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Abe Attell "The Little Hebrew"


edsel77x
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Written by Mark McCleary

 

All of five feet four inches and 122 pounds, Abe Attell would set a record with 21 consecutive title defenses as world Featherweight champion and would become a key player in one of sport’s most infamous conspiracies.

 

Born in San Francisco in 1884, Abe learned to fight as a young boy, growing up Jewish in an Irish neighborhood. "You can guess I used to fight 3, 4, 5, 10 times a day," he recalled.

 

In 1900, at the age of fifteen, Attell won his first fight, but only after promising his mother it would also be his last fight. Abe returned home with the $15 purse, which he gave to his mother. Abe recalled her reaction, "'You mean the fight is all over and you got this $15.00?' she asked. 'And you don't have no cuts on you at all.' I smiled and nodded my head.... She stood up and patted my head and in a slow voice asked, 'Abie, when are you going to fight again?'" Attell was given the nickname “The Little Hebrew.”

 

At the age of eighteen, Attell first won the world Featherweight title by defeating George Dixon. Attell would lose his title in the following year to Tommy Sullivan who he accused of being over the 122-poud weight limit. In 1906, Abe defeated Jimmy Walsh to earn unanimous recognition as the world Featherweight champion. Between 1906 and 1912, Attell would set a division record, with 21 consecutive title defenses.

 

During this streak, Abe often ran out of worthy featherweights and fought opponents in heavier weight classes. During his record-setting streak, Attell defeated International Boxing Hall of Fame members Johnny Kilbane, Battling Nelson, Freddie Welsh, Owen Moran, Ad Wolgast and Jim Driscoll. Abe’s nickname would change to “The Little Champ.”

 

In 1909, Abe’s brother Monte won the world bantamweight title, marking the first time two brothers had held world boxing titles concurrently.

 

 

Abe lost his title in 1912 to Kilbaine in a 20-round decision in which Kilbaine accused Attell of putting a substance on his gloves to blind Kilbaine. Abe retired in 1917.

 

In 1920, Attell again made headlines as a key player in the “Black Sox” scandal. Abe had allegedly acted as the messenger between gangster Arnold Rothstein and members of the Chicago White Sox who were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series. Attell always maintained his innocence and eventually the charges against him were dropped when the prosecution could not produce sufficient evidence.

 

Attell had a record of 92 wins (51 by knockout), 10 losses, 18 draws and was one of the inaugural members of the IBHOF. Abe is often cited as one of the greatest fighters ever pound for pound.

 

http://www.boxingcarddigest.com/articles.html

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Edsel,i wrote to Abe Attell many years ago and he signed a photo for me,plus a magazine type booklet came out in the early 60s and Abe even signed his photo in that along with Young Corbett 111,and Shiek Rangel also signed it as well.Mike Casey seems to have not mentioned in his article that Jim Driscoll beat Abe quite easily when he visited the USA.
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Edsel,i wrote to Abe Attell many years ago and he signed a photo for me,plus a magazine type booklet came out in the early 60s and Abe even signed his photo in that along with Young Corbett 111,and Shiek Rangel also signed it as well.Mike Casey seems to have not mentioned in his article that Jim Driscoll beat Abe quite easily when he visited the USA.

 

Great stuffs!

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