Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Boxing
Inducted: 1982
Country: United States
Born: June 10, 1891 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: February 12, 1949

World Light-Heavyweight Champion from 1916 to 1920, Battling Levinsky began his boxing career under the name Barney Williams. However, the former Barney Lebrowitz received little 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 labeled “no 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 to substantiate.

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.

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