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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Year in Review: 2023

This year has been a great one for Jewish boxing! We got more fights and thankfully, fewer cancellations.

Some of the best:
Focused for Battle looks at several boxers' mindset during the referee's final instructions at center-ring right before the opening bell.
Sagiv Ismailov Wins Under Difficult Circumstances explores the trials an Israeli boxer faced just to take part in a fight in Germany in the wake of the Hamas attacks on October 7.
David Alaverdian Discusses His Last Fight shows what the talented fighter experienced during his gritty bout in April. The article also broke news of a virus that has kept David out of action ever since.
The Promoters' Screwjob is a behind-the-scenes look at Shawn Sarembock's personal introduction to the dirty side of boxing.
The Lasting Legacy of Boxing Historian Mike Silver is a retrospective on the man who wrote one of the  most important books about Jewish boxing history, Stars in the Ring.
Odelia Ben Ephraim Wins French Featherweight Title recaps the fight with great analysis from the fighter herself.
The Flying Hammer is a profile of Cletus Seldin: professional power puncher and part-time skydiver.
CSAC Cancelled Cohen-Bradley Due to "Large Weight Disparity" features reporting on why Stefi Cohen's January fight against Kedra Bradley was nixed at the last minute.

Recap of the fights:
Cletus Seldin ended a two-year hiatus with a win in a rough fight in October. Carolina Duer dropped a disputed split decision in April. Undefeated prospect Sagiv Ismailov fought four times in 2023. The recap of his last fight has links to the other three. Dr. Stefi Cohen went 2-0 with a win in February and another in June. David Alaverdian needed to make adjustments to win his bout in April. Odelia Ben Ephraim went 2-1 this year including a dominant victory in March. Mor Oknin grabbed a "W" in September. Three Jewish fighters won in Israel in February.

This year The Jewish Boxing Blog began covering the pro careers of Ben Ephraim, Josh Feldman, Alex Karchevski, Lev Jackson, and Sahar Meir.

The Top 5 series continues to look at the best 5 Jewish boxers in a particular area or category. Expect more Top 5s in 2024.

This year featured profiles of Alf Mansfield (a tough flyweight who fought Jimmy Wilde), Harry "Kid" Brown (an intelligent pioneer), Jack Silver (a popular Cali lightweight in the '20s), Frankie Fink (the "Yiddisher Cowboy"), Benny Pascal (a tough Philly fighter), Willie Buff (a pro star who embellished his amateur creds), and Ovadia Hochman (an amateur boxer who reinvented himself after scandal).

Sadly, Kenny "Bang Bang" Bogner passed away this year. Here is his obituary.

Book Reviews:
The Fighter of Auschwitz by Erik Brouwer
Stars and Scars by Jeff Jones
Matthew Saad Muhammad by William Dettloff
Family, Gangsters & Champions by Ramon Antonio Vargas
Tony Canzoneri by Mark Allen Baker
Baseball, Nazis & Nedick's Hot Dogs by Jerry Izenberg

Thank you all for reading this year! You can support The Jewish Boxing Blog by following on X/TwitterInstagram, and Threads; subscribing to the Jewish Boxing newsletter at Buy Me a Coffee for a one-time payment of $3; and using Amazon affiliate links on The JBB's Featured Books page. Your support is greatly appreciated!

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