Boxing: A Jewish Sport

Jews' participation in professional boxing in the interwar period is not as surprising as it might seem to be.

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This thesis is supported by the testimony of the boxers themselves. When other opportunities appeared after the war, Jews quickly vanished from the scene as contestants, although they continued their role in entrepreneurial aspects of the sport, which were forms of white-collar business enterprise.

In the precipitous disappearance of Jewish boxers from the ring, the Jewish experience does run counter to that of the other nationalities whose decline in boxing was more gradual. As to their entering the ring, however, perhaps the most unusual aspect of the Jewish boxing experience in this country, especially to a people whose history is so studded with apocalyptic events, is how thoroughly normative it actually was.

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Allen Bodner is an attorney with a remarkable entry into the world of boxing as his father was an amateur boxer during the 1920s, and a professional manager during the 1930s and 1940s.