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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

From Yuri Foreman to Benny Leonard, Down the BoxRec Rabbit Hole

Many of you may know what going down the BoxRec rabbit hole means. For those who don't, check out a fighter's ledger and click on an interesting or vaguely familiar looking opponent. Repeat for the next hour or so, and you're firmly inside the BoxRec rabbit hole.

While burrowing one day, a question occurred to me: Is there a link between Yuri Foreman, the most recent Jewish male world champ who last fought in 2021, and Benny Leonard, often regarded as the best Jewish boxer ever? In other words, if I click on a Yuri Foreman opponent- say Anthony Ivory- and then an opponent of  Ivory's and so on, will I eventually reach Benny Leonard?

The answer is yes. In fact, while it's not exactly easy, there are many ways to get from Foreman to Leonard, which shows how connected boxers are through the ages. Below is one way they're linked. This one features many club fighters in the Midwest of the U.S., a brief stop in Canada, and a trip down south during Jim Crow. I tried one line that included Jewish boxers Saoul Mamby and Felix Said Brami (they both fought the Guyanese Ghanaian, Ivelaw Eastman), but I wound up in Spain during Benny Leonard's era with no way to get back to the States.

Below are the fights that link Yuri Foreman and Benny Leonard. The date (U.S. form), the records at the time of the fight, the result, the weight class, and the location are listed. Below the fight is a brief summary of the opponent with years active, final record, and some notes about them. At the very bottom is a list of all the fights included.

01-16-2004, Yuri Foreman (12-0) vs. Anthony Ivory (29-65-5), Foreman UD 6 (60-54 x3), (jr middle) Minneapolis, MN.
Anthony Ivory: 1989-2006 (32-78-6) From Chicago and nicknamed Poison, Ivory fought many notable opponents including: Simon Brown, Winky Wright (twice), Mikkel Kessler, and Kelly Pavlik to name a few.

11-29-1991, Anthony Ivory (8-7-1) vs. Jake Torrance (21-49-1), Ivory Pts 6, (middle) New Munster, WS.
Jake Torrance: 1980-2000 (22-79-2) From Indiana, he fought Ivory again in 1994 and lost by SD. He was later the referee for two of Ivory's fights. Torrance fought Buddy McGirt, Julian Jackson, Donald Curry

09-22-1980, Jake Torrance (0-0) vs. Warren Thunder (9-6-1), Torrance TKO 3, (jr middle) Chicago, Il.
Warren Thunder: 1977-1980 (9-7-1) A Native American boxer from Chicago.

05-22-1978, Warren Thunder (2-2) vs. Bobby Crawford (5-30-2), Thunder TKO 3, (jr middle) Chicago, Il.
Bobby Crawford: 1968-1982 (5-33-2) From Chicago, he lost to Floyd Mayweather Sr. after the Thunder fight.

04-11-1973, Bobby Crawford (1-9) vs. Billy Goodwin (3-11-2), Goodwin Pts 6, (jr. middle) Chicago, Il.
Billy Goodwin: 1970-1982 (13-35-2) From Milwaukee, Goodwin beat Crawford three times, all in 1973, the last two by KO. During his career, Goodwin lost to Tommy Hearns and Jewish boxer Bruce "The Mouse" Strauss.

04-14-1970, Billy Goodwin (0-0) vs. Columbus Lloyd (5-7-1), Lloyd Pts 4, (middle) Milwaukee, WS.
Columbus Lloyd: 1968-1983 (8-13-2) From Indianapolis, Lloyd was 6'2" and had a six-year layoff from '75-'81.

04-20-1970, Columbus Lloyd (6-7-1) vs. Garry Broughton (11-18-2), Broughton UD 8, (lght hvy) Windsor, ON, CA.
Garry Broughton: 1964-1980 (30-45-5) Born in England and based in Canada, Broughton once fought Boogaloo Watts in Philly.

01-17-1966, Garry Broughton (2-2-1) vs. Carl Jordan (9-16-2), Broughton UD 6, (middle) Toronto, ON, CA.
Carl Jordan: 1958-1968 (13-27-4) From Pittsburgh, Jordan fought and lost to Broughton twice. Jordan once drew with Jewish boxer, promoter, and matchmaker Don Elbaum.

04-28-1958, Carl Jordan (1-0) vs. Willie Epps (5-12), Jordan Pts 4, (middle) Glassport, PA.
Willie Epps: 1951-1960 (7-20) From Ohio.

01-03-1957, Willie Epps vs. Al Marotti (31-21-8), Marotti UD 10, (welter) Steubenville, OH.
Al Marotti: 1945-1958 (32-24-8) From Salt Lake City.

09-02-1946 Al Marotti vs. Jackie Armitage (19-12-3), Armitage KO 3, (welter) Aliquippa, PA.
Jackie Armitage: 1942-1949 (33-22-3) From Pennsylvania.

06-08-1942 Jackie Armitage (0-0) vs. Marcus Lockman (10-8-1), Lockman SD 4, (welter) Millvale, PA.
Marcus Lockman: 1941-1946 (31-12-3) Nicknamed "Kid Chicken," Lockman was born in Virginia and based in Pittsburgh.

02-20-1941 Marcus Lockman (0-1) vs. Jimmy Harper (5-16), Harper Pts 6, (welter) Pittsburgh, PA.
Jimmy Harper: 1935-1941 (6-16) From Detroit.

11-08-1937 Jimmy Harper (4-5) vs. Young Ford Munger (29-6-6), Harper TKO 3, (welter) Detroit, MI
Young Ford Munger: 1929-1937 (29-7-6) Born in Michigan and based in Florida, his dad was also a pro boxer.

12-17-1929 Young Ford Munger (1-0) vs. Norman Moran (5-18-2), Munger Pts 4, (welter) St. Petersburg, FL.
Norman Moran: 1924-1929, (5-19-2), From Mississippi.

04-01-1926 Norman Moran vs. Tut Seymour (16-9-4), Tut Pts 10, (middle) Gulfport, MS.
Tut Seymour: 1923-1931 (25-34-12), From Mississippi, Seymour fought Moran three times, losing the first two. He became a criminal after his pro career was over.

05-12-1925 Tut Seymour (11-5-2) vs. Battling Budd (37-26-30), Tut Pts 10, (welter) Biloxi, MS.
Battling Budd: 1914-1929 (37-28-31) From Atlanta, later became a ref and a judge. Budd fought Hall of Famer Young Stribling six times and went 2-1-3 including one win by way of unofficial newspaper decision.

10-13-1922 Battling Budd (31-9-18) vs. Sailor Friedman (41-15-8), Friedman Pts 8, (welter) Nashville, TN.
Sailor Friedman: 1916-1928 (50-43-6) A Jewish boxer born in Brooklyn and based in Philadelphia, Friedman fought man of the top lightweights of his era including Joe Dundee, Charley White, Ray Mitchell, and Lew Tendler (five times). On November 22, 1921, he faced world lightweight world champion Benny Leonard in an over-the-weight no-decision bout in Philadelphia, PA. Leonard was 138.8 pounds and Friedman was 140. The papers felt Benny Leonard deserved the victory in the eight 

2004 Yuri Foreman-Anthony Ivory
1991 Anthony Ivory-Jake Torrance
1978 Warren Thunder-Bobby Crawford
1973 Bobby Crawford-Billy Goodwin (three)
1970 Billy Goodwin-Columbus Lloyd
1970 Columbus Lloyd-Garry Broughton
1966 Garry Broughton-Carl Jordan
1958 Carl Jordan-Willie Epps
1957 Willie Epps-Al Marotti
1946 Al Marotti-Jackie Armitage
1942 Jackie Armitage-Marcus Lockman
1941 Marcus-Lockman-Jimmy Harper
1937 Jimmy Harper-Young Ford
1929 Young Ford-Norman Moran
1926 Norman Moran-Tut Seymour
1925 Tut Seymour-Battling Budd
1922 Battling Budd-Sailor Friedman
1921 Sailor Friedman-Benny Leonard

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