Paul Berlenbach bigraphy, stories - American light heavyweight boxing world champion

Paul Berlenbach : biography

February 18, 1901 - September 30, 1985

Paul Berlenbach (February 18, 1901 – September 30, 1985) was the light heavyweight boxing champion of the world from May 30, 1925, when he wrested the crown from Mike McTigue, until July 16, 1926, when he was defeated by his nemesis Jack Delaney.

Known as the "Astoria Assassin", Berlenbach was known for his punching power. The New York City-born Berlenbach was an AAU champion wrestler before turning to professional boxing in 1923. Eventually he scored a 10th round TKO over former champion "Battling Siki" to earn a title shot against champion Mike McTigue.

Described by writer Paul Gallico as "untutored, unlettered, slow-witted, slow-moving, and wholly lacking in animation or imagination", Berlenbach was, nevertheless, a formidable fighter. As Gallico noted, he possessed "a numbing, paralyzing body punch that caused his opponents suddenly to crumple up" as though shot. His weaknesses were his non-existent defense, and slow movements which enabled sharp shooting opponents, such as Jack Delaney, to hit him at will.

He retired with a record of 40 wins (33 KOs), 8 losses, and 3 draws. He was named #93 on the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Upon his retirement, he owned and operated Paul Berlenbach's Ringside Restaurant in Sound Beach, New York in the 1950s.

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