International Boxing Hall of Fame
"The Little Fish"
CLICK HERE Benny Bass' complete record from boxrec.com
He was world featherweight champion, and world junior lightweight champion.
Regarding Bass, Jack Dempsey was quoted as saying: "He is the greatest fighter of his weight and inches I have ever set my eyes upon." At a diminutive 5' 2", Benny possessed a bull neck and extraordinary musculature around his shoulders & biceps. He was a powerful force & rarely fought at over 130 pounds. Bass was one of the hardest punchers ever in the featherweight and junior lightweight divisions. Contemporary Ring Magazine writer, Francis Albertani, described Benny as "A deadly puncher, cool as the proverbial pebble under fire and a masterful boxer."
By the age of 15, Benny began his amateur career, winning 95 out of an estimated 100 bouts. He earned a shot at representing the U.S. in the Olympics, but lost a heated decision to future world flyweight champion Frankie Genaro in the box-offs. Genaro went on to win the gold medal at flyweight in the 1920 Olympics.
In 1920, at age 16, Bass won the U.S. Middle States Flyweight Championship.
Over the next three years Benny socked his way to an outstanding record of 53-4 with 1 NC, 2-Draws & 13 ND. Then, the great featherweight champion, Lewis "Kid" Kaplan, resigned the featherweight title due to weight problems leaving a small group of contenders to vie for the vacant crown.
The N.B.A. matched Benny with a leading contender, Morris Kaplan, whose nom de guerre was Red Chapman. Chapman was a mauling bruising in-fighter who had previously lost to Bass (WF-1). Benny and Chapman squared off for the vacant N.B.A. featherweight title on September 19, 1927, in Philadelphia. Upon winning a well-deserved decision Benny Bass became the featherweight champion of the world.
On February 10th, 1928, he faced Tony Canzoneri in New York City for the undisputed world title. Even though he lost a 15-round decision along with his title, Bass covered himself with fistic glory in a display of courage & stamina. During the third round of the encounter Bass somehow got his collarbone broken in five places. This kind of injury is excruciatingly painful making even something as simple as clenching your fists & holding them up agonizing. He somehow not only mustered the will too fight on for another 12 rounds; but from the 10th round on, he mounted a furious rally & almost pulled out of an extremely close 15 round split decision loss.
He retired after two consecutive 10 round losses in 1940.
After all the years of blood and effort Benny was dead broke. As Benny put it: "Everybody who needed money got it from me."Cyber Boxing Zone bio
Benny was no dummy, however, and even though he lacked much formal scholastic training he had a sharp mind, as evinced by his fluency in five languages. Applying himself with the same resolve he had displayed in the ring, Benny passed a Civil Service exam and worked a desk job for the Philadelphia traffic courts for many years.
He is enshrined in the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall Of Fame.