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

Tag Archives: lightweight champion

Rocky Kansas

Rocky Kansas (Boxing.  Born, Buffalo, NY, Apr. 21, 1895; died, Buffalo, NY, Jan. 10, 1954.)  Born Rocco Tozzo, Kansas was a lightweight who fought 165 times in a 21-year career (1911-32) and won the division championship in 1925.  Kansas fought just seven times in New York but earned headlines for two bouts against champion Benny […]

Beau Jack

Beau Jack (Boxing.  Born, Augusta, GA, Apr. 1, 1921; died, Miami Beach, FL, Feb. 9, 2000.)  Born Sidney Walker and a one-time shoeshiner at the Augusta National Golf Club, Beau Jack rose to twice become world lightweight champion (1941-42, 1943-44).  Jack, an entertaining boxer who was constantly in motion, was so popular with New York […]

Benny Leonard

Benny Leonard (Boxing. Born, New York, NY, Apr. 7, 1896; died, New York, NY, Apr. 18, 1947.) Benny Leonard’s pro career began and ended with knockout defeats, but in between, he reigned as world lightweight champion for eight years from 1917-25. Befitting a native New Yorker (born Benjamin Leiner), many of Leonard’s most famous fights […]

Sammy Mandell

Sammy Mandell (Boxing. Born, Rockford, IL, Feb. 5, 1904; died, Oak Park, IL, Nov. 7, 1967.) Though he fought mainly in the Midwest early in his career, Sammy Mandell (born Samuel R. Mandella) had several of his most important bouts in New York. Lightweight champion from 1926-30, he was a major contender when champion Benny […]

Roberto Duran

Roberto Duran (Boxing. Born, Guarare, Panama, June 16, 1951.)  Roberto Duran cemented his reputation as “The Hands of Stone” (“Manos de Piedra”) when he won the lightweight championship from Ken Buchanan on June 16, 1972 in a Madison Square Garden title fight that resembled a back alley mugging. All of Duran’s savage skills were on […]

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter (Boxing.  Born, Aiken, SC, Dec. 15, 1923; died, Aiken, SC, Sept. 21, 1994.)  The first man to win the same world title three times, James W. Carter was a dominating lightweight in the early 1950s.  Carter fought 27 bouts in New York before winning the championship the first time by defeating Ike Williams […]

Tony Canzoneri

Tony Canzoneri (Boxing.  Born, Slidell, LA, Nov. 6, 1908; died, New York, NY, Dec. 9, 1959.)  At 5’5”, Tony Canzoneri was one of the most dynamic fighters his size in ring history and also one of the most active, logging 175 career pro fights (of which he won 141, lost 25 and drew 10).  He ruled […]

Henry Armstrong

Henry Armstrong (Boxing.  Born, Columbus, MS, Dec. 12, 1912; died, Los Angeles, CA, Oct. 24, 1988.)  Henry Armstrong (whose real name was Henry Jackson) was the first man to hold three world boxing championships at the same time.  Armstrong won the featherweight, welterweight, and lightweight crowns in the span of fewer than ten months in […]

Alexis Arguello

Alexis Arguello (Boxing.  Born, Managua, Nicaragua, Apr. 19, 1952; died, Managua, Nicaragua, July 1, 2009.)   Boxing’s elegant assassin was a brilliant tactician who carried knockout power in both hands. Arguello began his career as a 16-year old in his native Nicaragua. After winning 35 of his first 37 fights, he knocked out Ruben Olivares in […]

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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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