Many Famous Fighters used Ring Names - by Jeff Ellis
Ring names were developed as a way
to allow boxers to hide their true identities
or because their name was difficult
to pronounce or considered unattractive
or would project the wrong image.
Many fighters will also use a nickname
or alias in addition to their real name for
marketability and other reasons.
Ted “Kid” Lewis who won the world
welterweight title in August 1915 when
he outpointed Jack Britton was born
Gershon Mendeloff and was one of the
earliest fighters to adopt a ring name.
As a youngster he went to the Judean
Athletic Club in the East End of London as a spectator one Sunday afternoon.
When one of the boxers failed to turn
up, he went in as a substitute. He fought
like a novice and was beaten on points
but survived six rounds for which he was
paid sixpence and a cup of tea.
After his gutsy effort, he returned the
next week to win his first professional
contest; a six-round points decision over
Joe Lipman. He was still six weeks short
of his fifteenth birthday.
Lewis went on to have another 129
fights before he got a crack at the British
featherweight title. That was against Alec Lambert, whom he stopped in the 17th round at the National Sporting Club on October 6, 1913.
In February 1914 he won the vacant European featherweight title when he beat Paul Til on a 12th- round disqualification.
Ted’s father never knew about his
early fights at the Judean Club as his
real name did not appear on any bills or
posters. He fought as Kid Lewis, but why
he chose this name, remained a mystery.
He subsequently changed this to
Ted “Kid’ Lewis.
Hereunder are some of the famous fighters who used ring names.