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  1. scribbs

    Peter Mathebula

    Terror's special place in history by Ron Jackson 16/08/2012, 12:44 Peter Mathebula earned himself a special place in SA boxing history when he won the WBA flyweight title in 1980. The date was December 13, and Mathebula beat Tae Shik Kim from South Korea on points in the Olympic Arena in Los Angeles to take the belt. Mathebula, who was born on July 3, 1952 and spent his early years in the Mohlakeng Township near Randfontein in Gauteng, became the first black South African to win a world title. Only three other South Africans – Willie Smith, Arnold Taylor and Vic Toweel – were regarded as world champions before “Terror” Mathebula defeated Kim. Mathebula, sporting a collection of scars that he had picked up in street fights, left South Africa almost unnoticed to go challenge the champion. Only two sports writers went to see him off at the airport. In a way, he was well prepared for the daunting task. He had grown up in an area where violence was part of life. He became, from the age of ten, a tough street-fighter. The 23-year-old Kim, from Seoul, was a feared fighter. He had knocked out 11 opponents in his 16 fights. His only loss was in his debut as a professional in September 1977. He won the WBA title when knocked out Luis Ibarra, who had a record of 19-1, in the second round. After retaining the title against Arnel Arrozal, Kim was the overwhelming favourite when he took on the little-known South African in a fight scheduled for 15 rounds. At the bell for the first round, Mathebula rushed in and started throwing punches in an effort to stop the champion early. But when it became clear that Kim could take his best punches, trainer Willie Lock told Mathebula to pace himself and stay in close. Mathebula used his jab to outbox Kim, who soon resorted to using his elbows, butting and even hitting on the break. In the fourth round, when he head-butted the challenger again, an old cut above Mathebula’s right eye opened. The doctor was called in to examine the damage in the sixth round, but let the fight go on. In the fourteenth round the desperate Korean launched a vicious attack but Mathebula hung on until the bell. The courageous South African’s eye was swollen nearly shut but he launched an all-out attack in the final round to earn a split-decision win – 145-143 on two cards against 145-142 for Kim. RUNNING START Mathebula received his first boxing lesson from Jake Mashigo, who had fought as a lightweight in the late 1960s. Mashigo first saw the youngster when he was taking some members of his boxing club on a training run. They were passing some shops when a boy of about nine years old joined the group – and stayed with them. The lad soon became a regular at the beerhall where the training sessions were held. He had his first fight in Roodepoort when he weighed about 21 kg. He beat up his opponent and Mashigo afterwards told him his opponent was nicknamed Terror. But because there was no “terror” left in him, the name was transferred to young Peter. In 1969, after winning most of his bouts, he teamed up with Theo Mthembu and Ted Khasibe at the Siphiwe Amalgamated Boxing Club in Dobsonville. He made his professional debut in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, on July 10, 1971 when he beat Sidwell Mhlongo on points over four rounds. However, he lost two of three fights in 1972 and had only one fight in 1973, when he defeated Joe Ngidi in Durban. But Ngidi stopped him in the fourth round of a return match in June 1974. Ngidi won the vacant SA flyweight title on August 1, 1975 when he beat William Molatudi, but he lost it to Mathebula, who won by stoppage, in his first defence on May 1, 1976. SEVEN FIGHTS AGAINST SITHEBE Before winning the SA title, Mathebula had beaten William Molatudi to take over the Transvaal flyweight title, which he retained against Johannes Sithebe in the second bout of a seven-fight series between the two. All were exciting battles that went the full distance, except for their last one in September 1980, which Sithebe was stopped in the ninth round. In four of the fights the SA flyweight title was at stake. Mathebula also made successful defences against Ngidi, winning both fights inside the distance, before facing his first imported opponent, Freddie Hernandez, in Johannesburg. He was well beaten. However, he then won ten fights, seven inside the distance. One was for the vacant SA bantamweight title against Leslie Pikoli, whom he knocked out in the eighth round in Port Elizabeth on February 3, 1979. He retained the title against Vincent Ngcobo but lost if when Welile Nkosinkulu stopped him in the ninth round in December 1979. Dave Wolpert and Bobby Toll, who had just taken over as his management, felt a lot better when Mathebula recovered to beat Godfrey Nkate and Johannes Sithebe before being matched with Kim. They were supposed to fight in South Korea in May 1980 but Mathebula and his countrymen Raymond Slack, Willie Lock and Stanley Christodoulou were refused visas and had to abort the trip in Hong Kong. Mike Mortimer, chairman of the WBA rating committee, then struck a deal with the Korean Boxing Commission for the fight to be held in Los Angeles or Argentina. After beating Kim in Los Angeles, Mathebula received a hero’s welcome in Johannesburg. He was named SA Boxing World/King Korn Fighter of the Year and his trainer, Willie Lock, received the Man of the Year award. FIGHTING AT ORLANDO STADIUM Mathebula was scheduled to make the first defence of his title against Shigo Nakajima of Japan, but negotiations broke down and he was matched with Santos Lacier from Argentina. They fought at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on March 28, 1981. Laciar began to dominate after a slow first three rounds and knocked Mathebula down in the fourth and fifth. With his left eye cut, a tired-looking Mathebula came out for the seventh round. Laciar pounced and dropped the champion again. Mathebula beat the count but soon afterward indicated to referee American Stanley Berg that he was unable to see through the blood flowing from his eye. The fight was stopped two minutes and two seconds into the round. Some local supporters were so disappointed that they turned against Mathebula, whom they felt had let them down. “He drank and ate carelessly and forgot his responsibilities as a world champion,” one fan was quoted as saying. As WBA champion, Mathebula had indeed attended many functions. He had to dance to the tune of sponsors and did not train hard enough. He also probably underestimated Laciar. It was later revealed that he was 3 kg over the weight limit on the eve of the fight. He spent two hours in a sauna, which left him drained and weak. As a former WBA champion, he was still in demand and was offered a fight against another former WBA flyweight champion, Venezuelan Betulio Gonzalez. They met in Maracaibo in June 1981 and Mathebula as stopped in the tenth round. In a return match in Maracaibo three months later was knocked out in the sixth round. Fighting as a bantamweight in 1982, he beat Joseph Ngubane,who later won the SA bantamweight title, and knocked out Welile Nkosinkulu, lost to Matata Plaatjies and outpointed Siphiwo Fuma. On April 16, 1983 he outpointed Mandla Booi and in his last fight, on August 12, the same year he won the Transvaal bantamweight title by stopping Jacob Molefe in the tenth round to finish with a record of 36 wins (17 inside the distance) and 9 losses.
  2. scribbs

    Fidel La Barba

    Name: Fidel LaBarba Born: 1905-09-29 Birthplace: Bronx, New York, USA Died: 1981-10-02 (Age:76) Hometown: Los Angeles, California, USA Stance: Orthodox Height: 5′ 3″ / 160cm Reach: 66″ / 168cm Boxing Record: click Manager: George Blake Early Family History Fidel LaBarba was born September 29, 1905, at 452 Robbins Avenue, the Bronx, New York, to Domenico and Palmina (Cianci) LaBarba. Fidel eventually had four brothers and two sisters: Louis, born 1889; Ted (who would become a boxer, fighting as Ted Frenchie), 1899; Tony, 1902; Joe, 1903; Mary (sometimes spelled "Maria"), 1908; and Anna, 1912 (born in California). He also had five uncles who scattered from Italy to all over the world. According to a January 1927 published interview with Fidel, the only uncle to become "successful" was the one who had gone to South America. The LaBarba family had come from Abruzzi, Italy. The family moved to Los Angeles in 1910 to be near Fidel's first cousin, Danny Tullio (originally "DiTullio," but changed to "Tullio" at Ellis Island). Danny's parents, Corinto Cianci and Rocco DiTullio, were fruit peddlers in New York. Palmina LaBarba was Corinto's sister. The Tullios had lived next door to the LaBarbas in the Bronx, but moved to Los Angeles. The LaBarbas later followed sometime before 1912, in hopes of finding better job opportunities in California. Domenico worked as a construction laborer and at railroad yards, sometimes up north at Bakersfield, keeping him away from home much of the time. In 1914, Fidel's mother died. Thus, the five boys were left to fend for themselves. The two sisters had been sent to a Los Angeles convent to be raised until they each reached age twelve. LaBarba became a newspaper boy for the Los Angeles Express. "They would find a corner where the guy wouldn't handle our paper, only the Herald," he said. "Then they would let me out of the truck; the guy was always bigger than me. When a customer walked up, I would rush in with my paper, pushing the other guy back. The pushing match ended with me 'Bingo!' knocking him down. After that, the guy would leave us alone. This went on and on. They gave me $3.00 a week, plus the money I received from the papers." LaBarba's Start in Boxing LaBarba at age 16 LaBarba began boxing around age 12 or 13 in little amateur cards held weekly at places such as the Elks Club, which were promoted by Carlo Curtiss, who had been one of World Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard's managers. "Sometimes we would have nude women at these events," he said. The first known mention of "Young Fidel" is September 18, 1920, by the Los Angeles Times, announcing a boxing/wrestling show at the Italian picnic the next day at Selig Zoo. Eventually, Central Junior High School boxing instructor Bob Howard saw his potential. According to an interview published January 28, 1927 in some United States newspapers, LaBarba mentioned that he defeated a boy named Dave Mariney (a.k.a. Marini) for the high school championship. Based upon this win, his friends suggested he join the amateurs, which he did. By this, he likely meant he joined the A.A.U. LaBarba found it ironic that his first "official" amateur opponent was none other than Dave Mariney. This was at a semi-monthly boxing show sponsored by the Los Angeles Athletic Club (L.A.A.C). "It looked like a crime to match the two," reported the Los Angeles Times November 4, 1920. LaBarba was about four feet tall, and his opponent a foot and a half taller. "But Barba [sic] soon showed he knew how to take care of himself." George Blake reportedly was the referee at that fight. He and Charles Keppen ran these L.A.A.C. shows. Blake had come to Los Angeles from Chicago in 1904. He had been a United States Army boxing instructor during World War I. By the early 1920s Blake was a well-known referee for boxing venues such as Jack Doyle's Vernon Arena, and would become the regular referee at the soon-to-be-built Hollywood Legion Stadium. He was much-respected, and known as a man of impeccable character. Blake took an interest in the young and talented Fidel LaBarba, and asked Bob Howard to have him come down to the club. " I was asked four or five times, but was embarrassed to go," LaBarba explained. He owned only one pair of torn tennis shoes. He finally mustered the fortitude to go see Blake; thus started a very long relationship. LaBarba continued to have many amateur bouts. "We would receive a gift worth $35.00," he noted. "Later, they would give us a gift certificate to buy clothes at places like the Broadway, or Sears." Meanwhile, LaBarba attended Central Jr. High School, and then Lincoln High School--both in Los Angeles. He enjoyed playing basketball, baseball, and especially football. He was the quarterback for the "lightweight" (midget) football team. While in high school, he sometimes worked nights until midnight, racking pins at a bowling alley, then sleeping on a cot in back of the building. In the morning he would grab a bite to eat at the local restaurant, then head off to school about a mile away. By 1924 LaBarba had lost only one bout after some 30-plus recorded contests. George Blake took eight of his L.A.A.C. boxers to Boston June 1924 for the Olympic trials, and LaBarba qualified. The young flyweight boxer won the Olympic Gold Medal in Paris that July. After the Games, Blake arranged an amateur card at Doyle's Vernon Arena with all the American Olympic fighters, at which LaBarba finished out his amateur career. Professional Boxing Highlights Fidel LaBarba turned pro later in 1924 while still attending high school. In only his third pro bout, LaBarba dropped a close decision to future hall of famer Jimmy McLarnin, whom he would face twice more, earning a draw and dropping a 10 round decision. Later, in 1925, LaBarba won the American Flyweight Title with a dominating decision over Frankie Genaro. Two years later, LaBarba claimed the World Flyweight Title, which had been vacant with the death of Pancho Villa in 1925, by a decision over Elky Clark. The following year LaBarba retired as champion, never having defended his title, to attend Stanford University. Returning a year later as a bantamweight, LaBarba was back in great form. He would split two decisions with Kid Chocolate before moving up to featherweight to challenge champion Battling Battalino. In a close, tough bout, Battalino took a hard fought decision over 15 rounds. While in training to meet Chocolate for the New York State Featherweight Title, LaBarba seriously injured his eye but fought Chocolate anyway, losing a close decision, despite his obscured vision. La Barba retired from boxing in 1927 to enter Stanford University. By that time, he said he had made $400,000. He saw most of it slip through his fingers in the stock market crash and subsequent years of the Depresssion. He returned to the ring in 1928 and fought through 1933. Post-Boxing Career Fidel LaBarba in the 1970s LaBarba pursued a career as a professional writer. He had begun to write articles for various magazines, such as Colliers magazine, even before he quit boxing. By the late 1930s, he was working for the 20th Century Fox motion picture company, directly under studio chief Darryl F. Zanuck, whom he had met while playing polo near the studios. While at 20th Century Fox Studios, LaBarba co-wrote the 1939 movie Susannah of the Mounties, starring Shirley Temple, and 1942's Footlight Serenade, with Victor Mature and Betty Grable. (The story loosely paralleled his life.) LaBarba took a break from this work to serve as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. He met Luisa in Naples, Italy, in 1944. She became his third wife in 1945. (He first married in March 1928, to Marian De Beck--the ex-wife of noted cartoonist William De Beck, who is credited with coining the American slang terms "heebie-jeebies" and "hotsy-totsy." She later married actor Charles Ruggles. The LaBarbas divorced after two years. According to the Nov. 23, 1937 Tacoma News Tribune, a Ms. Betty Lou LaBarba had filed for divorce; they had married in 1935.) A daughter, Vicki Marie, was born in late 1945 to Fidel and Luisa. Their son, F. John, was born 1953 in Santa Monica, California. LaBarba returned to work for 20th Century Fox until around 1949. From 1949 to 1960 he was a sports writer for the Santa Monica Outlook. LaBarba worked various jobs after 1960, including a position with the California State Athletic Commission as an inspector--weighing in amateur boxers and wrestlers at the Olympic Auditorium, for example. He retired from the Athletic Commission after suffering a heart attack in 1966. LaBarba died of congestive heart failure in Los Angeles October 2 (not the 3rd, as is often recorded), 1981, and is buried in Plot 4 0 1607 of the National Veterans Cemetery in Riverside, California, where his wife Luisa, who passed on Dec. 29, 1998, also rests. La Barba was survived by his son Fidel Jr.; daughter Victoria and a sister. Amateur Boxing Record (Considered incomplete) Sep 19, 1920: Battling Bennie @ Selig Zoo, Los Angeles, CA Scheduled: Result not reported Nov 4, 1920: Dave Mariney @ L.A.A.C , Los Angeles, CA W-3 Dec 17, 1920: Trifa Distarse @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA KO-3 Jan 20, 1921: James Piela @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Jul 13, 1921: Fred Kremis @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA Scheduled: No results published Jul 28, 1921: Fred Kremis @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA Scheduled (no results) Sep 29, 1921: Benny Marks @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Oct 20, 1921: Benny Marks @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Nov 21, 1921: Benny Marks @ Hollywood Legion Pavilion, CA D-4 Nov 29, 1921: Benny Marks @ Foresters Hall, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Jan 19, 1922: Joe (James?) Piela @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Jan 26, 1922: Young Joe Rivers @ Doyle's Arena, Vernon, CA W-3 Feb 9, 1922: Benny Marks @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Mar 9, 1922: Al Pimenthal @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA TKO-2 Apr 27, 1922: Mike Marijo @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 May 25, 1922: Rudy Ricco @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA TKO-1 Jul 19, 1922: Mike Marijo @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 (Southern California Amateur Tournament Preliminary -- George Blake, Organizer) Jul 20, 1922: Benny Marks @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 (Southern California Amateur 112-pound Championship) Aug 26, 1922: Young Joe Rivers @ Doyle's Pavilion, Vernon CA W-3 Sep 14, 1922: Mike Avita @ L.A.A.C., Los Angeles, CA KO-3 Oct 7, 1922: Joe Lizer @ Newsboys Club, Los Angeles, CA Scheduled Oct 25, 1922: Joe Cooper @ Newsboys Club, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Nov 9, 1922: Johnny Conroy @ L.A.A.C., Los Angeles, CA TKO-2 Jan 11, 1923: Rudy Ricco ("Reco") @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 Mar 8, 1923: Johnny Conroy @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA KO-3 (Southern California Amateur 112-pound Championship) April 9, 1923: Samuel Williams @ Boston, MA W-3 April 9, 1923: Harry Brown @ Boston, MA W-3 April 10?, 1923: Joseph A. Lazurus @ Boston, MA L-3 (National AAU Tournament, per the Los Angeles Times, Oct. 2, 1924.) May 23, 1923: Sailor Reyes @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA KO-2 (Semi-final for Pacific Coast Amateur Flyweight Championship) May 24, 1923: John Conroy? @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3? (Wins Pacific Coast Amateur Flyweight Championship.) Sep 6, 1923: Henry Garcia @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA KO-1 Sep 20, 1923: Sailor Rosenbaum @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA Canceled (Bout called off when Rosenbaum, champion of the U. S. S. Nevada, could not get shore leave.) Nov 8, 1923: Sailor Mullens @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA KO-2 Nov 29, 1923: Mike Salvint @ Newsboys Club, Los Angeles Scheduled (For the Newsboy 112-pound Championship) Dec 6, 1923: Sailor Navarro @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA TKO-1 Dec 13, 1923: Buddy Riggs @ Newsboys Club, Los Angeles, CA Canceled (LaBarba refused to fight when Riggs could not produce an A.A.U card. LaBarba did not want to jeopardize his amateur status.) Jan 10, 1924: Cecil Taylor @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA TKO-3 Feb 7, 1924: Maurice Jafe ("Jaffe"?) @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA KO-1 April 3, 1924: August Gotto @ L.A.A.C, Los Angeles, CA W-3 May 8, 1924: Harry Paza @ Doyle's Coliseum, Vernon, CA KO-1 (Southern California Olympic Try-outs) May 19, 1924: William G. Randeo @ Boston, MA W-3 (National AAU Flyweight Tournament and Olympic Trials; LaBarba-Randeo opened the tournament.) May 20, 1924: Petey Sarron @ Boston, MA W-3 (National AAU Flyweight Semi-final & Olympic Trials; LaBarba's opponent incorrectly reported as ?Phil Goldstein" by the Los Angeles Times. Source here: The New York Times.) May 21, 1924: Ray Fee @ Boston, MA TKO-3 (Referee stopped bout.)(National AAU Flyweight Championship; LaBarba qualifies for American Olympic Boxing Team) Jul 15, 1924: Ernest Warwick (England) @ Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France W-3 (First Round) Jul 16, 1924: Gaetano Lanzi (Italy) @ Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France TKO-2 (Second Round) Jul 18, 1924: Stephen Rennie (Canada) @ Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France W-3 (Quarter-Final Round) Jul 19?, 1924: Rinaldo Castellenghi @ Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France W-3 (Semi-Final Round) Jul 20, 1924: James McKenzie (G.B.) @ Velodrome d'Hiver, Paris, France W-3 (photo)(Final: Wins Olympic Flyweight Championship -- Gold Medal) Sep 18, 1924: Pat Pringle @ Doyles's Coliseum, Vernon, CA KO-1 (Final amateur bout. The Pat Pringle bout is almost universally but incorrectly recorded as LaBarba's professional debut. It was not. The Frankie Grandetta bout was his first.) Source for all bouts: The Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle & The New York Times. Virtually all of the above biography (from information provided by LaBarba's son, F. John LaBarba), and all of LaBarba's amateur record, is courtesy of Ric Kilmer: Member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) and BoxRec Editor, from his article in IBRO Journal Issue No. 78, pp. 71-81 (June 22, 2003)(with updated edits). Further reading Fidel Labarba olympic and flyweight champion of the world Frankie Genaro Comparison Newsboy Brown Fight Report Elky Clark Fight Report 1 Elky Clark Fight Report 2 Bat Battalino Fight Report
  3. scribbs

    Pinky Silverberg

    From Jews in Sports - Pinky Silverberg Pincus Silverberg A smart, tough flyweight and bantamweight in the 1920s and early 1930s who fought in such diverse locations as Connecticut, Australia, and Cuba, Silverberg was knocked out only once in 78 fights and claimed the world flyweight title in 1927. When champion Fidel LaBarba vacated the crown in August to attend college, the division was thrown into chaos as the championship was broken into three versions -- the NBA (National Boxing Association), the New York Commission, and the IBU (International Boxing Union). In October, Silverberg faced Ruby Bradley and won when Bradley was disqualified in the seventh round of their bout. Following his victory, Silverberg claimed the NBA title and was recognized as champion -- he was awarded a belt in a ceremony a few days later. He was stripped of the title shortly thereafter, causing many historians to ignore Silverberg even as a title claimant of the era. The fact that he was recognized by the NBA Commission as champ, however, necessitates that Silverberg deserves a spot in history among boxing's world champions. Birth and Death Dates: b. April 5, 1904 - d. January 16, 1964 Career Highlights: Born in New York City, Silverberg began his professional boxing career in 1920 at the age of 16 to help support his family in the Bronx (he had four brothers and two sisters). He fought once that year -- in September in Bridgeport, Connecticut -- against Young Pastoria; the bout ended in a 4-round draw. Silverberg fought exclusively in Connecticut, mostly out of New Haven, over the next three years, and was quite successful. He fought twice in 1921 (a knockout win and a decision loss), four times in 1922 (three draws and one win), and twelve times in 1923. By the time he faced Joey Russell in Passaic, New Jersey in 1924, Pinky had compiled a terrific record, losing only twice in 19 career fights. Silverberg fought Russell on February 19, 1924 and the 12-round bout ended in a no decision. Pinky fought three more times that year, winning all three bouts in New York City, and then won both of his fights the following year. By the end of 1925, Silverberg still only had two career losses (in 25 fights), but he had yet to face top competition in the division. That changed in January 1926 when he fought flyweight contender Ruby Bradley in Bridgeport, Connecticut and lost an 8-round decision. Although Silverberg lost twice more that year (against contenders Willie LaMorte and Joey Eulo), he gained valuable experience in the ring. On January 18, 1927, Silverberg was scheduled to fight Sammy Tisch in New York City in his first fight of the year. Because Silverberg (112 pounds) weighed nine fewer pounds than Tisch (121), however, he was not allowed to fight. In his place, Silverberg's 124 pound brother Herman (who fought under the name Kid Silvers), fought Tisch and won the bout. The following night, Pinky faced one of the top flyweight contenders, Black Bill, in a benefit for recently retired boxer Sam Langford (a Hall of Famer considered by many to be the greatest boxer in history to never win a title) at the Walker Athletic Club. Silverberg lost a 6-round decision. Despite that loss to Black Bill at the beginning of the year, the step up in quality of competition proved a smart move for Silverberg. Following the loss, he won his next four and was considered a contender in the flyweight division. When world champion Fidel LaBarba suddenly retired in August 1927, the flyweight division was thrown into confusion. Silverberg, who had lost only 6 of 37 career bouts when LaBarba retired, claimed the title and was given a shot at the NBA crown. On October 22, 1927, Silverberg faced fellow claimant Ruby Bradley and defeated him when Bradley was disqualified in the seventh round for a low blow. In a ceremony a few days later, Silverberg was awarded a belt and recognized as the NBA champion (see photographs for picture of the belt). Stripped of the title soon after his victory (it is unclear as to why Pinky was stripped of the title), Silverberg continued to fight the top boxers in 1928 in an attempt to regain the title (the flyweight division would not be unified until the mid-1930s). His reputation as a clever and skilled boxer cost him the opportunity to reclaim the title though, because many of the top flyweights refused to fight him. Silverberg was forced to fight heavier opponents, and he lost decisions to bantamweights Pete Sanstol, Archie Bell, and Kid Chocolate. In 1929, Silverberg left the United States and travelled to Australia for a series of bouts. He fought three times, including a 15-round loss to future world featherweight champion Petey Sarron in May. Pinky returned to New York in November, but then went to Havana, Cuba in January 1930 to fight world bantamweight champion Panama Al Brown; he lost a 10-round decision. By then, Silverberg was a bantamweight contender and "ready to meet anyone in the world at the bantamweight limit." He also developed a rivalry with New York flyweight champion Midget Wolgast, and the two boxers fought three times between March 1930 and March 1931; Silverberg lost all three bouts on decision. Over the next couple of years, Silverberg fought infrequently (twice in 1932 and six bouts in 1933), and after losing a four-round decision to Damasco Seda in February 1934, promptly retired. Pinky remained away from the ring for three years, but returned to fight Frankie Reese in March 1937 in New York City. Silverberg won a four-round decision and retired again, this time for good. He settled in Connecticut after his retirement, and worked for the defense industry, but remained connected to boxing. He promoted some fights, taught boxing as a volunteer at the local YMCA, and occasionally refereed local bouts in the 1940s. Origin: New York City Physical description: 5'4", 112 pounds Career Statistics: Professional record: Wins: 29 (4 by knockout) Losses: 30 Draws: 12 No decisions: 6 No contests: 1