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Lew Jenkins ("The Living Death" and "The Sweetwater Swatter")

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Lew Jenkins
Real name Verlin E. Jenkins
Nickname(s) The Sweetwater Swatter
Rated at Lightweight
Nationality Flag of the United States American
Birth date December 4, 1916
Birth place Milburn, Texas
Death date October 30, 1981 (aged 64)
Death place Oakland, California
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 121
Wins 74
Wins by KO 52
Losses 42
Draws 5
No contests 0

Lew Jenkins (December 4, 1916 - October 30, 1981) was an American boxer and Lightweight Champion of the World. He was born in Milburn, Texas and was raised in Depression-era Texas. He began fighting in carnivals and the US Army ultimately defeating Lou Ambers in New York City on May 10, 1940 to become champion.

[edit] Professional career

Jenkins was a terrific puncher for a lightweight, and scored knockout victories over noted fighters Lou Ambers, Tippy Larkin, and Mike Belloise. After winning the championship from Ambers Jenkins went wild. He spent his money as fast as he made it on whiskey, women and cars. He rarely went to sleep before dawn, drank recklessly and crashed several motorcycles and cars.

On December 19, 1941 Jenkins defended his title against Sammy Angott. Fighting with an injured neck he suffered from a motorcycle crash, Jenkins was outpointed over 15 rounds. From then on he hit the skids, and lost more often than he won.

[edit] Military career

Jenkins served in World War II. Jenkins served in the United States Coast Guard, participating in troop deployment, and in the thick of several enemy fires during the Allied invasions of North Africa and Europe. He reportedly was in the D-Day invasion. Jenkins was decorated for gallantry and his actions, including the Silver Star, and saved several men after they were cut off behind enemy lines. When the Korean Conflict broke out he re-enlisted in the infantry.

[edit] Boxing Comeback

He attempted a comeback after WWII, but was unable to regain his status as a top lightweight and welterweight. He retired from boxing in 1950.

Jenkins made the Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

Jenkins died October 30, 1981 in Oakland, CA, USA. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.