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Boxing, Inc.

June 2024
1min read

The article on boxing (October) was excellent, but I was sorry it did not bear more on the relationship of prize fighting to American ethnicity.

As you pointed out, America was not ready for a black heavyweight champion of the world when Jack Johnson won the title in 1908. But at least America could tolerate a black man as world champ by the time Joe Louis claimed the throne. More important, the black man had moved into the ghetto occupied by an earlier generation of white kids who were using their fists to fight their way out. Between 1901 and 1935 young pugs named Rosenberg, Goldstein, Kaplan, Rosovsky (Barney Ross), Rosenbloom, and Singer showed that Jews were among the current occupants, along with the Grazianos and Lamottas of a few years later. Prize fighting will always be a measure of who lives in the ghettos of America.

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