

The audience needs to be better educated about the sport as well. Knowledgeable boxing fans would rather watch the best fight than novices awkwardly launch wide slaps. Unfortunately, unknowledgeable fans far outnumber those in the know.

The celebrity boxers can't be blamed for trying to cash in on their fleeting fame. They owe nothing to boxing. Their desire to take up the sport, and for fans to watch them, confirms boxing's allure. But the popularity of celebrity boxing reveals the failure of the promoters, the networks, and us, the writers, to connect the David Kaminskys of the boxing world with the audience.