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Former contender Herbie Kronowitz dies

Former middleweight contender Herbie Kronowitz, from Brooklyn

Former middleweight contender Herbie Kronowitz, from Brooklyn

Former middleweight contender Herbie Kronowitz died November 9, at the age of 89. He was a contender during boxing's Golden Age and fought main events at Ebbets Field, Madison Square Garden, the Forum in Montreal and the Coney Island Velodrome.

This corner got a chance to meet Kronowitz several times at the Veteran Boxers Association (Ring 8) annual holiday party.

Mike Silver, the author and boxing historian, provided us with some highlights of Herbie's life in boxing:

* Herbie was ranked among the top ten contenders by The Ring magazine from July to September 1947.  That year, in a rousing 10-round bout, he lost a disputed decision to Artie Levine at Madison Square Garden. Over the next three months he outpointed veteran contenders Sonny Horne (57-12-4) and Harold Green (51-8-2) to earn a number nine rating.

* His match against Green, on June 19th, 1947, was for “the middleweight championship of Brooklyn” and attracted 15,000 fans to Ebbets Field.

* Kronowitz was featured in two Madison Square Garden main events, against Levine and Pete Mead. His four battles with Mead were corkers. Herbie lost their first 10 rounder but outpointed Mead in the return. Mead took the next two bouts by split decision.

* Herbie also crossed gloves with Laverne Roach, Rocky Castellani, Jimmy Flood, Vinnie Cidone, Lee Sala, Johnny Greco and Joey De John. He was stopped only twice in 83 bouts, by De John and Bobby Hughes, but never counted out. They were the last two fights of his career.

* Herbie was only 17 when he began his professional boxing career in 1941. He fought 32 times before joining the Coast Guard in 1943.  A year later he was about to be transferred overseas for duty aboard a Coast Guard Cutter when word was received that his brother had been killed in the Battle of the Bulge. Since another brother was serving with the Army in the Pacific, Herbie was ordered stateside for the remainder of the war.

* Herbie retired in 1950 with a 55-23-5 record (10 KOs). Many of his losses were by split or close decision. After hanging up his gloves he used his ring earnings to purchase two taxi medallions. But Herbie never strayed far from the sport he loved. From 1955 to 1984 he worked as a referee for the New York State Athletic Commission.

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