Schwartz, "Corporal" Izzy
Corporal Izzy -- whose nickname was bestowed on him because he learned to box in the U.S. Army -- claimed the world flyweight champion from 1927-29; he is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. October 23, 1900 - d. July 1988
Only 5'1", Schwartz was an extremely quick boxer who was in constant motion when fighting and was knocked out only once during his career. Also known as "The Ghetto Midget," he turned professional as a flyweight in 1922 and did not lose a fight that year. For the next five years, Schwartz built up a good reputation and was a contender in 1927 when world champion Fidel La Barba vacated the title. La Barba's retirement threw the division into turmoil as a undisputed champion could not be found. Schwartz was recognized as the world champ in New York when he defeated Newsboy Brown in December 1927, but the NBA (the National Boxing Association which represented about 30 states) and other state boxing commissions refused to recognize Schwartz as the champion and the title remained divided.
Despite holding a disputed championship, Schwartz defended his title in April 1928 and defeated Routier Parra in a 15-round decision. The following month, while still the flyweight champ, Schwartz fought Bushy Graham for the world bantamweight title, but lost the 15-round decision (the flyweight title was not on the line). He then successfully defended his flyweight crown three more times (including a victory over former NBA champion Albert "Frenchy" Belanger) before vacating the crown in August 1929 -- the New York Commission ordered an elimination tournament to crown its champion, but the division was not unified until 1937. Corporal Izzy retired in 1932 with 69 wins in 117 career decisions.
New York City
5'1", 112 pounds
Wins: 69 (7 by knockout)
No decisions: 8
Use links below to navigate through the boxing section of Jews In Sports.
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)