New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom

Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom (Boxing.  Born, New York, NY, Sept. 6, 1903; died, Los Angeles, CA, Mar. 6, 1976.)  Of the many boxers who sought acting careers, Maxie Rosenbloom was by far the most successful.  Not only was Rosenbloom a world light heavyweight champion, but he also appeared in over 30 films in a career during which he blended the two.  He began boxing as a pro in 1923, fought an astonishing 289 bouts, and was light heavy king for over two years (1932-34).  Rosenbloom appeared in films for 33 years (1933-66) but spent most of his later years bedridden thanks to beatings in the ring.  Rosenbloom decisioned Jimmy Slattery in 15 rounds in Buffalo, N.Y., June 25, 1930, to earn the New York State light heavy title.  In 1932, he fought 30 times starting on Jan. 1 and finishing Dec. 29, winning 25 and losing three, with two draws.  Rosenbloom beat top contender Lou Scozza three times that year and earned recognition as the world champion.  He set a record for the class with nine title defenses but lost the crown to Bob Olin at the Garden Nov. 16, 1934, in a 15-round decision.  Thereafter, Rosenbloom fought primarily on the West Coast and continued boxing until 1939.  He won 209 times, lost 35, and had 23 draws and 22 no-decisions.  Rosenbloom made his film debut in Mr. Broadway, made 12 more films while continuing his boxing career (including five in 1938) and appeared regularly during the war years in support of such stars as Humphrey Bogart, Paulette Goddard, Peter Lorre, Joan Blondell, and Abbott and Costello.  Damon Runyon (q.v.) named him “Slapsie Maxie” after his pawing style in the rung.  He also ran a Hollywood nightclub.

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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