A Polish-born Jew who turned pro in the US and made waves at bantamweight during the period that his homeland was invaded and occupied, he went 2-1 in a trilogy with Manuel Ortiz, with the loss being his only world title challenge. With one additional bout reported but unconfirmed, he may have even been 3-1 against Ortiz (which actually puts him in a class by himself - Maes and Salas were both 2-1 against Ortiz, and a couple like Pep and Eddie Chavez were undefeated against him, but nobody else had three wins and he generally got the better of his multi-fight rivals).
Originally Posted by klompton
It should be noted that Goldberg's wins over Ortiz came when both were straight out of the amateurs and long before Ortiz developed into the all-time great he would eventually become.
The two confirmed bouts from 1938 were early in the year and only 4 rounds each, but if the third one did in fact take place in November then Benny proved himself the better man on the night over a full ten rounds after Ortiz had attained some measure of meaningful experience with the likes of Richie Lemos and David Kui Kong Young.
He was inducted into the World Boxing HOF in 1994 with the following written about him:
(The) rough Jewish Southpaw from Detroit Michigan, via Warsaw Poland, was one of the classiest fighters in the Bantamweight Division. Ring records on Benny are not complete, (Benny tells us they omitted twelve of his winning bouts - and he has the clippings to prove it). The Ring record book, the bible of boxing has Benny in a total of 37 bouts and a record of 33 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw, a "no contest" with 14 of his wins via the "Kayo" route. His two losses were a ten round loss to Billy Miller in Benny's Hometown, Detroit and a 15 round split decision loss to the great Manuel Ortiz in his only bid for the title. Benny is very quick to remind us that he had previously beaten Ortiz on 2 occasions, one of which was Manuel's Pro Debut and the other a a ten round main event at the legion.
Benny had earned the title shot with a string of 28 wins, and Manuel was the first man to beat him in the pros. Benny, the youngest of the Goldberg family (2 brothers and 3 sisters) grew up in Detroit and didn't get interested in boxing until high school. It seems that Benny, the smallest in his gym class was always being asked to box with the P.E. Coach, and after a couple of weeks of beign teased by his coach, Benny decided to go ahead and put the gloves on and knocked out the coach. The coach decided that if Benny was that tough he should box amateur. Benny got so good that he went into the finals of the Detroit Golden Gloves, but had to pull out because of injuries sustained in an accident.
After a successful amateur career Benny turned pro and even without the twelve bouts that are missing in Benny's records he still fought the best and beat them. He won the Michigan State Bantamweight Championship from Charley Parham and beat the rugged Joey Archibald in a war effort promotion "Bomber for McArthur Boxing Show" for promoter Jack Lakin. Featured on the undercard were Pat Comisky, Lee Savold and Bill Poland, all top notch boxers, but the star of the show were Benny Goldberg, and referee Jack Dempsey. Benny also beat Tony Olivera, the toy battleship, Luis Castillo, Lorenzo Zafora, Eli Galindo and closed out his career with a victory over Pedro Ramirez at the Hollywood Legion Stadium.
Does anybody know if there is any existing/surviving footage of Mr. Goldberg? Especially of interest would be the loss to Ortiz in the title challenge, his immediate subsequent points loss to Billy Miller in his own adopted home of Detroit, or either of the two wins over Luis Castillo at Legion Stadium in Hollywood, CA. If anyone is hoarding some please upload it (or state what you want for it).
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