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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.