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Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022: Year in Review

Canceled fights and curious decisions defined the year in Jewish boxing. Sadly, there were more canceled or postponed fights this year than actual fights. The Jewish Boxing Blog summed up the frustratingly unfair outcomes in an article last month.

David Alaverdian went 2-0-1 with 2 KOs in the pro ranks. He deserved to win the draw. Shawn Sarembock improved his record to 8-0 with 8 KOs. Stefi Cohen and Isaac Chilemba each went 1-1 this year. Igor Lazarev lost both of his fights but deserved to win one of them.

On September 15, four Jewish boxers took part in three bouts in Ashdod, Israel. Kickboxing star Itay Gershon won his pro boxing debut. Prospect Sagiv Ismailov won his third fight, and Aki Mishaev scored a knockout in his second fight. Ismailov, Mishaev, and Lazarev are among the Jewish boxers scheduled to fight on a card in Bnei Ayish, Israel on February 9. The resurgence of pro boxing in Israel is a big development.

There were quite a few boxing exhibition events in Israel this year, a great way to grow the sport in the country. Former world champion Hagar Finer put on a couple of them. Mor Oknin, Mikhael Ostroumov, and Nikita Basin were among the Jewish pro boxers to take part in such shows.

Former world champion Robert Cohen Z"L and heavyweight contender Tim Puller Z"L passed away this year.

The JBB reviewed Holocaust Histories, a podcast about boxers victimized during the Shoah. The reviews of books published this year or late last year include Boxing in Atlantic City, Gangsters vs Nazis, and The Unexpected Danny Green.

Some noteworthy profiles of past Jewish boxers were of Charley Phil Rosenberg, Henry Nissen, Ray Miller, Jack "Kid" Berg, and Izzy Zerling. Then, there was a look back at the wild Israeli amateur boxing scandal in 1988 and the night in 1929 when five Jewish boxing stars fought to raise money for the Jews of British Palestine. Two articles examined the different brands of boxing gloves and the importance of pad work.

The JBB conducted interviews with a few Jewish boxers this year. The interview with Yuri Foreman became two articles, one on his ambitions and another on his reflections. There were two separate interviews with David Alaverdian, one in article form, and a different one in video form. Shawn Michael Sarembock told The JBB his inspiring story. And the two articles about Dmitriy Salita concentrated on his career as a boxer and his work as a promoter.

As for The Jewish Boxing Blog, this year was amazing! Two of the last four months have seen the most traffic in the nearly 13-year history of this site. The other two months were not far behind. The number of followers of the Jewish Boxing Instagram page has more than tripled in the past year, and Twitter followers have doubled in the past two years. A special shoutout to supporters of the Jewish Boxing BuyMeACoffee page ($3 for all newsletters). You are truly appreciated!

Next year looks like there will be a few pro debuts, which is exciting. And hopefully, there will be many more fights. All the best to you and yours.

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