Name: Paul Berlenbach
Career Record: click
Alias: Astoria Assassin
Nationality: US American
Birthplace: New York, NY
Hometown: New York, NY
Age at Death: 84
Height: 5' 10?
Paul Berlenbach was born a deaf-mute to French and German parents. When he was 18, while working as an instructor at a Westchester County institution for deaf-mutes, he went to the aid of a boy whose kite had become entangled in an electric wire 12 feet above the ground. Climbing a pole, he released the kite, but came in contact with the wire, received a shock, and fell to the ground. Those who came to his rescue feared him dead. First aid revived him. When he came to, he immediately found that he now had normal hearing. Subsequent treatment developed his speech.
He became a wrestler and won the Middleweight Gold at the 1920 Antwerp Olympic Games. He soon tired of grappling and became a boxer, winning 13 knockouts and three decisions as an amateur, earning an amateur boxing championship as well. After his boxing career ended, he went back to wrestling for awhile. He had first retired from boxing to enter the lumber business.
Nevada State Journal
12 September 1925
Berlenbach Keeps Fistic Crown
Champ Scores Technical KO in 11th Round
Slattery Unable to Weather Storm Of Blows Put Over By Astorian
Paul Berlenbach of Astoria, N. Y., world's light heavyweight champion, successfully defended his title tonight when he scored a technical knockout over Jimmy Slattery of Buffalo. N. Y.. in the eleventh round of a 15-round encounter in the American league baseball .park.
Berlenbach's powerful punches and the long route was too much for the youthful challenger, and the end came after 1 minute and 28 seconds of the eleventh round after Slattery had been on the canvas for most of the round. Referee Patsy Haley stopped the fight after it appeared certain that Slattery could not weather Berlenbach's storm of blows.
Tex Rickard, promoter of the match estimated the attendance at 35,000 when the fighters entered the ring.
At the official weighing in today Berlenbach scaled 172 pounds, 10 ½ pounds more than his rival. This is Slattery's first fight in New York state over the 14,-round route, his other appearances having been confined to six rounds in accordance with the provisions of the Walker law limiting the activities of boxers to 21 years of age.
Slattery reached his majority August 21.
The fight by rounds follows:
Slattery started to dance around the champion with lightning speed. They exchanged light blows. Slattery landed on the champion's jaw and they clinched. Both landed to the head. The champion staggered Slattery with a right to body. Another uppercut rocked Berlenbach; A straight right and left to jaw backed the champion to the ropes. Slattery was boxing prettily. They were dancing at the bell.
Slattery led with right to head, but took Berlenbach's heavy right in return Berlenbach chased his challenger half way around the ring. Berlenbach scored to the body at close quarters. The champion rushed Slattery to the corner and had him groggy with a furious charge. A heavy blow sent Slattery back on his heels. They were in a clinch at the bell.
Slattery crashed to Berlenbach's body. Slattery's left jab was bothering the champion. Berlenbach slowed Slattery with a right to the body. There was much wrestling. A smashing left to the face had Slattery groggy and he reeled about the ring, hanging on to the champion whenever possible. The champion was weakening his opponent with his heavy blows. The bell found the challenger in a groggy condition.
Slattery continued to dance around, with Berlenbach right after him. Berlenbach was frantically endeavoring to get over his finishing right. A left to the chin sent Slattery reeling again. The challenger got over a right to the face and followed it with an uppercut and another right. Both missed weak jabs just as the gong sounded.
Slattery staggered Berlenbach with a right to the chin. A right slipped off the challenger's jaw without harm. Slattery started to punch with Berlenbach and held his own in an interesting skirmish. A straight right and left backed Slattery to the ropes. Slattery's jabs were bothering Berlenbach. The crowd was in an uproar As the bell found Berlenbach on the defensive.
Slattery rocked Berlenbach with a stiff uppercut. The champion sent his challenger's head back with his lunging left. Slattery was boxing cleverly Slattery put across a straight right which sent Berlenbach back on his heels. They traded body blows Every other charge was a clinch. Just as the bell rang Slattery sank his right to Berlenbach's ribs.
Berlepbach landed a right, but took three left jabs to the head. The challenger doubled Berlenbach with a right to the stomach. Another right caught Berlenbach's chin. Slattery landed right to chin and clinched There was much pulling and hanging on by both. Slattery measured Berlenbach with a right to the head just as the bell stopped the round.
Berlenbach turned Slattery half way round with a right to the head Three times Slattery's gloves found Berlenbach'e face without a return.The referee was continually breaking them from a clinch. Berlenbach almost floored Slatters with a left to the head. The Buffalo boy staggering half across the ring. Slattery took three for one in a mixup in the centre of the ring The bell found them clinched
A hard right to the chin greeted Berlenbach as the round opened. Slattery took a right to the body. Slattery landed to the head and body and held Berlenbach in a clinch. A right to the heart slowed the champion. A smashing left square on the face almost floored the challenger. The bell found them sparring for an opening.
A weak left sent Slattery to the ropes. Berlenbach backed into a hard right. Every other charge ended in a clinch. Three times Berlenbach landed to the head and Slattery’s knees sagged.. A left staggered Slattery, another left turned him around. They went wrestling and Slattery went down from the force of the charge. He was up at eight. Another push sent him down for nine. The champion bored landing at will at the defenseless challenger. He went down but the bell saved him at the count of four.
A stiff right to the jaw floored Slattery again for the count of nine the challenger absorbing terrific punishment. Another lunge sent Slattery down for a count of nine They wrestled and Slattery went down again and was up at nine. Berlenbach rushed Slattery to the ropes and with powerful rights and lefts poured a furious charge at the utterly defenseless challenger. The referee started to stop the fight but stopped when Slattery appeared to be weathering the storm. Three times Berlenbach smashed his fist to Slattery’s unprotected face and the Buffalo boy started to sink to the canvas as Referee Patsy Halev then stopped the fight and waved Berlenbach to his corner
The Morning Herald, Hagerstown Maryland
12 December 1925
Awarded Judges Decision
Over Delaney After Fifteen
New York, Dec. 11. —Paul Berlenbach of New York, world's light heavyweight champion, successfully defended his title in a last 15-round match against Jack Delaney, of Bridgeport, Conn., at the first boxing show ever held in the new Madison Square Garden here tonight. Berlenbach staked the world's light heavyweight championship he gained since being knocked out by Delaney in their last encounter, fought a year and a half ago in the old Garden.
The champion won a judges' verdict by a narrow margin in a furious battle in which both fighters went down for a count during the fierce encounter. The champion measured his length when Delaney landed squarely with a mule-kicking right to the jaw in the fourth round. The challenger went down in the twelfth when Berlenbach's bone crushing left found its mark. Twenty-three thousand spectators jammed the new area to see the match.
Delaney was given rousing ovation as he was introduced to the throng which packed the new Garden. The challenge was forced to rise and bow three times before the cheering subsided.
Delaney danced around the champion for half a minute before landing a blow . Delaney crossed his right, but Berlenbach caught it going away. Both appeared cautious and the crowd roared for action, Delaney landed two weak left jabs and the .champion countered with a left to the body without damage. They were dancing at the bell. It was a tame round.
The dancing, continued, neither man appearing willing to open up. Delaney bounced a left jab off Berlenbach's jaw and stumbled as he evaded the champion's return, falling to the ring, but he was up immediately. Delaney missed with his left and Berlenbach landed a right to the jaw Jack jarred the champion with a stiff left to the face. They continued to dance and jab weakly as the bell rang.
Delaney' scored with his left twice. A hard jab to Delaney's face brought a flurry of' blood from the challenger's nose. -It was the best blow of the battle.-;.Delaney lifted the champion off his feet with a stinging left to the ear. Both landed lefts to the head. Delaney lifted a neat uppercut and drove the champion to the ropes. Delaney landed three jabs to the head and took one just as the bell rang.
The champion landed solidly to the challengers head and body and Delaney countered with left to face. Berlenbach rushed Delaney to a corner and had the better of a wild exchange. Delaney knocked Berlenbach down with a well timed right to the jaw, and the champion took a count of three before he came up. Blood trickled from his mouth. It was a vicious knockout blow. Delaney was cool as he Started to deliver the blow that could change the championship. but Berlenbach covered completely. The bell rang with the fighters dancing cautiously.
Delaney jabbed with, his left and Berlenbach backed away. A tantalizing jab brought fresh blood from Delaney's nose. Delaney cleverly blocked a left lead and kept sticking his left jab into Berlenbach's face.
Another stinging jab sent the champion into a clinch. A well delivered right sent Berlenbach to his heels. Both bled as the fight assumed faster proportions. Delaney staggered Berlenbach with his wicked right just before the bell.
Berlenbach stuck his right jab into Delaney's face and the challenger slipped to the ring in going away. Delaney continued to torment the champion with his jab. Delaney was boxing cleverly and the champion could not get set for a punch. Another well timed right to the jaw forced Berlenbach to clinch. A second one backed him to the ropes.
Berlenbach landed his left to the nose and blood flowed more freely. Berlenbach landed a vicious body blow as the bell ended the round.
Berlenbach rushed at the challenger with flying fists, landing both to the face, but Delaney boxed himself away. Berlenbach sank a left to Delaney's midsection but Delaney turned the champion around with a right to the Jaw. Two smacking left jabs stung Berlenbach. Another crashing right caught Berlenbach on the jaw and he backed away. The challenger started an uppercut but it went wild. Delaney was stabbing away as the bell rang.
Both poked away with weak jabs. A vicious left jab bounced off Berlenbach's brow and before he could counter another arrived. The third left jab caught Berlenbach coming in and he landed two good blows to the body. Delaney was landing his jab frequently crossing-with his right at intervals and the blood streamed from the champions' nose and mouth. Delaney swung Berlenbach around with a straight left just before the bell.
Delaney danced and jabbed around the champion. Berlenbach missed a left hook. They wrestled and clinched as the crowd booed. Delaney slipped as he danced away from Berlenbach, but he get right up. Delaney stung over his right again and Berlenbach faced the opposite direction. Another right staggered Berlenbach and he grabbed at the ropes to hold himself up. The bell found them sparring.
Delaney jabbed Berlenbach all over the ring with a light left, waiting for the chance to put over his mule kicking right. Using his left to jab, Berlenbach peppered his challenger with a jab which kept blood running. Berlenbach sank a hard right to Delaney 's heart and the challenger clinched. .A stiff uppercut lifted Berlenbach but the bell prevented Delaney from following it up.
Berlenbach slowed his challenger with his left to the stomach. Then he staggered him. with a left to the head. Delaney missed an uppercut by inches, but landed a left jab followed by a hard right to the jaw. Delaney landed a weak right to the jaw, the champion countering with two good body blows. Delaney staggered the champion with a right and Berlenbach clinched as the bell rang.
Berlenbach's right eye was puffed double as he came up. The champion was moving away when Delaney crossed a right. Delaney put over another Jab and the champion's right eye ail but closed. Delaney punched Berlenbach at will in a fierce exchange in the center of the ring, rocking his head back and forth with
straight leads and uppercuts. Delaney's right eye started to swell as berlenbach’s left played a tattoo on the cheek bone. A short jabbing left floored Delaney as he was coming in but he was up without a count just before the bell rang.
Berlenbach started to punch wildly and chased his challenger around the ring. A stinging left spun Delaney around, but he pulled into a clinch. Both continued to jab away with lefts. The champion was growing stronger, as he battered Delaney with both hands. The blood flowed freely from Delaney's nose as Berlenbach's jabs landed to the face. Delaney landed a weak right at the bell.
Both landed good jabs to the head. Berlenbach's left glanced off Delaney's ear but he plugged away at the- champions' ribs with his right hand. Berlenbach staggered Delaney with a vicious left to the body and Delaney went to one knee, but was up immediately. The blow hurt the challenger. Delaney lifted up a right uppercut and followed with a jab and Berlenbach got over an upper out in return. They were clubbing away at the body at the bell.
They touched hands. Delaney sped over his jab to Berlenbach's eye and danced away from a return. A right to the body doubled Delaney. They clinched. Another right to the jaw and Berlenbach, sagged.They hammeded away mercilessly to Berlenbach's comer. An uppercut drove Berlenbach into a clinch. Both landed crushing drives to the face and jaw. The fans roared at the furious exchange. A weak right to the heart caught Berlenbach coming in. They stood toe to toe and punched at the face. They were dancing at the bell.
The Morning Herald
Saturday 17 July 1926
Delaney Cops Title From Berlenbach on Judges Decision
Jack Delaney, Light heavyweight pride of Bridgeport won the world championship tonight when he won the judges decision from Paul Berlenbach in a grueling 16-round contest at the.Brooklyn National League ball park. A stirring rally in the last four rounds gave Delaney the crown.
Seemingly exhausted by the tremendous punches of the champion. Delaney suddenly came to life and in one of the most sensational come backs in modern fistics knocked the crown from Berlenbach's head with a two fisted attack which tired Berlenbach and caught him wholly unprepared for the onslaught.
Commissioner James A. Farley announced That the verdict found was unanimous..
The champion came out of his corner with a rush. Delaney danced around and jabbed weakly Paul landed the first blow, a right to the body. Delaney brushed two jabs past Paul's nose. The challenger jabbed to the face with his left and crossed with his right but Berlenbach sidestepped and the blow glanced of his chin. Berlenbach jabbed at Delaney' ribs with his right but the challenger stopped him with a right to the body. Paul bounced one of his lefts off Delaney's shoulder. Berlenbach sent Delaney back on his heels with a left to the head at the bell.
They waltzed around looking for an opening. Jack stung Berlenbach' with a slow left to the head, then tied the champion in a clinch. The challenger ripped his left to Paul's body and the champion covered up. Delaney drove his left to the ribs and then followed with a body blow and the referee warned him for hitting low. Berlenbach walked into a left to the head and took another to the same spot. Delaney Using his right for the first time almost floored Paul with a driving punch to the head., staggering the champion. They were sparring at the bell.
They came up cautiously. Jack planted a left to the jaw and Berlenbach drove to the body with his right. The challenger turned Paul half around with a stinging right to the face. Berlenbach walked into a right to the body and then ripped away at Jack's ribs with his left. Paul stung Delaney with a left to the face and blood showed on the challenger's mouth. A vicious right uppercut caught Berlenbach open and his head went back with a jerk. They were dancing when the bell rang.
Delaney staggered Berlenbach with a stinging left to the head. The challenger beat Paul about the ribs, and head at close range. Paul drove Jack to the ropes but the challenger clinched. Tossing away his caution Delaney pounded openly at Berlenbach's -body and head in a furious exchange and the champion dove to a frantic clinch. A lightning right uppercut Caught Paul flush on the chin. Another right to the body landed on the chin with a resounding crack. They exchanged lefts and rights to the head at the bell.
Delaney beat the champion to a right to the body. In attempting to clinch Berlenbach dropped to one knee hut he was up immediately where Jack met him with a right uppercut. Paul ripped his left to Delaner's body.but Jack came back with a right uppercut. Berlenbach landed three lefts to the head and took a right to the body. Jack missed a right lead and Paul punished him unmercifully about the body. Just before the bell Delaney staggered the champion with his famous right hand.
Delaney opened with a vicious right which all but floored Berlenbach. 'The champion clinched and scored twice to the body. Driving uppercuts bounced off , Berlenbach's jaw. Another uppercut caught Berlenbach coming in and he danced out of danger. The champion staggered Delaney with a left to the head: but Delaney slowed Berlenbach with a short right to the head. The champion was playing to the body with his left. They were dancing at the bell.
Berlenbach blocked Delaney's left with his glove and bounced his left off the challenger's chin. The champion sent Jack backward with a left to the chin but did not follow up. Paul staggered Delaney with his left to the chin but took a vicious right to the body. Delaney ripped over his right uppercut and Paul clinched. Another left to the head brought blood from Delaney's nose. The bell rang as Delaney drove a right to the head.
Both blocked right leads. Then Delaney got by guard and slipped a damaging right to the chin. Berlenbach peppered away at Delaney's ribs with his left. The champion caught Delaney in a corner and drove both hands to the head and body. The challenger appeared, to be weakening under the strain as Berlenbach’s left brought blood from Delaneys mouth and nose, Berlenbach took a right to the chin coming in. They stepped out of a clinch at the bell.
Delaney missed a sweeping right uppercut then clinched. They both pounded at the body. Delaney slipped in side-stepping and dropped to one knee, but came right up. The champion appeared as strong as ever as he ripped his left to Delaneys body. They clinched and wrestled frequently as Delaney appeared tiring. Delaney drove a right to Berlenbach's chin but the champion countered with his left to the head and hurt the challenger. They clinched at the bell.
Blood was streaming from Delanev's nose as he came up and the champion rushed him all over the ring with both gloves carrying withering-fire to the head and body. Paul took Delaney's right on his glove but could not stop a left to the jaw. They traded rights. The challenger was backing up at every charge. With a desperate leap Delaney stepped in, feinted with his left, drove his right to Pauls chin but the effort was tiring and he took a drive to the body. They were fighting hard at the bell.
The challenger looked haggard. They swapped weak lefts to the body Delaney tapped Berlenbach with his right but took the full steam of Paul’s left to the ribs. Berlenbech bounced a right of Jack’s nose but took a stiff right on the jaw in return. The champion was taking all the challenger could give without backing up. Berlenbach tapped Delaney’s nose again but almost crumpled under Delaney’s counter to the body at the bell.
Two of Delaney’s rights went wild before he drove his weak right to Paul's chin. A stinging right uppercut hit Paul and the crowd yelled to the challenger to follow up but he was content to let Berlenbach come back for more. Another" right to the head followed by a left stunned the champion and he held on. Two rights to the head brought blood from Berlenbach's left eye. A wild right and left uppercut both found their mark on the champion's chin and the crowd went wild as the bell halted Delaney's attack.
Round ' Thirteen
The challenger came up with renewed strength. He pounded, his left to Paul's body and then shot over a right to the chin and the champion grabbed for the body. Berlenbach appeared tiring and another left forced him to clinch. Berlenbach reeled under the power of Delaney's smashing right to the jaw but drove his left to the ribs and head in desperation. A left to the head staggered the champion, then Jack turned him around with a crushing right. The crowd yelled to the challenger but the bell stopped hostilities.
Delaney boxed cleverly, taking Paul's left on his glove, then drove a lightning right to the jaw. A left uppercut almost floored the champion and he grabbed the ropes to save himself. It was a thrilling rally and. the spectators cheered. At close quarters Delaney ripped over a short right and the blood trickled down Paul's face from his left eye. The champion was short with his left and Delaney planted a well timed; right on the jaw. Delaney sent over another uppercut to the body as the hell sounded.
They shook hands. The crowd cheered the challenger as he slapped his left to the face. Berlenbach stung Delaney with a right to the head and dropped his left to the body. Delaney missed with a right lead but a second landed on Paul's open jaw. Paul sent a weak left to the head and clinched. Another right uppercut forced Paul to clinch. A left to the head and a ripping right to the body staggered the champion. A powerful right traveling only a few inches caught Berlenbach under the chin and almost floored him. They were punching furiously at the bell.
Manitoba Free Press
Saturday January 29, 1927
Mike McTigue Knocks Out Berlenbach in 4th
Veteran Boxer Beats Man
Who Took Title From Him
McTigue Uncovers Furious Attack in Third and Fourth; Sending Berlenbach to the Canvas Once in Third and Three Times in Fourth, Referee Stopping Bout to Save Berlenbach From Further Punishment—McTigue Shows Most Punishing Attack of Career.
(By FRANK GETTY)
Madison Square Garden. New York, Jan. 28. — Mike McTigue, the gallant old Celt who found a fountain of youth and a knockout wallop in his 39th year, knocked out Paul Berlenbach erstwhile "Astoria Assassin," in the fourth round of their fight in Madison Square Garden tonight before a capacity crowd.
Before he put away the highly touted Dutchman. McTigue administered one of the severest beatings ever handed out in a New York ring, and Berlenbach was so terribly punished that at the finish Referee Kid McPartland stepped between Mike and his beaten foe and stopped the slaughter.From the start to the finish of the bout it was all McTigue.
The Irishman outpointed Berlenbach for two rounds. Then, when Paul opened up and started to mix things with Mike, the aging Celt swapped punches with his opponent, cutting loose with a series of right socks which sent Berly to the canvas time- after time, until it was only the bell that enabled the New. Yorker to' survive the third round.
Paul was propped up in his corner and fanned back into shape between rounds, but in the fourth, McTlgue was over him like a tent. This was not the Mike McTigue that we knew in the old days, but a terror blown down from the Boyne .a slugger who laid in blows with both hands, careless of what little punishment the wilting Berlenbach still could inflict with his once terrible left.
McTigue the Killer
Bang, the ponderous Berlenbach went down for the count. As he struggled to his feet —sock, McTigue hit him again. Mike was a flurry of fists flying from every angle into the bewildered Dutchman's countenance. Paul, with the cheers of a rather partial crowd still urging him on. kept struggling through the hail storm of blows, trying to land his heavy left on his tormentor.
But McTigue was not to be denied. Mike knew he had his man now and with a broad Irish grin that showed where the teeth of- his previous fights were missing, he leaped in at Paul. McTigue had declared he would finish Berlenbach If ever the chance arose and he was seizing line opportunity with both clenched fists.
From every angle, he threw hooks and jabs as Berlenbach weakened and sagged and finally went down, helpless in a corner.
It was only humane for McPartland to stop the fight, but there was no doubt as to what would have been the outcome. McTigue certainly would have landed a finishing punch within a second or two for the bewildered Berlenbach could not raise his arm.
At the start, it was not apparent that McTigue would win so easily. Berly had an eight-pound pull in the weight. Berlenbach weighed 177, McTigue 169 pounds.
Paul. made the mistake of trying to Box Mike in the first round, and the Irishman had all the better of that session. He crossed his right repeatedly to Berlenbach's head, without return.
In the second round, Paul went after Mike with some of the left-handed blows for which he once was famous as the ' Astoria Assassin," and opened a cut over the Celt's right eye. McTigue weathered the storm, however, and shook Berlenbach wtih a series of short rights to the face.
McTigue Opens Up
McTigue opened up on Berlenbach In the third and battered Paul all over the ring. He knocked him down for a short count just before the bell, and after getting up Berlenbach sank again to one knee, without being hit. He should have been disqualified but the bell rang, and the referee helped Paul to his corner . The end came after two; minutes and
43 seconds of modified murder in the fourth.
After the "bout, McTigue .said:
“ I ought to get into the heavyweight elimination contest now. I told everyone I'd lick the Dutchman, that they
used to call the 'Mankiller,' 'but now I want a chance at the other heavyweights."
New York. Jan. 28.—The fight by rounds follows:
They lost no time in going into action, Berlenbach working both hands to the body, while Mike, retaliated with a right uppercut. The veteran Irishman smashed a hard right to the jaw. Mike was forcing the fighting, but he took two sharp lefts to the head.
Mike showed a healthy respect for Paul's left, dodged it. and, connected with his right. Berlenbach rushed McTigue to the ropes, and opened a cut over the Irishman's right eye with a stiff right, hook. Mike Jarred Paul with an overhand right to the ear.. They mixed at a lively pace, and McTigue connected twice with his right to the. head.
Berlenbach, hooked his left to the jaw. At close range McTigue worked both hands to the chin. Mike missed two leads to the head, but connected with a hard right. The Irishman caught Paul with two solid smashes to the head. Paul stumbled and almost, fell. McTigue battered Berlenbach and knocked him down with a smashing right hook as the bell rang.
McTigue met Berlenbach with two smashing rights, and hammered him viciously along the ropes. Paul fought back gamely and hung on desperately in a clinch. Mike sent Paul down with a. hard right, but he was up at the count of nine. Paul gamely leaped in, but he was punched back under a shower of vicious rights. He went down, again for a count of nine. Berlenbach met a shower of rights and lefts as he struggled to his feet again. He reeled back to the ropes under the impact of a smashing uppercut and sank toward the floor grasping McTigue around the waist to keep from going down. Referee McPartland stepped in to stop the bout and save Berlanbach from further punishment. .The end came after 2 minutes and 43 seconds of the round had. elapsed.
27 March 1961
From Cabbie To Champ
The years and fate have been kind to Paul Berlenbach, one-time light heavyweight champion of the world. A New Yorker since his birth, the 61-year-old former champion is visiting Oakland for the first time since 1927 after he lost his title to Jack Delaney, the French-Canadian.During his ring career, which stretched over 10 years from 1923 t h r o u g h 1933, Berlenbach scored 30 knockouts. He was knocked out three times, twice by his nemesis. Delaney, and by Mike McTigue, the Irish light heavyweight champion.
Berlenbach isn't like most old timers who belittle modern day fighters. He only modestly suggests they came just a bit tougher in his day.Berlenbach won the title from Mike McTigue in New York in 1925. Mike had gained the title from Battling Siki. the Senegalese who had the temerity to put his crown on the line in Dublin, Ireland on St Patricks Day. 1923.
Berlenbach risked his title against Delaney in a bout which opened Madison Square Garden in New York City. Dec 11, 1925 He beat Delaney in 15 rounds, the only time he accomplished the feat. Asked why he had never met Jack Dempsey in the ring. Berlenbach smiled wryly and said:
"We talked often of a match with Dempsey. I wanted the bout in New York. Dempsey didn't want to fight me in New York where he couldn't stand over a man after
knocking him down, but would have to go to a neutral corner.
"Jack didn't want to go 15 rounds either, and he would have been forced to agree to those terms in a New York title fight. We couldn't get together and so I didn't get a chance at the heavyweight title. "But. don't get me wrong," Berlenbach continued. "Dempsey was a whale of a fighter. Why, in his prime he could have licked 10 Gene Tunneys in the same night."
The ex-champion said he made money in the fight game and put it away in what he thought was a safe investment.
"I invested all my earnings in municipal bonds." Paul explained. "When the 1929 depression hit. the bonds defaulted. I could have held on. But I didn't want my wife and I to become a public charge so I sold them at a great loss bit by bit."
"However I'm not complaining I have enjoyed fine health all these years and have been happy for 20 years in a job with the Jacob Ruppert Brewery in New York I have fared well."
Berlenbach hasn't strayed far from home base He still lives in Gramercy Park. Manhattan. He weighs but 178 pounds, just three over his fighting weight of years ago.It isn't too strange that Berlenbach got into the fight game through driving a cab .In his youth he won the 1920 Olympic Heavyweight Wrestling championship in Antwerp. He found his wrestling skills were no match for some of the tough fares he picked up around Gramercy Park.
Tired of losing money and decisions he went to Dan Hickey head trainer of the New York Athletic Club. Hickey took him in hand and when he showed ability it wasn't long before he was fighting in amateurs. He won the National AAC heavyweight championship in 1922. When he turned pro in the light heavy ranks, Dan Hickey stayed with him as manager. The pair remained fast friends through his career and shared success as Berlenbach climbed the fistic ladder.
Berlenbach fought them all. Johnny Risko, the Rubber Man, Young Stribling, Mickey Walker, Jimmy Darcy, Battling Siki and a host of other former greats of the ring. His fondest recollection is of his father William, a product of the old country in the Rhineland and proud as punch of his fighting boy.
“I would give him a ticket , in the gallery, because he always created too much fuss
at ringside," Berlenbach recalled. "But when he arrived at the arena he would demand a
ringside seat or threaten to pull me out of the bout. There he would be when I came in,
yelling at everyone and offering to fight the crowd for both of us."
After a visit of two weeks here with his brother Joseph, a retired brewmaster, he will return to New York and his job.
(BY JOE WILLIAMS)
Pound 'Em Paul Berlenbach will never rank with the immortals of the prize, ring, despite all the glowing phrases you may read of his potential powers as a coming heavyweight.Pound 'Em Paul, I am convinced after seeing him defend his title against Jack Delaney, Canadian sharpshooter, is simply a one-handed fighter, possessing incredible stamina and courage. Pound 'Em Paul can hook with the left and shoot the punch over straight Though he does not seem to be a master of timing, the Manhattan Dutchman manages to get considerable power into the blow. The effect is that of a jarring Jolt rather than an explosion.
But Pound 'Em Paul employs his right hand solely for defensive purposes. if it were not for this it would be easy to enthuse over Berlenbach as a possible conqueror of Jack Dempsey in months to come. A strictly one handed fighter seldom catches up with lasting fame, and this is what Pound 'Em Paul seems to be.
Old Man Hlckey, who manages the Dutchman, thinks he is the ring's new man of destiny. Hickey relates how Berlenbach was deaf and dumb at the age of two following an attack of Scarlet fever how he had These restored ten years later by accidentally touching a live electric wire, how be took up wrestling; and went on to win the Olympic championship, how he decided of his own accord that boxing was better suited to his temperament and muscular gifts, and how, starting as preliminary fighter two years ago, he climbed by gradual degrees to the light heavy weight championship.
Berlenbach is Hickey all over.who completely dominates him. Hickey’s moods are Berlenbach’s ,and Berlenbach's own personality is completely submerged by the older man's influence.If, Hickey were to tell Berlenbach to fight Dempsey and Wills in the same ring tomorrow 'between the fashionable hours of three and five, he would do It unhesitatingly. And if Hickey added. These two birds will be push-overs for you," Berlenbach, not stopping to analyze the situation himself, would believe It.
Hickey is boxing Instructor at the New York A. C. That is where he and Berlenbach met. Berlenbach was an amateur wrestler at the time. He began fiddling around with the gloves. Hickey ignored him. Berlenbach worked all the harder. One_day, Hickey put on the gloves with the youngster. The story is Berlenbach crumpled the professor with a left hook to the body right off.
Whether this is one of the picturesque little legends that spring up to furnish conversational background for a hew sudden success, I don't know; but at any rate Hickey immediately became Berlenbach’s manager. Hickey is credited with being the author of the famous “shift” with which Fitsimmons gained so many of his notable triumphs in the yesteryears of the sport. The “Shift” consisted of a bluff to hit with the right hand, a sudden shift of body and feet, followed by a quick planting of the left to the waistline.
It worked perfectly on Jim Corbett and brought the, heavyweight championship to the speckled Cornishman. Berlenbach does not use the shift at all. It is not hard to understand why either. The shift is a strategic maneuver demanding shrewdness and mental trickery. Fitzsimmons was excellently equipped to use it, but Berlenbach Is about as cagey as a wooden Indian.