Saturday, June 25, 2016

On This Day: "The Little Fish" Benny Bass Remembered

By Peter Silkov

Benny Bass was born Benjamin Baruch J. Bass in Kiev, Ukraine, but immigrated with his parents as a child to America, where they settled in Philadelphia. By the time he was a teenager, Bass had begun boxing and turned professional at age 17, and was soon facing top liners. Bass was a little human dynamo in the ring, despite standing just 5’ 1 ½”; he was heavily muscled, and was known for his iron chin, stamina, and knockout punch.

During his long and busy career, Bass fought the best men at featherweight to lightweight, including fighters, such as Billy Mascott, Chick Suggs, Johnny Farr, Cowboy Eddie Anderson, Lew Mayrs, Dick Finnegan, Joe Glick, Mike Ballerino, Tony Canzoneri, Harry Blitman, Tod Morgan, Sammy Fuller, Eddie Shea, Joey Goodman, Tommy Cello, Mike Dundee, Lew Massey, Bud Taylor, Kid Chocolate, Harry Dublinsky, Joe Ghnouly, Eddie Cool, Johnny Jadick, Petey Sarron, Jimmy Leto, Freddie Cochrane, and Henry Armstrong.

Bass held both the Featherweight and Junior lightweight World titles. He lost his featherweight title to the great Tony Canzoneri after a classic contest. Bass gave Canzoneri one of his toughest fights, despite suffering a broken collarbone early in their bout. After losing the featherweight title, Bass moved up to junior lightweight and won that title from the brilliant boxer Tod Morgan.

Bass lost his Junior lightweight title to the gifted Kid Chocolate, when he was stopped in the 7th round with a severely cut eye.  Bass would fight on for another 10 years, but would never fight for a world title again. Aside from his stoppage defeat to Kid Chocolate, Bass’s only other inside the distance defeat during his career was when he was knocked out in 4 rounds by a young Henry Armstrong in 1937, and it was the only time that Bass was ever counted out in 243 official fights.  He really was a little iron man of the ring.

Bass’s final record was 157(72kos)-28-6 his record in no-decision fights was 34-13-3.

After retirement, Bass would work as a liquor salesman for the traffic court department in Philadelphia, as a clerk. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1994, and the International Hall of Fame in 2002.

Copyright © 2016 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to

1 comment:

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