Schwartz, Benny : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Schwartz, Benny

Schwartz was a good flyweight and bantamweight in the 1920s and early 1930s. He received two title shots and fought six world champions during his career. In late 1922 and early 1923, he was the Southern flyweight champion.

Birth and Death Dates:

Career Highlights:
Schwartz began his career as a flyweight in the early 1920s and lost only two of his first 27 professional fights (and four of his first 39). In November 1922, he defeated Little Jeff for the Southern flyweight championship, a title he retained with a March 1923 victory over Joe Belmont in Baltimore. In between those two bouts, Schwartz fought bantamweight champion Joe Lynch in a title bout in November 1922, but was knocked out in the fifth-round.

The following October, Schwartz was given a shot at the flyweight title when he faced champion Pancho Villa. Despite losing the 15-round decision, Ring magazine exclaimed that Benny, "gained many friends by his willingness to mix it at all times and showed the local skeptics that he could take punishment without flinching."

By the mid-1920s, Schwartz had moved up to bantamweight, but continued to fight the best boxers around. In March 1924, he lost a 12-round decision to contender (and former flyweight champion) Johnny Buff. In January 1927, he fought champion Charley Phil Rosenberg in a non-title bout. Schwartz lost a 12-round decision to Rosenberg, who would be stripped of his title the following month. After defeating Pinky May twice in 1928, Schwartz then fought future champ Panama Al Brown in March of that year and lost a ten-round decision at Madison Square Garden.

Schwartz continued to fight until the early 1930s and fought good fighters, but it was apparent his career was coming to end with losses to Young Nationalista in 1928, Johnny McCoy in 1929, and Speedy Dado in 1931. In December 1932, Schwartz then fought former contender and title claimant Pete Sanstol, who was making a comeback. Sanstol battered Schwartz across the ring round after round and won a unanimous decision. Schwartz retired shortly after, having never received another title shot.

Baltimore, Maryland

Physical description:
115-120 pounds

Career Statistics:
Professional record:
Wins: 79 (7 by knockout)
Losses: 36
Draws: 9

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When Boxing Was A Jewish Sport, by Allan Bodner (Connecticut: Praeger, 1997)
Ring Magazine, December 1923 issue (Volume 2, Number 10)