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Thursday, March 30, 2023

David Alaverdian to Face Ernesto Irias

David Alaverdian is scheduled to face Ernesto Irias in a super flyweight contest at the Westgate Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on April 10. Irias signifies Alaverdian's toughest professional opponent.

Alaverdian is a 29 year old from Nahariya, Israel and is now based in Las Vegas. His pro record is 7-0-1 with 6 KOs. Alaveridan deserved to win the draw, which took place on November 11 against Angel Geovanny Meza, an undefeated local prospect.

David has had some trouble getting an opponent for this date. He initially planned to face a high-rated gatekeeper. Then, David hoped to fight an untested undefeated prospect. Both declined to take on Alaverdian.

Irias is now the scheduled opponent. He's a 27 year old from Managua, Nicaragua, a country that boasts a quality scene in the 112 and 115 pound divisions. Nicknamed El Destructor, Irias sports a record of 15-6-1 with 9 KOs. He held a regional flyweight title and has challenged for another minor title. He challenged for that vacant title in Germany when he faced Mirco Martin, an undefeated German. The fight was deemed a majority draw. Irias recently went the distance with former world champion Cristofer Rosales.

Irias had been scheduled to fight Dewayne Beamon in a twelve-rounder on April 8, but Beamon had to pull out of that fight. Ernesto then took the fight with Alaverdian. This bout is scheduled for six rounds. Full preview to come.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Jews in the IBRO's 2019 All Time Ratings

In 2019, the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO), which the head of The Jewish Boxing Blog has since joined, created a list of the 25 best pound-for-pound fighters in history and the best within eleven different weight classes. The last time the organization undertook such a project was 2006. About thirty of its members were asked to participate this last time. In this article, we'll take a look at the placement of Jewish boxers on the various lists. Before we begin, it's important to note without a touch of modesty, the voting members know more about boxing than the head of The JBB will ever hope to know. Any questioning of the IBRO's rankings should be viewed through that lens.

Two Jews made this list of the top 25. Benny Leonard came in at #9. That's about where he normally places on lists like these. Of course, we Jewish Boxing fans believe he should be higher because of his incomparable skills and the longevity of his championship reign, but the fighters listed above him all had amazing careers as well.

Barney Ross came in at #21, which is also about where he shows up on these types of lists. There's a good case to be made that he's underrated. A legitimate three-division world champion, he went 4-1 against the duo of Tony Canzoneri and Jimmy McLarnin and beat future middleweight champion Ceferino Garcia three times. Ross also beat many very good fighters, including Ray Miller, the only man to knockout McLarnin. The counterargument is that his fights against Canzoneri and McLarnin were all close and the junior welterweight championship was seen as more of a minor title at the time.

Abe Attell and Ted "Kid" Lewis  are two others that could have made the list. As with Leonard, Attell's skills and his lengthy spell as world featherweight champion are at the heart of his case. Lewis embodies what the term pound-for-pound should mean, fighting world class opponents from bantamweight all the way to heavyweight.

Light Heavyweight
No Jews made the heavyweight list. Maxie Rosenbloom made the light heavyweight top 20 at #13. Rosenbloom is sometimes underrated because his slapping style did not garner universal approval. Battling Levinsky had made the top 20 in 2006, but fell off in 2019.

No Jews made the middleweight or junior middleweight lists. Two Jews made the welterweight top 20. Barney Ross was ranked #10 and Ted "Kid" Lewis slid in at #16. While Ross and Lewis both won world titles at the weight, they were also very successful at other weights.

Junior Welterweight
Barney Ross at #5 and Jack "Kid" Berg at #9 made this top 10 list. Luminaries such as Tony Canzoneri, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Pernell Whitaker just missed the cut. Canzoneri beat Berg twice, both for the lightweight and junior welterweight world titles, so there is a case to made that Canzoneri should be higher than our beloved Berg.

Three Jews made the top 20 here. Benny Leonard came in at #2. Most of us reading this would argue that he should be #1. Leonard, Roberto Duran, and Joe Gans seem to be the consensus top three lightweights of all-time, although the order is up for debate. Barney Ross was #8, two behind Canzoneri, who Barney beat twice. Canzoneri was a world class lightweight before Ross even turned pro, so that would be the argument for Tony. Lew Tendler was voted at #19.

Junior Lightweight
Benny Bass held the junior lightweight world championship from 1929-1931, but did not make this top 10 list.

Abe Attell came in at #4 behind Willie Pep, Henry Armstrong, and Sandy Saddler.

While there have been half a dozen Jewish bantamweight world champions, none cracked the IBRO's top 20 at the weight.

No Jews made the top 20. Newsboy Brown was an honorable mention.

Seven different Jews made these lists: Leonard (p4p, light), Ross (p4p, welter, light), Rosenbloom (light hvy), Lewis (welter), Berg (jr welter), Tendler (light), and Attell (feather).

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Exciting Month For Fans of Jewish Boxing

From February 9 to March 3, six Jewish boxers fought in what amounts to a great few weeks for fans of Jewish boxing. The fighters went 5-0-1, and the draw should've have been a win.

Even going back a bit earlier, there was plenty of Jewish boxing news. On January 27, Stefi Cohen was supposed to fight, but an unusual issue with her opponent's weight forced a cancellation of the contest at the last moment.

The next week were the Israeli amateur championships. On February 4, Odelia Ben Ephraim fought Anaelle Angerville for the French featherweight title but lost by split decision.

The great run for Jewish boxers started on February 9th when Sagiv Ismailov, Igor Lazarev, and Alex Karchevski all won their fights in Ashdod, Israel.

On February 17, Shawn Michael Sarembock fought in an all-action affair in Mexico. The judges called it a majority draw, but Sarembock deserved to win.

On February 23, Stefi Cohen faced a game opponent to come away with a unanimous decision.

Finally, Ben Ephraim was back in action on March 3. This time she won a convincing unanimous decision in France.

Check out highlights from these fights:

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Top 5 Jewish Israeli Boxers

Evgheni Boico's Top 5 Jewish Israeli Boxers

Evgheni Boico is a boxing coach based in Ashdod, Israel and a promoter, first with B&B Promotions and now heading both Arena Boxing Israel and Arena Boxing Moldova. Boico has been instrumental in bringing professional boxing back to Israel. He's not only at the forefront of boxing's recent revival in Israel, but he's also extremely knowledgeable about the history of prizefighting in the country. Evgheni has been very gracious in sharing his boxing expertise with The Jewish Boxing Blog over the years.

Boico notes that #5 on this great list, Motzi Spakow (a.k.a Moți Spakov), fought in British Palestine in 1937 and then had five or six bouts in Israel after independence, none of which are listed on BoxRec at this time. Boico describes him as "the first pro boxer of Israel."

1. Yuri Foreman
2. Hagar Finer
3. David Oved
4. Ran Nakash
5. Motzi Spakow

Other Top 5s
Jewish North African Boxers
Jewish Canadian Boxers
Jewish British Boxers
Jewish Female Boxers
Jewish French Boxers
Jewish Dutch Boxers
Jewish Londoner Boxers
Jewish South African Boxers
Jewish Boxers since 1960

Monday, March 6, 2023

The Delay Before Ben Ephraim-Draskovic

Odelia "Thunder" Ben Ephraim shut out Tijana Draskovic last Friday in a six-rounder in Blagnac, France to improve her record to 4-2. Before the fight, Draskovic waited in the ring for seven minutes and forty-five seconds before Ben Ephraim began her ring walk. From the time Draskovic climbed through the ropes until Ben Ephraim's entrance into the ring, ACDC's Thunderstruck played for one full rotation and then restarted. Officials scrambled to see what was happening.

The Jewish Boxing Blog has learned the cause of the delay. Ben Ephraim-Draskovic was the fourth of six pro bouts on a card that began with amateur fights. Originally, an intermission had been scheduled for just before Ben Ephraim's fight, the halfway point of the pro portion of the event. The intermission was cancelled at the last minute, which threw off the timing of Ben Ephraim's warmup. She smartly decided not to rush out to the ring and instead, finished her pre-fight preparation.

A proper warmup is essential for a boxer's success before a fight and cannot be hurried. The extra warmup time paid off as "Thunder" controlled every moment of the bout to get back in the win column. In February, she dropped a split decision to Anaelle Angerville for the French featherweight title. After two fights in a month, Ben Ephraim announced on social media that she will take a little break and come back even more motivated for her next fight.

Friday, March 3, 2023

Odelia Ben Ephraim Impressive in Decision Win

Featherweight Odelia "Thunder" Ben Ephraim dominated Tijana Draskovic in a six round affair at Salle Polyvalente des Ramiers in Blagnac, France tonight. Ben Ephraim swept the cards to win by unanimous decision.

The most trouble Ben Ephraim, a 23 year old from France, faced came before the fight. Draskovic waited in the ring as ACDC's Thunderstruck played for one full rotation. After the song had restarted, Ben Ephraim finally made her ring walk. Draskovic had been standing in the ring for seven minutes and 45 seconds when Ben Ephraim climbed through the ropes. The waiting may have affected Draskovic, but it didn't seem to bother Ben Ephraim at all.

To begin every round, Ben Ephraim raced out to meet Draskovic, an 18 year old southpaw from Serbia. Odelia's hands were in constant motion, but she was very intelligent in her punch-picking, a rare attribute for a volume puncher. Draskovic was able to land several hard counter lefts throughout the fight, the same punch Romane Geffray, an orthodox fighter, was able to land on Odelia a year ago.

In the Geffray fight, Ben Ephraim showed the jab to land hard rights. Against Draskovic, her attack was more balanced. She dug left hooks into the Serbian woman's body and then added the left uppercut, which seemed to land underneath Draskovic's high guard every time. Her rights were as powerful as ever. In the later rounds, Ben Ephraim added the right uppercut and began smashing six and seven punch combinations against Draskovic's face.

Ben Ephraim acted like a nasty cold all fight. She didn't quite knockout Draskovic, but Odelia frustrated her the entire time and wouldn't let her breathe. Ben Ephraim's performance dropped jaws and opened eyes, and her style was fun to watch. Draskovic managed to last the full six rounds solely because of her heart and her chin. By the end, she had taken a pretty bad beating.

The judges all saw the bout 60-54 for Thunder, and there was really no other way to score it. Ben Ephraim is now 4-2 while Draskovic falls to 1-6.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

Odelia Ben Ephraim to Face Tijana Draskovic Tomorrow

Odelia "Thunder" Ben Ephraim is scheduled to face Tijana Draskovic tomorrow at Salle Polyvalente des Ramiers in Blagnac, France. This bout is slated to go six two-minute rounds. Ben Ephraim weighed in at 125 pounds while Draskovic came in at 125.5 pounds..

Ben Ephraim (3-2) is a 23 year old resident of Blagnac, France. She fought an eight-rounder less than month ago, a split decision loss to Anaelle Angerville for the French featherweight title. Ben Ephraim's other loss came in her debut, also against Angerville. Odelia is 3-0 against everyone else.

Draskovic, an 18 year old southpaw from Zrenjanin, Serbia, has an unimpressive 1-5 record. But her five losses came against opponents with a combined record of 28-2-3, so she has been in very tough. She has never been stopped. Draskovic and Ben Ephraim have a common opponent, Angerville, to whom Draskovic also lost. Tijana has experienced far more success as an amateur kickboxer than as a pro boxer.

Draskovic last fought on Sunday, a six round points loss. Though she has been in tough and has never been stopped, the native of Serbia hasn't been too competitive against those formidable foes. She hasn't won a round on a judge's card in three of her losses. The event is slated to air on Fight Nation.