Pinky Silverberg: The Forgotten Flyweight Boxing Champion

Pinky Silverberg was a Connecticut-based American boxer who briefly held the National Boxing Association (NBA) World Flyweight title in late 1927. Born on April 5, 1904, in the Bronx, New York, Silverberg began his professional boxing career at the tender age of 16 to support his family.

Despite his small stature, standing at just 5’4″ tall, Silverberg was known for his efficient defense and remarkable durability. Throughout his career, he was knocked out only once, by Willie LaMorte in 1926. Silverberg’s boxing style was characterized by his quick footwork, counter-punching abilities, and a relentless determination to outmaneuver his opponents.

In October 1927, Silverberg achieved his greatest triumph when he won the vacant NBA World Flyweight title by disqualification against Dark Cloud Bradley at the State Armory in Bridgeport, Connecticut. However, his reign as champion was short-lived, as he was controversially stripped of the title just two months later for an “unsatisfactory showing” in a non-title bout – a decision that remains highly debated in boxing history.

Silverberg’s career was marked by numerous notable bouts against some of the greatest flyweights and bantamweights of his era, including Dark Cloud Bradley, Kid Chocolate, Panama Al Brown, and Midget Wolgast. Despite facing formidable opponents, Silverberg’s tenacity and skill earned him respect and admiration from fans and fellow boxers alike.

After a career spanning over a decade, Silverberg retired from professional boxing in 1937. He settled in Ansonia, Connecticut, where he became a beloved figure in the local community. In recent years, Silverberg’s legacy has been celebrated through annual amateur boxing shows and the permanent display of his championship belt at the Ansonia Library.

Although often overlooked in the annals of boxing history, Pinky Silverberg’s remarkable journey from the streets of the Bronx to the pinnacle of the flyweight division serves as a testament to his unwavering determination, skill, and passion for the sport he loved.


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