Nicknamed the "French Flash," Valger was a terrific lightweight contender in the late 1910s and 1920s and fought the top boxers of his era, but never got a title shot.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. September 29, 1898 - d. October 1972
Valger was the U.S. amateur bantamweight champion in 1916, the same year he turned professional. The following year, he fought featherweight contender George "K.O." Chaney and the bout ended in a six-round no decision. In 1918, he fought two future world champions, bantamweight Joe Lynch and lightweight Rocky Kansas with both bouts ending in no decisions. The great Johnny Dundee defeated Valger in 1919, but he then defeated Cal Delaney and Matt Brock in 1920 before fighting Hall of Famer Johnny Kilbane in an eight-round no decision bout.
That year, Valger also took on future world lightweight champ Jimmy Goodrich in a bout that also ended in a no decision. The two fighters battled another three times over the next five years with the first fight ending in a draw, and Valger winning the second on a decision. The final fight took place on June 15, 1925 and Valger lost a 12-round decision to Goodrich; Goodrich's next fight was for the vacant lightweight title, which he won. The title had been vacated by the one great lightweight Valger did not fight, the legendary Benny Leonard, who had been champion since 1917. Never given the chance to fight Leonard, Valger never for fought for the title during his career, which lasted until 1929.
New York City
Wins: 77 (19 by knockout)
No decisions: 97
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)
Ring Magazine, November 1923 issue (Volume 2, Number 10)