Sport: Boxing Inducted: 2000 Country: United States Born: November 5, 1899 in New York, New
York Died: December 26, 1945
won the World Junior Lightweight Championship on May 30,
1923, decisioning titleholder Johnny Dundee in
New York City’s Velodrome. He lost the championship
back to Dundee on December 17 that same year in a 15-round
The 5'3", 128-pound Bernstein was a 4-to-1 underdog when
he stepped into the ring against Dundee in their first match.
But he picked himself off the canvas in the third round to
earn a unanimous 15-round decision and the Junior Lightweight
In their return bout seven months later on December 17, Bernstein
again dominated Dundee. This time the 15round decision
went to the ex-champion. Some media called the victory decision
for Dundee “outrageous,” “putrid,” and “a
heist.” The two fought a “rubber” third
match 10 months later, on September 15, 1924, 3 months
after Dundee lost his Junior Lightweight title. This time
the 15-round decision went unanimously to Bernstein.
John Dodick first stepped into the ring at age 14 as “Young
Kiddy.” In his third match—labeled a workout—he
went six rounds in a no-decision fight against young Benny
Leonard. A few
years later, champion Leonard would not give the mature
Bernstein a chance at his title.
Jack also fought the three boxers who would succeed Leonard
as Lightweight Champion, all in non-title bouts. He
beat Jimmy Goodrich (Leonard’s successor) twice.
Against Rocky Kansas (who followed Goodrich), Bernstein
won the first in a 15-round decision, drew the second,
and lost the third bout. His first fight against Sammy
Mandell, Kansas’ successor, ended in a 15-round draw.
The second was a no-decision. Their third meeting was a
10round loss for Bernstein. All three Mandell fights
took place within six months.
Enlisting in the Army during World War I, Dodick fought
under the name of Kid Murphy. Stationed near the Mexican
border, he won a 20-round decision in El Paso, Texas,
over Mexican champion Nick Gundy to win what was labeled
the Featherweight Border Championship.
Bernstein’s recorded professional record: 89 bouts,
60 wins (14 KOs, 1 foul), 8 draws, 21 losses (1 KO).