Sport: Boxing Inducted: 1992 Country: United States Born: September 28, 1898 in Philadelphia,
PA Died: November 7, 1970
is called “the greatest southpaw (left-hander) in ring
history” by The Ring magazine’s editor-publisher
Nat Fleischer. In 1961, Tendler became the sixteenth prize-fighter
elected to the Boxing Hall of Fame. Yet, as great a fighter
as he was, Tendler never won a championship.
From his first professional fight in 1913, at age 15 years,
until his final bout in
1928, Tendler fought the best in four weight classes,
including seven world champions.
A brilliant lightweight and welterweight, Tendler made just
one career mistake: fighting in the same era as the legendary
Benny Leonard. He would meet champion Leonard in two classic
and widely heralded matches, losing the first bruising battle
on a no-decision. Although the younger Tendler had soundly
thrashed Leonard throughout their 12- round bout, the State
of New Jersey (site of the July 27, 1922 match) had a “no-decision
law” that meant a champion could only lose his title
by a knockout.
On July 24, 1923, nearly a year to the day later, a New York
City crowd of 58,519 paid $452,648 to see the pair clash
again for the title. It was the largest gate ever for the
lightweight division. This time Leonard prevailed in a 15-round
decision—decisions being legal in the State of New
Lefty Lew moved up a weight class and defeated the
two top contenders for the Welterweight Championship, Ted
Marsh (4-round KO) and Sailor Friedman (10-round decision).
Just 11 months after his second fight with Benny Leonard,
on June 2, 1924, Tendler battled Mickey Walker for the World
Welterweight crown. He lost a 10-round decision.
Tendler’s professional record: 167 bouts—won
59 (37 KOs), drew 2, lost 11 (7 by decision, 3 on fouls,
one KO by), 94 no-decisions, 1 no-contest.