A member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, Stoltz was a top lightweight contender from Newark in the late 1930s and 1940s. He fought for the world title twice, but lost both bouts, including a controversial decision against Sammy Angott in 1942. Looking back at the bout years later, Stolz observed, "The only time my mother ever saw me fight was when I fought Sammy Angott...in which they so badly and undisputedly stole the decision from me...I had him on the deck in the third round. It looked like he was knocked out...the referee gave me eleven out of fifteen rounds, but the two judges voted 8-6-1 identically. Now use your imagination, can you? It was a heartbreaker for me because as a kid, ten years old, I had only wanted to be the lightweight champion of the world. I loved Benny Leonard, Al Singer. And this was my dream. My deep dream! I mean to this day it disturbs me...Because I definitely and decidedly licked this man, no question about it. And if those shenanigans did not go on, I'd have been champion of the world..."
Stolz took his being a Jewish boxer very seriously. While other Jewish boxers refused to admit that they were "emissaries" of their people, He saw himself as a representative of other Jews. He said, "Among boxers you had it (anti-Semitism) on occasion. I had fellows walk into my dressing room and say, 'You Jew bastard.' You know. And I said, 'You'll pay for it.' I was not overconfident, but I was a cocky kid, because I could handle myself." Stolz's hero growing up was Benny Leonard; as Allie explained, "I guess Leonard was a role model also because he was Jewish. That would contribute quite a bit to it. And Benny Leonard was the model for all that. He set the example of how a Jewish boxer should behave..."
Birth and Death Dates:
b. September 2, 1918 - d. September 4, 2000
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Stolz moved to Newark and was introduced to boxing in the third grade when he saw his first bout. By the age of 10, he was hanging out in boxing gyms, and began fighting as an amateur at the age of 16. In 1937, the year after winning New Jersey's 112-pound championship, Stolz turned professional as a featherweight. He quickly moved up the ranks by going undefeated in his first 22 fights and in December 1939, he fought No. 1 contender Petey Scalzo, but was knocked out in the fourth round (Scalzo won the world championship five months later). The following year, Stolz moved up to lightweight and had the same success he had as a featherweight. In fact, Stolz was even better as a lightweight and was a top contender after knocking Scalzo out in the eighth-round of their rematch in December 1941.
The following May, Stolz got a shot at the world lightweight title against champion Sammy Angott. In front of 16,099 fans at Madison Square Garden, the two fighters battled for 15-rounds. Stolz registered the only knockdown of the fight, in the third round, but two low blows in the 12th and 14th lost points. In the end, Stolz lost a controversial decision as the referee gave Stolz 11 of 15 rounds, but the judges awarded Angott the victory. To many observers, Stolz had won the fight and the New York Times wrote that the crowd at Madison Square Garden (especially the 4,000 Newark residents), "made their dissatisfaction known by setting up a loud roar of protestation." Rumors spread that organized crime figures bribed the judges because Stolz would not drop his manager in favor of one they could control (it wouldn't be the only time that's happened in professional boxing).
Deeply disappointed at the decision, Stolz fought four more fights before he joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943. One of these bouts was against legendary world featherweight champion Willie Pep in a non-title fight; he lost a ten-round decision. After Stolz was discharged from the Coast Guard later that year, he resumed his boxing career, and won his first fight back in December 1943. He then earned another title shot in 1946 by winning 13 of his next 16 fights. On June 6, 1946, Stolz fought New York Commission world champion Bob Montgomery; Stolz was knocked out in the 13th round. He retired after that fight, and remained active in Newark's Jewish community until his death in 2000.
Hoboken, New Jersey
5'6-1/2", 133 pounds
Wins: 73 (20 by knockout)
Use links below to navigate through the boxing section of Jews In Sports.
When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport by Allen Bodner, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997).
New York Times, May 16, 1942