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Sunday, May 5, 2024

Jews in the AP's Best Boxers of the 20th Century

In 1999, a five-member panel chose the top ten pound-for-pound fighters of the twentieth century. Benny Leonard was ranked as the eighth best fighter overall. The panel also chose the top ten fighters in eight weight divisions and the top five in two more classes.

Below are of the Jewish fighters who made the various lists, starting with the heaviest:

Maxie Rosenbloom, who held the light heavyweight world championship for over four years, was ranked tenth among 175-pounders.

Barney Ross, who won world titles in the three weight classes, ranked number five among welterweights and number two among junior welterweights. Aaron Pryor is the only junior welterweight ranked higher.

Benny Leonard was viewed as the second best lightweight. He held the world championship for nearly eight years. Only Roberto Duran ranked higher. Duran also placed one better than Leonard on the pound-for-pound list.

Abe Attell, who held the world featherweight championship for six years, placed tenth. Attell's ranking seems particularly low.

Corporal Izzy Schwartz came in as the ninth best flyweight.

Comparing these lists to the IBRO's 2019 rankings is interesting. For the most part, these Jewish fighters ranked a little lower on the 2019 lists, which is to be expected as time passes and new fighters become eligible. Attell, however, was ranked number four on the IBRO's featherweight list, considerably higher (and likely more accurate) than on the AP's list.

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