History | Dec 23 2017

On This Day: One of the toughest fighters ever, Barney Ross, was born in 1909

Bob Mee pays tribute to the 'Pride of the Ghetto' Barney Ross
Barney Ross

BARNEY ROSS, the “Pride of the Ghetto”, was clever, quick, exciting to watch – and blessed with an iron chin. In 81 fights, against the best fighters of his generation, nobody, but nobody knocked him out.

Ross beat the man he always considered the most talented he ever faced, Tony Canzoneri, over 10 rounds in Chicago to earn recognition as the world lightweight champion in June 1933. The little-regarded light-welterweight title came with it.

He beat Canzoneri again over 15 rounds in New York in September 1933, and lest we consider it unimportant, defended the 140lbs championship six times in nine months, before moving up to challenge Jimmy “Baby Face” McLarnin for the welterweight crown at Madison Square Garden’s Long Island Bowl in May 1934.