Friday, May 16, 2014

Remembering Fritzie Zivic

By Peter Silkov

Fritzie Zivic May 8, 1913 - May 16, 1984

Fritzie Zivic was one of the roughest and toughest fighters ever to lace on a glove. Despite his reputation as an often 'dirty' fighter, Zivic was a skilled boxer who knew all the tricks of the trade, and made a lot of them up himself.
Zivic was one of five boxing brothers and turned professional in 1932 at 19 years old. After a unremarkable start to his career, Fritzie started making strides in the late 1930s, gaining the reputation as a rough and tough cutie who could give anyone trouble. Over the course of his career, Zivic fought just about all the top fighters from lightweight to middleweight, including Eddie Booker, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake Lamotta, Charley Burley, Kid Azteca, Sammy Angott, Lew Jenkins, Beau Jack, Bob Montgomery and Henry Armstrong... amongst others. In an era where many of the top white contenders tended to avoid the majority of the outstanding coloured fighters, Zivic fought everyone and anyone, regardless of race or reputation. Without a doubt Zivic’s greatest moment as a fighter was when he won the World Welterweight championship from the great Henry Armstrong, on October 4, 1940; out-pointing 'Hammerin Hank' in what was a huge upset at the time. Some months later, Zivic repeated his victory over Armstrong, defending his title and becoming the first man to stop Armstrong. Zivic lost his world title to the clever Freddie Cochrane, when he was out-pointed on July 29, 1941. After losing his world title, Zivic continued to fight at the top level for the next 8 years, always a test and a tough match for anyone, right up till his retirement in 1949. Fritzi retired with a final record of 158(82koes)-65-9 Fritzi was of the old school, fighting often and against anyone, asking for no quarter and giving none either. His career is a testament to when fighters fought and boxing thrived in clubs and arenas everywhere.

Copyright © 2014 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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