I met a father and son from Philadelphia . The father was in his 70s and a proud son of the city of brotherly love. We got to talking and somehow I brought up two of the most famous athletes in Philadelphia history. He had heard of neither. Of course he knew Smoking Joe Frazier but had never heard of Vic Seixas or Lew Tendler.
Now for a year’s free subscription to the Millbrook Times, do you know who the latter two were?
Ok here we go:
Vic Seixas: who at 96 is still around
Seixas in 1954
|Full name||Elias Victor Seixas Jr.|
|Country (sports)||United States|
|Born||August 30, 1923
Philadelphia, United States
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Plays||Right-handed (one-handed backhand)|
|Int. Tennis HoF||1971 (member page)|
|Career record||801-236 (77.2%) |
|Career titles||49 |
|Highest ranking||No. 3 (ITHF)|
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|Australian Open||SF (1953)|
|French Open||F (1953)|
|US Open||W (1954)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|Australian Open||W (1955)|
|French Open||W (1954, 1955)|
|Wimbledon||F (1952, 1954)|
|US Open||W (1952, 1954)|
|Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results|
|French Open||W (1953)|
|Wimbledon||W (1953, 1954, 1955, 1956)|
|US Open||W (1953, 1954, 1955)|
|Davis Cup||W (1954)|
Tendler was a clever, left-handed boxer who was quick and had lots of “savvy”; He lost only 16 official verdicts in 172 contests, scored 39 knockouts during his career and is generally considered to be one of the finest fighters to never have won a world title; He is easily the greatest southpaw to never win one; Lew is considered by many to be the third greatest Jewish fighter of all time, behind only his arch-rival, Benny Leonard, and Barney Ross; In retirement, Tendler ran restaraunts in Atlantic City and in Philadelphia, which became a popular pre-fight hangout.
Here is a video from 1922 Lew Tendler against Benny Leonard. Notice how they shake hands before the fight! This video really shows what boxing used to be when it was still known as the sweet science.
“Lefty” Lew Tendler was an American boxer. He is generally considered one of the best boxers to never have won a world title, though he was a top rated contender for both the world light and welterweight championships.