History | Apr 07 2018

On This Day: The supreme Benny Leonard was born in 1896

Daniel Herbert tells the story of Benny Leonard, the master boxer and destroyer
benny leonard
Benny Leonard

BENNY LEONARD, who reigned as world lightweight champion from 1917 to 1925, was such a great boxer that his position as the best ever at 9st 9lbs was called into question only with the arrival in the 1970s of Roberto Duran.

Leonard is pictured in our fabulous featured image holding back Harry Houdini, mock punched by great heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey.

Even in his own era, Leonard was considered to have surpassed Joe Gans, who bossed the lightweights in the very early 1900s, when the weight limit still fluctuated, and who figured in at least one contest widely acknowledged to have been fixed.