Paul Berlenbach Retains World Light Heavyweight Title

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Posted on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 at 9:09 pm.

Boxing history: June 10, 1926 Paul Berlenbach W 15 Young Stribling, Bronx, NY. Retains World Light Heavyweight Title.
June 10 Paul Berlenbach
Paul Berlenbach (February 18, 1901 – September 30, 1985) was the light heavyweight boxing champion of the world from May 30, 1925.

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.

Paul Berlenbach Stribling

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.

Paul Berlenbach was born a deaf-mute to French and German parents. When he was 18, while working as an instructor at a Westchester County institution for deaf-mutes, he went to the aid of a boy whose kite had become entangled in an electric wire 12 feet above the ground. Climbing a pole, he released the kite, but came in contact with the wire, received a shock, and fell to the ground. Those who came to his rescue feared him dead. First aid revived him. When he came to, he immediately found that he now had normal hearing. Subsequent treatment developed his speech.

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

One Response to “Paul Berlenbach Retains World Light Heavyweight Title”

  1. Bill Marmion

    I knew the man well. He lived just down the street from my grandparents at
    Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, right on the water. As a child, I visited with him
    often. He was a very very kind man, charming.
    His only son, also Paul, was best friend of my late uncle Jimmy Karnbach.
    AND I remember going to his bar in Sound Beach, NY, which was actually
    run by my uncle Jim and Paul’s son Paul.
    AND my father, a NYC policeman, and Paul Sr., were good buddies.
    Written from my home in SPAIN, where I’ve lived for 9 years.
    Bill Marmion, May 2014


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