Johnny Buff

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Johnny Buff
Real name John Lesky
Nickname(s) Johnny Buff
Rated at Bantamweight
Height 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m)
Nationality United States American
Born (1888-06-12)12 June 1888
Perth Amboy, New Jersey  USA
Died 14 January 1955(1955-01-14)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 50
Wins 31
Wins by KO 14
Losses 12
Draws 3
No contests 3

John "Johnny Buff" Lesky (June 12, 1888 – January 14, 1955) was an American boxer. He was World Bantamweight Champion from 1921 to 1922.[1]

Boxing career[edit]

In 1921, Buff won both the World Bantamweight Championship and the American Flyweight Championship. He became the flyweight champion by defeating Abe Goldstein in New York City on March 31, 1921. Six months later, on September 23, he won the bantamweight title by defeating Pete Herman in Madison Square Garden. He lost both titles in 1922.[1]

He held wins over Tommy Gorman, Abe Goldstein, Charles Ledoux and "Little" Jack Sharkey during his career.

Outside the ring[edit]

Lesky enlisted into the United States Navy prior to World War I. When the war arrived, he waived the family exemption, and joined the Navy for a second time. After his professional boxing career, he enlisted for a third time in the Navy, becoming a gunner's mate on the USS Wyoming (BB-32) by 1928.

In the military he was known as "Gunner's Mate Spike Lisky", serving aboard the USS California (BB-44). It was said at the time that he was the only United States Navy sailor to have become a world champion.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Lesky is the grandfather of modern-day boxing and MMA announcers Michael Buffer and Bruce Buffer. He married Elizabeth Lisky with whom he had three children: Jimmy, Johnny and Theresa. There were other grandchildren: Walter Palac, Cheryl Palac, and their cousins Jimmy, Mark and Jeannie Lisky.


  1. ^ a b "JOHNNY BUFF, HELD TWO BOXING TITLES", The New York Times, January 18, 1955, p. 27.
  2. ^ August 7, 1928 Daily News Searchlight newspaper of navy town Bremerton, WA

External links[edit]

Title last held by
Frankie Mason
American Flyweight Champion
March 31, 1921 – September 14, 1922
Succeeded by
Pancho Villa
Preceded by
Pete Herman
World Bantamweight Champion
September 21, 1921 – July 10, 1922
Succeeded by
Joe Lynch