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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Look Back: Mark Weinman

In an effort to link the past with the present, The Jewish Boxing Blog will present monthly a short biography of notable former Jewish boxers.

Mark Weinman represents that effort better than anyone. A prospect who saw his career derailed over two decades ago, Weinman triumphantly returned to the ring at the age of 50 last week.

Weinman was born on August 5, 1962 and raised in Queens, New York. There, he developed a love for boxing along with his younger brother, David. Mark found success in the amateurs. He won the Spanish Golden Gloves and was a three-time Police Athletic League champion. In 1983, Weinman came up short against Dennis Milton in the New York Golden Gloves 156-pound final.

On November 21, 1985, Weinman, a junior middleweight, made his professional debut. It resulted in a second round stoppage victory over Ted Dancey in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Weinman, nicknamed the "Hebrew Hammer," saw his next four bouts also end inside the distance. All were victories.

On July 10, 1986, Weinman easily outpointed Eric Holland despite giving up six and a half pounds to his opponent. Holland was winless at the time, but would later win a minor world title at middleweight. In his next bout, Weinman cruised to a unanimous decision victory over another winless fighter.

The Hammer then returned to his power-punching ways. Charles Bullock (5-1 at the time) was stopped 1:23 into the fifth round by Weinman in January of 1987. Weinman improved to 8-0. His next two matches resulted in 5th round TKOs as well. Undefeated Dennis Dickerson was one of the victims. L.C. Robinson was knocked down twice in first round of his August 20, 1987 bout with Weinman before the fight was stopped. Bernie "Schoolboy" Friedkin, a popular Jewish fighter from years before, was a judge.

With his amateur pedigree and 11-0 record (nine KOs), Weinman looked the part of a future champion. Mark featured a devastating left hook to the body, his signature punch. He took a step up to fight undefeated Warren Williams in Las Vegas, Nevada. It marked the first time Weinman was to fight outside of New York or New Jersey. For the first time in his career, Mark lost. He was stopped in the seventh. The careers of both fighters then hit a downward spiral.

Weinman tried to get right back into the ring, but was stopped again two months later. He took time away from the sport until returning at middleweight against Kelvin Prather on September 20, 1991. He was stopped again.

Weinman then retired and became a trainer. One of his charges was heavyweight Richie Melito (27-1, 25 KOs), who he guided from the Parrot Gym in Queens, New York. He has continued to shape young men since.

But a year ago, Weinman had a revelation. It seemed he had more desire than some of his boxers. So, he planned a comeback. Mark claimed, "I feel fresh; I had only 14 pro fights, so I'm not shopworn. I can still punch like a mule. I have been training for this comeback since the summer of 2011 and have boxed over 500 rounds. My left hook is back and their are no weight problems anymore. My stamina feels great."

Last Friday, Weinman entered the ring as a combatant for the first time in 21 years. Lights beamed off his now-hairless head. He faced 36-year old veteran journeyman Elvi "El Burrito" Martinez. A mere 39 seconds into the second round, referee Frank Gentile waved off the fight. Weinman had gained some redemption with his first victory in 25 years.

After the bout, Mark explained, "I didn't like the way my career ended. I started out 11-0 as a pro with nine knockouts, but things didn't go well after that. I wanted to try it again." He is now 12-3 with 10 KOs.

Bibliography
Baker, Al. "There is a contender..." New York Daily News. March 5, 1995.
Folstad, Rick. "Return to ring a victorious one." Tamps Bay Online. September 8, 2012.
Nussbaum, James Ford. "50-year old makes boxing comeback after 21-year absence tomorrow." GP MEDIA-Galileo Productions, LLC blog. September 9, 2012

6 comments:

  1. Mark helped me very much, when I win the New York Golden Gloves Championship at 1992. But I`ve lost contact. Can anyone help me to find my friend again.?
    Emin Tokay

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I actually know him, try contacting me at my blog http://currentsofspace.blogspot.com/

      Delete
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  3. Call me ill give you marks num ber he has a gym in cali,my number 7178557117 im nick,ill tex u his number,he will be happy to hear from you,take care,nick

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  4. Call me ill give you marks num ber he has a gym in cali,my number 7178557117 im nick,ill tex u his number,he will be happy to hear from you,take care,nick

    ReplyDelete
  5. we both fought in the 1982 golden gloves together representing PAL. Havent seen him since the early 90s. would be nice to see or talk to him.

    Joe Chiaramonte

    ReplyDelete