Okun was a light-heavyweight in the 1920s and early 1930s, and his co-manager, Leo Bodnar, "Yale was a clever boxer. He didn't like to get hit, and he had a punch, and he was always on his toes, so even when he hit the guy, there was no power behind it. Because he was always on his toes. He didn't stay still to hit a guy...He never got a shot at the championship because at that time Maxie Rosenbloom was the champ and they started bringing up Bob Olin . And Rosenbloom gave the title to Bob Olin."
Birth and Death Dates:
A light-heavyweight, Okun began his career in 1924 and the following year fought future world champion Maxie Rosenbloom on February 13; the bout ended in six-round draw. In 1926, Yale fought another future champ, Tommy Loughran. The two boxers fought twice in the span of three weeks in Loughran's hometown of Philadelphia, with Loughran winning both bouts by decision. After losing to contender Leo Lomski in a 10-round decision in 1927, Okun defeated future heavyweight champion James J. Braddock in August 1929, but lost a rematch with Rosenbloom four months later. Okun's final great opponent was future world champ John Henry Lewis. Lewis defeated him in 1932 in a 10-round decision and then knocked him out in the third-round of their November 1934 bout. Okun retired following the second fight with Lewis having won 54 of 78 decisions, but never receiving a title shot.
Wins: 54 (11 by knockout)
No decisions : 10
Use links below to navigate through the boxing section of Jews In Sports.
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co, 1965)
When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport, by Allan Bodner (Connecticut: Praeger, 1997)