Battling Levinsky

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Battling Levinsky
Battling Levinksy portrait BNF.jpg
Real name Barney Lebrowitz
Rated at Light Heavyweight
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Reach 70 in (178 cm)
Nationality  American
Born (1891-06-10)June 10, 1891
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died February 12, 1949(1949-02-12) (aged 57)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 287
Wins 196
Wins by KO 30
Losses 54
Draws 37

Barney Lebrowitz (June 10, 1891 – February 12, 1949), better known as Battling Levinsky, was the light heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1916 to 1920.[1] Statistical boxing website BoxRec lists Levinsky as the #12 ranked light heavyweight of all-time, while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #9.[2] The International Boxing Research Organization rates Levinsky as the 20th best light heavyweight ever.[3] He was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1966, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame 1982, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000.[4]

Boxing career[edit]

Full-length portrait of Levinsky

Career beginnings[edit]

Battling Levinsky began his boxing career under the name Barney Williams. However, he received little attention until he took on a manager named “Dumb” Dan Morgan in 1913, who changed Barney’s name and his boxing fortunes.

Battling Levinsky fought 37 times in 1914 — 9 times in the month of January alone. In January 1915, he began the year with two 10-round bouts on New Year’s Day — 1 each in Brooklyn, New York City and 12 round bout in Waterbury, Connecticut.

World light heavyweight champion[edit]

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.

Career record[edit]

In an era when the winners of bouts could not be decided by the votes of referees and boxing judges, and titles changed hands only in the case of a knockout, Levinsky fought all comers, including losses to future heavyweight champions Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey. Levinsky loved to fight, although his claim to having fought close to 500 bouts has not been substantiated.

His official professional record: 287 bouts – won 196 (30 KOs), lost 54, drew 37.

In his early career, Levinsky was managed by Fred Douglas (1910–11) and Jack Hanlon (1911–13). Al Lippe managed him in his comeback, from 1926–1929.

Personal life[edit]

Levinsky's son Stanley was killed in the Battle of the Bulge, WWII. His daughter Harriet, a graduate of West Philadelphia High School, currently resides in Lancaster, PA. Levinsky's grandchildren are Stanley Solodky, Barry Solodky, and Susan Oldham.

Levinsky died on February 12, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ken Blady, The Jewish boxers hall of fame 
  2. ^ "All-Time Light Heavyweight Rankings". BoxRec. Retrieved 5 May 2014. 
  3. ^ All-Time Light Heavyweight Rankings Retrieved on 2014-04-29
  4. ^ Cyber Boxing Encyclopedia - Battling Levinsky Retrieved on 2014-04-30

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jack Dillon
World Light Heavyweight Champion
24 October 1916–12 October 1920
Succeeded by
Georges Carpentier