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Monday, October 30, 2023

Stefi Cohen Back in Action November 11

Dr. Stefanie Cohen is scheduled to fight on November 11 at Thunder Studios in Long Beach, California, USA. This will be the 31 year old's first fight since a unanimous decision victory over Esli Cervantes in June.

Cohen, a native of Venezuela, sports a record of 4-1-1 with one KO. She came to boxing late after a world record-breaking powerlifting career. For this bout, Cohen has sparred with undefeated prospect Lupita Medina and the legend Yesica Bopp.

Cohen's bout is scheduled for four two-minute rounds in the super flyweight division. No opponent has yet been named,

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Top 5 Jewish Boxers from London

Jeff Jones's Top 5 Jewish Boxers from London

Jeff Jones is the author of two books: East End Born and Bled: The Remarkable Story of London Boxing and Stars and Scars: The Story of Jewish Boxing in London. Both are must-reads for boxing fans who want to understand one of the most significant cities in the sport's history. The Jewish Boxing Blog's review of Stars and Scars can be found here. Jones has also written a profile on Ted "Kid" Lewis which is forthcoming and will be linked here when it becomes available.

A note about this talent-packed list: It only includes boxers who were born and grew up in London. Otherwise, Roman Greenberg would have deserved consideration. Jones explains, "His light burned bright but not for long. At his best a great fighter."

1. Ted "Kid" Lewis
2. Johnny Brown
3. Jack "Kid" Berg
4. Harry Mizler
5. Matt Wells

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

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Josh Feldman Wins Debut

Junior middleweight Joshua Feldman beat Mbulelo Aluvhani by unanimous decision in his pro debut at Box Camp Booysens in Johannesburg, South Africa today. The 19 year old southpaw from Cape Town showed a lot of skill.

Before the fight, Colin Nathan, Feldman's trainer, told his young charge, "Remember son, you only have one debut. Go out and enjoy yourself."

Wearing black trunks with a gold Star of David, Josh opened the fight with a big left hand. He then boxed effectively, avoiding Aluvhani's big shots, and landing at range. He slipped the shots well and landed a flashy 1-2 at the end of the first round.

To start the second, Feldman landed two crisp straight lefts. When he lunged inside, Aluvhani landed the counter jab. The 28 year old's only shot at success came when Josh was in close range.

The teenaged debutant showed an array of creative offensive tricks. In the third, he jabbed to the body to set up a clever straight left up top. After connecting with quite a few straight lefts, he then looped it late in the round. In the fourth, Feldman snapped a right hook to the body and then went to the head with the same punch. 

Aluvhani was a strong, tough opponent. He capitalized on Feldman's occasional over eagerness. Overall though, Feldman showed a lot of ability and maturity in his first pro fight.

Josh tired by the end, a common occurrence for boxers making their debut. He also hasn't fought competitively in two years, the last time he competed in the amateurs. Nevertheless, The Jewish Boxing Blog scored the bout 40-36 in his favor.

Nathan, who is also Jewish, said after the fight, "This was a personal one for me." Feldman, who is trainer's first Jewish fighter, won with two scores of 40-36 and one of 39-37.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Josh Feldman Makes Weight

Wainstein, Nathan, and Feldman might sound like a prestigious law firm, but they are key figures in tomorrow's boxing card at Box Camp Booysens in Johannesburg, South Africa. Larry Wainstein runs Boxing.5 Promotions, the promoter of the show. Colin Nathan of No Doubt Management and the Hot Box Gym is the manager and trainer of many of the fighters. And Joshua Feldman will be making his pro debut.

Feldman is a 19 year old southpaw from Cape Town. He told Hayden Jones of SA Boxing Talk that he started his training camp back home this time and came up to Johannesburg for the last two weeks before the fight. That seems to be the plan going forward. "I'm going to base myself in Cape Town mainly, but when I have a fight here, I'll come up a couple weeks before and get some work in," he told Jones.

Feldman got good sparring with pro boxers Almighty Creed Moyo and Owen Benganayi among others. Josh described his training with Colin Nathan at the Hot Box Gym as "amazing."

"The sessions are priceless to be honest," Feldman said.

Josh weighed in at 153.1 pounds for his debut. His opponent, Mbulelo Aluvhani, was a smidge overweight, coming in 0.2 pounds above the 154 junior middleweight limit. He was given time to take off the excess weight although he looked to be in excellent condition.

The card is to be streamed on Vision View TV.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Odelia Ben Ephraim to Face Lydie Bialic for French Title

Featherweight Odelia "Thunder" Ben Ephraim is scheduled to fight Lydie Bialic at the Palais des sports in Cohors, France. This bout is for the French featherweight title.

Ben Ephraim just turned 24 yesterday. She sports a record of 4-2 and BoxRec rates her at number 44 in the division. She has only lost to one woman, Anaelle Angerville. Both loses were close decisions. Their second tussle was also for the vacant French featherweight title.

Bialic (2-2-1) is a 22 year old native of Auch, France. Her two wins were against winless opponents, but her two losses were to quality foes. She last fought in April, a split draw against Laela El Ksiri.

Ben Ephraim and Bialic have trained together. The also share a common opponent. Ben Ephraim beat Romane Geffray by split decision in March of 2022 in a six-rounder. Bialic lost to Geffray in a close competitive fight this past February in a ten-rounder for a minor belt.

Ben Ephraim-Bialic should be an exciting fight. Odelia has no problem letting her hands go. Bialic likes to bob and weave her way in low while loading up huge punches. Bialic uses the jab as a decoy. She primarily throws looping overhand shots with either hand, uppercuts, and attacks the body. Odelia has shown vulnerability to those looping overhand shots, but she is an excellent punch-picker and Bialic leaves herself open when she throws.

This bout is scheduled for eight two-minute rounds.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Benny Pascal: Protégé of Benny Bass

Benny Pascal trained with two-division world champion Benny Bass and was briefly a title contender himself. Most of his fifty-plus fights took place while he was a teenager.


Benjamin Pascal was born on November 18, 1906 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents were both Romanian immigrants. His father Isaac was 34 years old when little Benny, the fifth of eight children, was born. His mother Ray (Rebecca) née Ianovitch was 32.

Benny grew up in the Southwark neighborhood of Philadelphia. During his formative years, the area was described as a Jewish slum. Benny picked up boxing at an early age and by the time he had turned fifteen, he was the amateur flyweight champion of the "Middle States."

Benny was fifteen and a half when he turned professional. At that time, May of 1922, only knockouts and disqualifications counted towards a boxer's official record in Pennsylvania. Decisions in fights eight rounds or fewer were illegal. To get around the law, newspapers printed their verdicts.

Pascal officially won four of his first five fights and scored a newspaper decision in the other bout. As the opposition improved, Benny would only score one more KO during the rest of his career. He won three more newspaper decisions against more experienced foes until finally dropping his first newspaper decision in September.

Late in the year, Pascal split a pair of newspaper decisions with George Helmar, the former amateur bantamweight champion of the Middle States. Pascal finished 1922 with an unofficial record of 12-4 after dropping three of his last four fights to close out the year. Officially, he was 4-0.

Pascal fought on on back-to-back days beginning on February 8. He had already fought at least five times in 1923 when he met Tommy Langdon in mid-March in Shamokin, PA. The fight was even heading into the final round when Pascal scored a clutch knockdown to take the newspaper decision in the most exciting fight of the night.

Pascal trained with Benny Bass. Bass would eventually become a two-division world champion, but at this point in their careers, it wasn't obvious which Benny would achieve greatness. Bass had turned pro three years before Pascal and on April 5, Bass, nicknamed "Little Fish," had to back out of an encounter with Billy Hines. Pascal stepped in and "trounced" the far-more experienced Hines for the second time in three weeks.

On July 23, Pascal was slated to take on Ralph Repman, the hottest prospect in Philadelphia at the time. One reporter described Pascal as "a polished, hard-hitting scrapper" and thought he would give Repman a tough fight. The day before the contest, Repman begged off due to illness, and Pascal fell in the eighth round to late-replacement Eddie Ochs, a respected veteran of the ring. Benny was floored in the sixth, seventh, and eighth rounds.

Pascal failed to show up for a fight in September and was briefly suspended by the New Jersey state athletic commission. Pascal was stopped for the second time in October. He grabbed a newspaper decision victory before the end of the year.

Starting on January 1, 1924, decisions were legalized in Pennsylvania. The referee was the lone arbiter for shorter bouts. Pascal celebrated the change with decision victories on the first two days of the year, both in six-rounders. He rounded out January with a good win over Sammy Schiff. After a draw in March, Pascal dropped a decision against Johnny Green, a quality fighter from New York and a fellow Jew. Still, Pascal was well-regarded.

On March 21, a pundit wrote that Pascal is "a bantamweight who has been creating a sensation in the Quaker City during recent months and has been frequently mentioned by the Philadelphia sports writers as a strong contender for the bantamweight crown." It would signify the pinnacle of Pascal's boxing career.

Though he fought until 1928, Pascal would earn only one more win during his rest of his career. Following the Green loss, Pascal dropped two more decisions before deciding on a change of scenery. Pascal made his California debut on June 7, 1924 and came away with a draw. This was California's four-round era when longer bouts were outlawed.

Pascal fought regularly throughout the summer, and received some unfavorable decisions. On July 20, he traveled down to Tijuana, Mexico and beat Kid Sunday in a six-rounder. It was his third fight of the week and would be his final victory. Mickey Flynn knocked out Benny in August in Tijuana. Pascal's next fight would not be until the following February when he would face his toughest opponent.

On January 1, 1925, California began allowing decisions for fights up to ten rounds. Pascal was scheduled to face Jackie Fields in a six-rounder on February 5 at the Armory in Pasadena. A precocious 16 year old phenom, Fields was the reigning Olympic featherweight gold medalist, having won the title in Paris, France the previous July. Technically, Fields, a fellow Jew who was making his long anticipated debut, shouldn't have been allowed to turn pro. Fields became the youngest ever boxer to win Olympic gold- a record that still stands- two years shy of the minimum age California required of professional boxers. But Fields was too popular to punish.

Ultimately, Benny would gain plaudits from the pundits for a game performance against Fields, but in reality, he was thoroughly outboxed and hit the canvas in the fifth round. He fought three more times over the next two months, two losses and a draw, before heading back home.

Pascal took off a year and four months before getting stopped in a six-rounder in Pennsylvania. Four months later, he fought and lost the only ten-rounder of his career. His final fight was a newspaper draw in Atlantic City, New Jersey on March 12, 1928. His record including newspaper decisions was something like 26-23-7. He was 21 years old.

As the Great Depression began, Pascal could be found in Jacksonville, Florida working as an awning maker. He was one of ten boarders staying at the house of Mila Kile, a 52 year old widow from Illinois. Though his birth certificate lists his name as Benjamin, Pascal began to go by Bernard.

During the 1930s, he moved back with his parents in Philadelphia where he worked in the clothing business trying to make ends meet. He soon married Bessie Schwartz. The couple had two children, Charlotte and Annette. By 1950, Pascal was a carpenter and had his own place with his wife and daughters. He later owned a meat store.

Benny Pascal died on June 9, 1976 at the age of 69. He was survived by his wife Bessie, daughters Charlotte, and Annette, three siblings, and three grandchildren.

"Danny Kramer K.O.s Frankie Rice." Harrisburg Telegraph. Apr. 6, 1923. Pg. 25.
"Gill and Smith in Next Boxing Show." York Daily Record. Jul. 16, 1923. Pg. 9.
“Jackie Fields Defeats Pascal in Pasadena Go.” Los Angeles Times. Pg. B1.
"Obituaries." Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Jun. 25, 1976.
"Ochs Kayoes Pascal." Lancaster New Era. Jul. 24, 1923. Pg. 10.
"Roach Breaks Ankle in Fifth in Airport Go." Press of Atlantic City. Sep. 15, 1923. Pg. 10.
“Sam Blackiston to Clash with Joe Leitz.” The Philadelphia Inquirer. Nov 1, 1922. Pg. 9.
“Thirty-Six Rounds on Program for Next Boxing Show on Mar. 31.” Shamokin News-Dispatch. Mar 21, 1924. Pg. 6.
Personal information from his birth certificate, and the U.S. Censuses of 1930, 1940, and 1950. Some aspects of his career from BoxRec.

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Lev Jackson to Fight in December

Southpaw lightweight Lev Jackson is scheduled to fight on December 1 at the Taj Park Convention Centre in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. The show is promoted by Bisla Boxing.

Jackson is a 31 year old with a record of 3-1-1 (one KO). This fight is basically a home game for Lev. Surrey, which borders the United States, is very close to his hometown of Vancouver.

No opponent has been named and the number of rounds has yet to be announced. Jackson last fought on July 20. He won a six-rounder by majority decision over Luis Prieto.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Cletus Seldin Wins Rough Fight by TKO

Cletus “Hebrew Hammer” Seldin earned a hard-fought TKO when he stopped Patrick “Yam Mallet” Okine in the sixth round tonight at Sony Hall in New York, New York, USA on a card promoted by Boxing Insider. Ending a two-year layoff, Seldin admitted, “The fight to get into this ring was so hard. I had so much emotion all day.”

Seldin made an appearance ringside to greet his parents about three hours before the fight. With twenty minutes until the opening bell, the “Hamma Heads,” Seldin’s legion of faithful fans, bellowed, “Hammer! Hammer!” in anticipation.

When the fight arrived, Okine was loose, dancing to the ring as Terminator by King Promise blared over the sound system. By contrast, Seldin seemed pumped and tightly wound.

Both men opened the bout with fireworks. Seldin attacked the body with rights while Okine launched dangerous left hooks. Okine’s left hook was almost the story of the fight.

In the second, the Ghanaian began to retreat to the ropes, another significant feature of the fight. Cletus couldn’t quite take advantage and Okine fought well off the ropes and out of the corner. Seldin ducked a left hook, but Patrick dipped and came up with a concussive right. That and a late left hook helped Okine carry the round.

By the third, the story mostly seemed set. A fatigued Seldin continued to bore his way forward. Okine kept retreating only to connect with hurtful left hooks. Cletus blocked many of them, keeping his right glove by his cheek, but enough got in to cause swelling around his right eye.

The fourth saw Patrick add a slight hesitation to his left hook, which threw off Seldin’s defensive timing. The New Yorker took the fifth when Okine spent some time running. Fans ringside felt Seldin was in trouble as his face continued to swell and Okine shoe-shined a couple times while trapped in the corner. The truth was Okine was fading, just as he had in his previous big fights.

Okine started the sixth strong with more fully-leveraged left hooks. At the exact moment Cletus looked to be in trouble, he unleashed two right hands that sent Okine tumbling to the canvas. Seldin next used his left Grant glove to smash Okine while the latter was on the ropes. Ref Ricky Gonzalez leapt in to stop the fight and save Okine from further damage.

Seldin advances to 27-1 with 23 KOs. Okine is now 22-6-2 with 19 KOs. Of all the well wishes Cletus received before the fight, he said one stuck out, “Win for Israel.”

Promoter Larry Goldberg joked that fans came to see the only Jewish boxer and the only Jewish promoter in the country. Other dignitaries at the fight included Hall of Fame promoter and matchmaker Russell Peltz, the estimable scribe Thomas Hauser, and legendary heavyweight great Larry Holmes.

Monday, October 9, 2023

Cletus Seldin and Patrick Okine Weigh In

Cletus Seldin and Patrick Okine weighed in ahead of their clash tomorrow night at Sony Hall in New York, New York, United States. Seldin-Okine will be featured on a show promoted by Boxing Insider.

Seldin (26-1, 22 KOs) came in at 142.4 pounds. This is well within his normal range. The lightest Cletus has come in for a fight has been 138.3 pounds. He weighed that for his bout against Zab Judah in 2019. The heaviest Cletus has weighed in was 148. He did that in his second and third pro fights. Seldin made the 140-pound junior welterweight limit in his last three fights as they were all for the NABA strap.

Okine (22-5-2, 19 KOs) tipped the scales at 137.2 pounds. The heaviest he has weighed for a fight was 139 pounds, which he last did in March. Of his recorded weights, the lightest he has been is 126, which he last did in 2012 against Lee Selby.

A five pound advantage is noteworthy at this weight. It is among several advantages Seldin holds heading into the fight. But Okine is a dangerous puncher as he showed in his last fight on September 9. Against a novice opponent, Okine earned a second round KO at the famed Bukom Boxing Arena in Accra, Ghana.

This bout is scheduled for eight rounds. For a full preview, click here.

Courtesy of Boxing Insider

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Introducing Lev Jackson

Southpaw Lev Jackson is an all-action brawler from East Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In six pro fights, the 31 year old has amassed a record of 3-1-1 with one no contest and one KO. He turned pro in 2019. After a two and a half year layoff, his career has revved up since November of 2021.

Jackson first became infatuated with boxing after watching Rocky as a kid. A precocious teenager, he became a boxing writer and covered local fights for various outlets. Lev starting training at 15 with the support of his mother.

The road hasn't been easy for Jackson. A two-time Canadian amateur featherweight champ, he has found success in the ring despite battling Crohn's disease. Because of the disease, he had to stop boxing for three years on doctor's orders. So, Lev temporarily joined the world of professional wresting.

After Jackson won his debut, he came away with a draw in his second fight. In his next bout, Lev slammed a right hook into Herman Cheuk's chin in the second round of their fight in July of 2022. Cheuk staggered back to the ropes and Jackson followed up, forcing the referee to stop the contest.

Aggressive southpaw volume punchers are rarer than a shy Jehovah's Witness, but Lev Jackson has created his own mold. Against the far more experienced Mario Victorino Vera last October, Jackson started the fight like he was "shot out of a cannon." It was his first six-rounder and he couldn't sustain his eye-popping activity. He dropped the decision.

An accidental headbutt last March halted the fight against Elroy Fruto when Jackson took the worst of the collision. Jackson had beaten Fruto twice in the amateurs. This past July, Lev learned from his mistakes and was far more patient in his second six-rounder. He earned a decision victory over Luis Prieto.

Jackson works with coaches Junior Moar and JY Kim. To compensate for Crohn's disease, he feels he has to train much harder than his opponents do. Fueled by hard work, Lev looks to follow in the footsteps of the many great Jewish Canadian boxers who have come before him.

Friday, October 6, 2023

Josh Feldman to Make Debut

Southpaw junior middleweight Joshua Feldman is scheduled to make his professional debut on October 21. He is scheduled to fight Mbulelo Aluvhani of Limpopo, South Africa. The bout will take place at Box Camp Booysens in Johannesburg, South Africa.

From Cape Town, Feldman is now based at the Hot Box Gym in Jozi. The start of his career has seen a few delays thanks to a spider bite and the promoter's licensing issues. Now that things have cleared up, the 19 year old prospect is ready to make the leap into the pro ranks.