Jeby, Ben : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Jeby, Ben

Morris Benjamin Jebaltowsky

Jeby was the world middleweight champion in 1933.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. December 27, 1909 - d. October 1985

Career Highlights:
After a successul amateur career, Jeby turned professional in 1927 and moved up the ranks in the middleweight division. In September 1930, he defeated former world welterweight champ Joe Dundee in an eight-round decision (Dundee retired the following year). Although Jeby lost to Vince Dundee (Joe's brother) on June 4, 1931, he was a top contender for the middleweight crown when the title was vacated by Mickey Walker only fifteen days later. The division soon fragmented as the NBA (National Boxing Association) recognized Gorilla Jones as the champion and the IBU (International Boxing Union) recognized Frenchman Marcel Thil. Jeby staked his claim to the title by winning all but one of his fights in 1932 and the following year, he got a shot at the title.

The New York Commission, possibly the most powerful in the 1930s, did not recognize either Jones or Thil as champion. After a year-and-a-half with a vacant championship, the New York Commission recognized Jeby as world champion after he knocked out Frank Battaglia in the 12th-round on January 13, 1933. Two months later, Jeby fought Vince Dundee in a rematch, this time for the title, and retained the belt with a 15-round draw (the only middleweight champion to ever retain his title with such a verdict). Jeby successfully defended his title (and revenged an earlier defeat) in July against top contender Young Terry, winning a 15-round decision.

A month after beating Terry, Jeby faced Lou Brouillard for both the New York and NBA versions of the title; the NBA title was considered vacant because it refused to recognize Marcel Thil, who had defeated Gorilla Jones in June 1932, as champion. Although the IBU still recognized Thil as champion, the American boxing world considered the Jeby-Brouillard bout for the undisputed world title. On August 9, 1933, Jeby's reign as world champ came to an end when he was knocked out in the seventh-round by Brouillard. After losing the title, Jeby fought sporadically, losing to both Vince Dundee and Young Terry in 1934, and then retired in 1936.

New York City

Career Statistics:
Professional record:
Wins: 54 (22 by knockout)
Losses: 14
Draws: 4
No contests: 1

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co, 1965)