Benny Leonard vs. Rocky Kansas / Lightweight Championship and RECAP

By David Martinez / Boxing Historian / dmboxing.com

As many of my faithful readers and friends know, my greatest lightweight of all time and #2 greatest boxer “pound for pound” of all time is Benny Leonard 탱고음악 다운로드.

At the height, peak, prime, pinnacle of his career he was flawless. His boxing mechanics in the ring – feints, ducks, sidesteps, and hooks – were textbook, with a terrific left-hand piston jab which he used to perfection 울타리 3.5 다운로드. He fought over two hundred fights and suffered only four knockouts, three early in his career and the fourth in his final fight.

Leonard, nicknamed “The Ghetto Wizard”, was similar to Sugar Ray Robinson in the fact that he had no significant weaknesses 다운로드.

Benny Leonard (Benjamin Leiner) was born in New York City on April 7, 1896. As a young kid he engaged in many street fights, gang related, in the neighborhood where he grew up 문명의 시대 아시아 다운로드. He made his professional debut on October 14, 1911 when he was just fifteen years old. Benny took the name Leonard after his true name, Leiner, was pronounced incorrectly several times; but most importantly, he made the change because he didn’t want his parents to know he was a fighter 다운로드.

He fought the greatest lightweights and welterweights of his era including, just to name a few, Johnny Dundee, Patsy Cline, Freddie Welsh, Johnny Kilbane, Jack Britton, Ritchie Mitchell, Ted “Kid” Lewis, Willie Ritchie, Charley White, Lew Tendler, and Jimmy McLarnin.

Leonard held the lightweight title for seven-and-a-half years from 1917 to 1925.

Leonard and Rocky Kansas would fight four times, and although Leonard would win all of those bouts, it was fight #3 which was the one that a very good friend of mine, the late Mr. Emil DeLoreto, attended on February 10, 1922 at Madison Square Garden, New York. About sixty years later, he would personally recall in detail that fight to me.

In the opening rounds, Kansas rushed in and ripped into Leonard’s body with wild punches, as Leonard jabbed him repeatedly with a straight left managing his distance most effectively.

But Kansas kept a vicious pace by crowding and clinching Leonard, who started to bleed from the nose. The crowd began to wonder… was this to be a Leonard defeat?

Midway through the fight, Kansas turned southpaw, trying to confuse the champion.  

Leonard would maintain his superior skills and in round eleven executed a perfect short right hand to the jaw that dropped Kansas.

The bout would go the distance, 15 rounds, with Leonard winning and retaining his title.

Leonard would retire in 1925, but hard times and losing money in the 1929 stock market crash brought him back to the ring in 1931. He went 20-0-1 in his comeback before losing to Jimmy McLarnin by a 6th round knockout on October 7, 1932. Leonard then retired for good after the fight.

Ring Magazine founder and boxing historian Nat Fleischer ranked Leonard the #2 greatest lightweight of all time behind Joe Gans. Bert Sugar ranked him the #5 greatest boxer of all time behind Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, Harry Greb, and Jack Dempsey.

Leonard was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1955, the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1980, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Leonard died on April 18, 1947 after he collapsed in the ring of a heart attack at the St. Nicholas Arena in New York while refereeing a boxing match.

There are three quotes that I find most accurately describe Benny Leonard:

Michael Carbert (Author / thefightcity.com): “Leonard was one of the all time greats. A magnificent boxer, a deadly puncher, a brilliant ring strategist, and an extraordinary showman, ruling over the most formidable array of challengers in the annals of the lightweight division.”

Bert Sugar (Boxing Historian): “Leonard was the nearest thing to a perfect fighter boxing has ever seen. He combined the boxing ingenuity of Young Griffo, the masterful technique of James J. Corbett, the pinpoint accuracy of Joe Gans, the punching power of Jack Dempsey, the alertness of Gene Tunney, and the speed of Mike Gibbons.”

Ray Arcel (Legendary Boxing Trainer of 20 world champions including Barney Ross, Henry Armstrong, Max Baer, Sixto Escobar, Kid Gavilan, Tony Zale, Ezzard Charles, and Roberto Duran): “Leonard, he was the best I ever trained. When people ask me who’s the greatest boxer I ever saw pound for pound, I hesitate to say either Benny Leonard or Ray Robinson. But Leonard’s mental energy surpassed anyone else’s.”

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2 thoughts on “Benny Leonard vs. Rocky Kansas / Lightweight Championship and RECAP

  1. WOW! To hear about a fight in 1922…FROM SOMEONE IN ATTENDANCE! That’s as rare as Hen’s teeth. I’m so grateful that you share these golden nuggets of insight on dmboxing.com.

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