Light-Heavyweight Champion from 1916 to 1920, Battling
Levinsky began his boxing
career under the name Barney Williams. However, the former
Barney Lebrowitz received
attention until he took on a manager named “Dumb” Dan
Morgan in 1913, who changed Barney’s name and
his boxing fortunes.
True to his new name, Battling Levinsky fought 37 times
in 1914—9 times in the month of January alone. In
January 1915, he began the year with three 10-round bouts
on New Year’s Day—1 each in Brooklyn, Waterbury,
Connecticut, and New York City.
After two title-match losses to Light Heavyweight Champion
Jack Dillon, (April 1914 and April 1916), Levinsky wrested
the crown from Dillon on October 24, 1916. Fifty-nine
bouts later, almost four years to the day, he lost
his championship to France’s Georges Carpentier.
In an era when boxing titles changed hands only because
of a knockout— non-KO championship fights were
decision”—Levinsky fought all comers, including
heavyweight champions-to-be Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey
(losing both matches). Levinsky loved to fight, although
his claim to having fought as many as 500 bouts is impossible
His official professional record: 287 bouts—won
192 (34 KOs), lost 52, drew 34, 9 no-decisions.
Levinsky was elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1966.