Fleischer, Nat : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Fleischer, Nat

Nathaniel Stanley Fleischer

Known as "Mr. Boxing," Fleischer was a major pioneer of modern boxing, and is considered the world's leading ring historian and author. The founder and publisher of Ring Magazine, Fleischer is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. November 3, 1887 - d. 1972

Career Highlights:
Growing up on the Lower East Side, Fleischer's interest in boxing came at an early age. Only 5'2", he wanted to be a prizefighter, but after being knocked out in the first round of an amateur match when he was 15, he instead worked for various newspapers and publications. Fleischer founded Ring Magazine in 1922; it quickly became the authoritative voice in rating fighters, since it was the only magazine which devoted comprehensive coverage to boxing.

As editor, writer, referee, and judge, Fleischer's influence on boxing is remarkable. He initiated boxing's rating system, encouraged television coverage to maintain the public's interest, and helped establish boxing commissions around the world. He refereed and judged more than 1000 fights, and wrote more than 60 books on boxing, including the annual Ring Record Book (first published in 1942), still considered the authoritative source book in boxing.

Fleischer used his magazine to speak out against corruption in boxing, and to warn about the influence of television. He became the moral conscience of the sport, as he advocated extensive physical examinations for fighters, padded rings, and other innovations. Fleischer believed that titles should be won and lost in the ring. While he sometimes denigrated Muhammad Ali's abilities, he continued to list Ali as champion after he had been stripped of his title for refusing induction into the army during the Vietnam War (Ali was later vindicated in a unanimous Supreme Court decision). Fleischer was also one of the founders of the Boxing Writers Association. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, and of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

New York City

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co, 1965)