Saturday, June 28, 2014

Remembering Kid Berg

Judah Bergman was born on June 28, 1909 in Stepney, London, England. He was apprenticed as a lather boy in a barber's shop, and began his boxing career at the Premierland, Back Church Lane, when he was 14. Jewish Berg boxed with a Star of David on his trunks.
Between 1923 and 1936, Berg had 192 professional fights, winning 157 of them. His record was 157–26–9. Fifty seven wins were by knock out.
In 1931 he moved to the USA, where he won 64 out of 76 fights there. He became British lightweight champion in 1934 by beating the holder Harry Mizler, and he lived to be the oldest British boxing champion. During his bouts in America, he was trained by legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel. His last notable win came in 1939 against the up-and-coming prospect Tippy Larkin.
After retiring from boxing, he worked as a film stunt man, joined the Royal Air Force, and owned a restaurant in London. Berg appeared in as a rider in “Carry on Cowboy” (1965).
He was said to have a flamboyant out-of-the-ring life, which included an affair with Mae West and to have borne a long-lasting friendship with fellow East Ender Jack Spot, the colorful (and also Jewish) gangster.
Berg was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, the World Boxing Hall of Fame and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1993.
Berg died in London, England on April 22, 1991.

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