Ted "Kid" Lewis

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Ted "Kid" Lewis
Ted Kid Lewis.jpg
Statistics
Real name Gershon Mendeloff
Nickname(s) The Aldgate Sphinx
Rated at Light Heavyweight
Middleweight
Welterweight
Height 5 ft 7.5 in (1.71 m)
Reach 69 in (175 cm)
Nationality English
Born Varies depending on source, either 28 October 1893[1] or 24 October 1894[2][3]
St George's, London
Died 20 October 1970(1970-10-20) (aged 75)
Boxing record
Total fights 299
Wins 233
Wins by KO 80
Losses 41
Draws 25
No contests 0

Ted "Kid" Lewis (born Gershon Mendeloff; 28 October 1893 – 1970) was an English professional boxer who twice won the World Welterweight (147 lb) Championship. Lewis is often grouped alongside the all-time greats, with ESPN ranking him 41st on their list of the 50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time and boxing historian Bert Sugar placing him 46th in his Top 100 Fighters catalogue.[4][5] Statistical boxing website BoxRec ranks Lewis as the 17th best welterweight of all-time and the 2nd best UK boxer ever.[6] He is a member of the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame

Boxing career[edit]

Career beginnings[edit]

Lewis was born in a gas-lit tenement in the Aldgate Pump section of London’s East End as Gershon Mendeloff. One of his brothers became a boxer under the name of Lou (Kid) Lewis. It was as a member of London’s Judean Athletic Club that Mendeloff assumed the name "Kid" Lewis ("Ted" was added later, in America). At 14 he fought for sixpence and a cup of tea. He later won the Club’s Flyweight title and took home a cup of imitation silver.

He became a professional boxer in 1909. On 6 October 1913, Lewis won the British Featherweight Championship with a 17th round knockout of Alec Lambert at London’s National Sporting Club. A year later, on 2 February 1914, at London’s Premierland, he won the European Featherweight title from Paul Til via a 12th round foul. Still in 1914, campaigning as a lightweight and welterweight, Lewis left London and toured Australia. In 1915 Lewis traveled to the United States, fighting Phil Bloom in New York’s Madison Square Garden. He won a decision.

Rivalry with Jack Britton[edit]

Lewis (left), shaking hands with arch-rival Jack Britton

In Boston’s Armory, on 31 August of that same year, he fought the man known as the "Boxing Marvel," Jack Britton, for the Welterweight title. Lewis won in a twelve-round decision, becoming World Welterweight Champion and beginning an historic rivalry. From 1915 to 1921 Lewis and Britton fought 20 times, a total of 224 rounds. In 24 April 1916, in New Orleans, Lewis lost the title to Britton. He reclaimed it on 25 June 1917, at Westwood Field, Dayton, Ohio. He lost the title for the last time on 17 March 1919, in Canton, Ohio, when Britton knocked him out in the 9th round — the only knockout of the series. The roundup of his matches with Britton: Lewis won 3, lost 4, and had 1 draw. There were 12 no decisions. After his last loss to Britton, Lewis returned to England.

Lewis vs. Carpentier[edit]

On 9 June 1920, at London’s Olympia Exhibition Centre, he beat Johnny Basham to win the British and European Welterweight titles. He relinquished these in December of that year due to difficulty in making the weight. His drive to fight Georges Carpentier, World and European Light Heavyweight Champion, came to fruition on 11 May 1922, in the Olympia. Lewis, fighting at 150 pounds to Carpentier’s 175, spent most of the first round giving the heavier man a drubbing. Then referee Joe Palmer put a hand on Lewis’s shoulder to warn him against holding. Carpentier took advantage of this distraction and sneaked in a vicious right. The Kid went crashing to the canvas and was counted out. The Olympia crowd erupted furiously, crying, "foul," but to no avail. The Kid remained nonplussed. "I felt cheated, but I didn’t bear any grudge," he would later say.

Later career[edit]

On 6 June 1922, at Holland Park Rink, London, Lewis knocked out Frankie Burns to win the British Middleweight title. On 11 November the same year, also at Holland Park Rink, he beat Roland Todd to win the European Middleweight title. He did not hold either title long, losing both at the Royal Albert Hall on 15 February 1923 after a gruelling rematch with Todd.

Lewis won his last two titles, the British and European Welterweight crowns, on 3 July 1924 — again at London’s Royal Albert Hall — by defeating Hamilton Johnny Brown. Two years later, on 26 November 1924, at Waverley Market Hall in Edinburgh, he lost these championships to the much younger Scotsman, Tommy Milligan. He continued boxing until 1929, adding 20 more fights. His final record was: 299 bouts, 233 won, 41 lost, 25 draws, 65 no decisions, 80 knockouts. Lewis started his career as an evasive boxer, with a long left. During the six years he spent in America he changed his style, becoming a swarming, combination boxer-fighter.

Notable bouts[edit]

Result Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes[7]
Win Wales Johnny Basham TKO 3 (10) 1929-12-13 United Kingdom Pitfield Street Baths, Hoxton, London
Loss United States Maxie Rosenbloom DQ 6 (15) 1928-07-31 United States Queensboro Stadium, Queens, New York
Loss Scotland Tommy Milligan PTS 20 1924-11-26 Scotland Industrial Hall, Edinburgh
Loss United Kingdom Roland Todd PTS 20 1923-02-15 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Win United Kingdom Roland Todd PTS 20 1922-11-20 United Kingdom Holland Park Rink, Kensington, London
Loss France Georges Carpentier KO 1 (20) 1922-05-11 United Kingdom Olympia, Kensington, London For World Light Heavyweight Title.
Win Wales Johnny Basham RTD 12 (20) 1921-10-14 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Loss United States Jack Britton UD 15 1921-02-07 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York For World Welterweight Title.
Win Wales Johnny Basham KO 19 (20) 1920-11-19 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Loss United States Mike O'Dowd NWS 12 1920-09-23 United States Westside Ballpark, Jersey City, New Jersey
Win Wales Johnny Basham RTD 9 (20) 1920-06-09 United Kingdom Olympia, Kensington, London
Win Wales Jerry Shea KO 1 (20) 1920-02-28 Wales Mountain Ash Pavilion, Mountain Ash
Win Wales Frank Moody KO 1 (15) 1920-01-13 United Kingdom Free Trade Hall, Manchester, Lancashire
Win United Kingdom Matt Wells RTD 12 (20) 1919-12-26 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Loss United States Mike O'Dowd NWS 10 1919-09-01 United States Syracuse Arena, Syracuse, New York For World Middleweight Title.
Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Jack Britton NWS 8 1919-07-28 United States Armory A.A., Jersey City, New Jersey For World Welterweight Title.
Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Jack Britton KO 9 (12) 1919-03-17 United States Canton Auditorium, Canton, Ohio Lost World Welterweight Title.
Draw United States Benny Leonard NWS 8 1918-09-23 United States Weidenmeyer's Park, Newark, New Jersey Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Jack Britton NWS 6 1918-06-20 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1918-05-02 United States Town Hall, Scranton, Pennsylvania Retained World Welterweight Title.
Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1918-03-06 United States Armory Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia Retained World Welterweight Title.
Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Mike O'Dowd PTS 12 1917-08-28 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Win United States Mike O'Dowd NWS 10 1917-08-17 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Win United States Jack Britton PTS 20 1917-06-25 United States Westwood Field, Dayton, Ohio Won World Welterweight Title.
Win United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1917-05-24 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Win United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1917-06-06 United States Saint Louis Coliseum, Saint Louis, Missouri Newspaper Decision
Win United States Mike O'Dowd NWS 10 1917-05-24 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Win United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1917-05-19 Canada Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario Newspaper Decision
Win United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1917-03-26 United States Queen City A.C., Cincinnati, Ohio Newspaper Decision
Draw United States Jack Britton PTS 12 1916-11-14 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Loss United States Jack Britton PTS 12 1916-10-17 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts
Loss United States Mike Gibbons NWS 10 1916-05-18 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Jack Britton PTS 20 1916-04-24 United States Louisiana Auditorium, New Orleans, Louisiana Lost World Welterweight Title.
Loss United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1916-02-15 United States Broadway Arena, Brooklyn, New York Retained World Welterweight Title.
Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1916-01-20 United States Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York Retained World Welterweight Title.
Newspaper Decision
Win United States Willie Ritchie NWS 10 1915-12-28 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York Retained World Welterweight Title.
Newspaper Decision
Win United States Jack Britton PTS 12 1915-09-28 United States Arena (Atlas A.A.), Boston, Massachusetts Retained World Welterweight Title.
Win United States Jack Britton PTS 12 1915-08-31 United States Boston Arena, Boston, Massachusetts Won World Welterweight Title.
Draw United Kingdom Charley White NWS 10 1915-07-21 United States St. Nicholas Arena, New York, New York Newspaper Decision
Loss United States Jack Britton NWS 10 1915-03-26 United States 135th Street A.C., New York, New York Newspaper Decision

Life after boxing[edit]

He would later act as a bodyguard and local election candidate for Oswald Mosley's New Party. However, Lewis fell out with Mosley when his subsequent political movement, the British Union of Fascists became openly anti-Semitic.

He died in 1970.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ted Kid Lewis". Boxrec.com. Retrieved 20 January 2011. 
  2. ^ Ted "Kid" Lewis (Gershon Mendeloff)[dead link]
  3. ^ "Ted "Kid" Lewis". IBHOF. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time". ESPN. Retrieved 2014-04-30. 
  5. ^ Bert Randolph Sugar (2005). Boxing's Greatest Fighters. Lyons Press. ISBN 978-1-59228-632-4. 
  6. ^ "All-time World Welterweights". from BoxRec.com. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Ted Kid Lewis' Professional Boxing Record. BoxRec.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-18.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bert Randolph Sugar, The 100 Greatest Boxers of all Time, 1984, A Rutledge Book published by Bonanza, Crown Publishers, pp. 88–89.
  • Nat Fleischer and Sam Andre, updated by Dan Rafael, An Illustrated History of Boxing, 2001 Edition, Citadel Press, pp. 262, 264, 265.
  • Morton Lewis, Ted "Kid" Lewis, His Life and Times, 1990, Robson Books, LTD, Great Britain.

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Jack Britton
World Welterweight Champion
August 31, 1915 – April 24, 1916
Succeeded by
Jack Britton
World Welterweight Champion
June 25, 1917 – March 17, 1919