Rosenberg, Charley Phil : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Rosenberg, Charley Phil

Charles Green

A member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, Rosenberg was the world bantamweight champion from 1925-27.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. August 15, 1902 - d. March 12, 1976

Career Highlights:
Rosenberg turned professional as a bantamweight in 1921 with less than stellar results; he lost four of five fights that year (the other bout was a draw). The following year, he struggled early, losing his first two bouts, including a 12-round decision to future flyweight champion Frankie Genaro in May 1922. Two months later, Rosenberg won his first professional fight when he defeated Sammy Butts in a 10-round decision. Although he lost a rematch with Genaro in October 1922, and bouts with Charles "Bud" Taylor and Eddie "Cannonball" Martin in 1923, he was steadily improving and showing a propensity for toughness (he was never knocked down during his career).

By 1924, Rosenberg was turning into a good fighter and was using his speed and punching ability better than he had earlier in his career. In January, he lost a rematch with Martin (six-round decision) but then fought "Cannonball" to a draw three months later. Rosenberg then won his next nine fights, including three knockouts to set up a title bout with Martin in March 1925 (Martin won the world bantamweight championship in December 1924 from Abe Goldstein). In order to make the weight for his title challenge, Charley had to lose 39 pounds in 10 weeks. His trainer, Ray Arcel, who cajoled Rosenberg into losing the weight, recalls that Charley "hated me...He used to scream at me: 'You copper!' But he made the weight and went fifteen tough rounds..." On March 20, Charley defeated Martin in a 15-round decision to capture the world bantamweight crown.

Rosenberg successfully defended his title in 1926 against Eddie Shea, knocking the challenger out in the fourth-round. The following year, he was scheduled to fight contender Bushy Graham in February but could not make the required weight for the division. Despite this, the fight with Graham proceeded with Rosenberg winning a 15-round decision, but Charley nonetheless was stripped of the title and both he and Graham were suspended for having a secret agreement between them. He fought only twice more during his career (winning both bouts), and his final opponent was Hall of Famer Johnny Dundee, whom Charley defeated in a 10-round decision in January 1929. Charley won 36 of 58 career decisions and is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

New York City

Physical description:
5'4", 113-125 pounds

Career Statistics:
Professional record:
Wins: 36 (7 by knockout)
Losses: 16
Draws: 6
No decisions: 7

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Jewish Sports Legends: The International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, by Joseph Siegman (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, 2000)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co, 1965)