The five boxers with the oddest, silliest, least appropriate and overall worst nicknames in history would have to include:
1. Max “Smacksie” Maxie Rosenbloom
Rosenbloom hit, often, with an open hand, thus picking up the nickname, Slapsie. From 1932 to 1934 he was the Light Heavyweight champion of the world. Later in life, he became a movie actor playing punch-drunk and muscle-bound buffoon types. He was entered to the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
2. Jimmy “the Jabberwock” Jabber
Originally hailing from the “Cockney” part of London, no one in this country could ever understand anything he said – but whatever it was, he said it with a great deal of conviction, vigor and volume. Fans of Lewis Carrol who also followed the admittedly barbaric sport of pugilism, nicknamed him “The Jabberwok” because he seemed to speak only in gibberish. Very little information is available about Jimmy except that it is said he never won a single fight in his less-than-stellar two month career.
He joined the US Army expeditionary Forces in 1915 and came back in a box a week later.
3. Archibald “Loser Lefty” Lefkowitz
Like Jimmy, Lefkowitz never won a match. Some people ere jokingly referred to, because of their awkwardness, of having two left feet. His jabs and punches were so uncoordinated, that one sportswriter of the time gave him the moniker of “Loser Lefty”
Because he only jabbed. In the world of boxing, that means he fought as though he had two left hands. Jabs only… no knock out punches… no wins. Known to his friends as Archie, he wound up opening a chain of lemonade stands in the San Fernando Valley of California during prohibition where he died from an overdose of tartness from a bad crop of fruit.
4. Benito “Bearclaw” Buffington
“Bearclaw” was a sad case. Born with a congenital deformity that left him with hands the size of legs of lamb (mutton chops, as they were called at the time) his power was in the sheer size of his fists. Sadly, no boxing glove manufacturer could make gloves to fit him and he broke all the knuckles of his right hand in his very first fight which, by the way, was against old Smacksie Maxie in 1933.
5. Moishe “The Rebbe” Ginsberg
Born to a family of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn in 1901, Moishe studied at yeshiva until it was clear that he lacked both the ability and interest to learn Hebrew or study Torah. What was left for a Jewish kid who had some muscles to do. So, rather than taking a job on the docks, he became ordained by a mail-order Rabbi school in Michigan and took the name ‘The Rebbe” so everyone would know he was chosen. Unfortunately he was not chosen to win fights and died after being KO’d in his very first one (against and Anglican woman) in 1922.
Of these five, Maxie was the only one to rise above obscurity – for what I am sure were very good reasons!