Name: Harry Mizler
Hometown: St George's, London, United Kingdom
Age at Death: 76.
Adaptation of articles published 1952, Boxing News.
THE Perfect Fighting Machine descends on us so very occasionally yet, when he does, the tendency is to take him for granted.
During the past half century who has there been worthy of that exalted title ?. In the United State Mickey Walker, Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong and Ray Robinsoon. Over here Jimmy Wilde, Jim Driscoll, Kid Lewis, Benny Lynch and Randolph Turpin, while the Continent has contributed the tragic Marcel Cerdan.
Yet one finds the task of selecting the greatest boxers, from a class field, comparable to finding the sweetest fruit in a box of fresh strawberries.
There have been thousands of fighters from every weight division who have reached championship class. Men who have won titles, others who have never been given their deserved opportunity, and youngsters whom fate has, treated cruelly.
And for every career, there is a story worthy of inclusion in the long history of boxing's annals.
The burning question that constantly remains unanswered is . . . What qualifications are required to raise the good boxer into the immortal class ?
Michaelangelo once wrote:
" Trifles make perfection, and Perfection is no trifle."
But surely that is a matter of opinion. The only answer that covers the whole question is —results ! For as I see it, there have been, and still are many who possess the every attribute necessary to a champion's make-up, but lack that extra indefinable quality that bridges the difference between the forgotten man, and the name that springs at once to people's lips.
Harry Mizler, who won the British lightweight title in 1934 at the age of 21, and lost it two years later, was an outstanding example of an athlete once idolised and now remembered by only the few.
Mizler, champion in his 14th professional contest at a time when there was an abundance of class performers, and who retired from the ring as recently as 1945, was the last of a long succession of outstanding Jewish scrappers.
If you pin-point the essentials that constitute a great boxer, Harry had them all.
Boxing ability, punch and ability to take punishment. Mizler was a classic stylist who used with devastating effect the copybook English straight left which most present day fighters are taught, and so few perfect.
After he outpointed Johnny Cuthbert, of Sheffield, to annex the British lightweight crown, Charlie Thomas the referee said that Mizler's left hand was the finest he had seen since the days of Driscoll.
Secondly, Harry was a boxer who used the heavy artillery in his right fist sparingly, but when he unleashed that weapon it usually spelt curtains for his opponent. His ability to spot the split-second opening in his opponent's defence, and at timing a blow were exceptional.
Always handicapped by weak hands Mizler actually broke both knuckles when losing for the first time inside the distance — the first of his contests with Jack Kid Berg.
But in his initial year in the paid ranks he was undefeated in thirteen matches — ten opponents were stopped decisively inside the distance. After damaging his hands Mizler was often rather apprehensive about punching too hard, but even so his record was studded with knock-out victories.
Last but not least, while Mizler was no rugged two-fisted battler hewn from granite, his durability became legend.
His never-say-die performance against the iron-fisted Gustave Humery on an October night in 1935, is still considered today one of the finest displays of gallantry and sheer guts seen in this country.
CAME BACK TO WIN
He won that fight but the manner in which he survived knockdown after knockdown for seven seemingly endless pain-filled rounds, and absorbed enough punishment for ten men, brought tears to the eyes of hardened fight fans.
The only comparison by present day standards (for those who do not remember Humery) is to imagine any middleweight surviving all the punishment Randy Turpin could hand out. Then coming back to stop the Leamington Licker with practically one punch in the eighth round.
But that is what Mizler accompished. Even his corner team begged the East Ender to give up, while only his wonderful lighting spirit enabled him to keep getting up from the canvas where the Frenchman unceremoniously dumped him time and again.
The only man in that vast arena that night who had the same faith was referee Moss Deyong, who was condemned by many at the time for not stopping the unequal struggle to prevent Mizler from sustaining serious injury.
In fact, although Harry gained the decision and lots of glory, he was so badly mauled that he spent the two succeeding months recovering from the effects of the punishment.
If anyone is in a position to comment accurately on Mizler the fighter, it is his old trainer and inseparable companion Nat Seller. Nat, who has trained as many good boys as he has hairs on his head, supports the theory that Mizler had the ability of a great fighter, and adds " besides his qualities as a boxer he was a remarkably clean living and conscientious lad."
Why, then couldn't Harry go on to capture a World championship, or even retain his British title in that second defence in 1936 ? Perhaps after reading this story you will form your own conclusions.
Many factors have contributed to the issue. But even his intimate friends are divided in their opinions. Some say that Mizler's fate changed on the day his hands were seriously damaged, despite the fact that he went on in later years to win some of his greatest battles.
Others feel that the long, backbreaking hours of sweat and toil in the fish market, where he worked to assist his family, between fights, had a disastrous effect on his stamina.
That, I feel, is the likelier explanation, although it is not the full story by any means. To say that Mizler's fighting days were tough in more senses than one, is a sweeping understatement. Frequently young Harry would tumble into bed shortly after a gruelling contest and be up at the crack of dawn to get to the market.
At a time when young fighters need all the rest they can get, the Londoner may well have overtaxed his strength. Some men prefer to throw their careers away, hitting the high spots and enjoying night life, and others . . .? Well, one man's meat is another's poison, or is it merely a vicious circle ?
For all that., the handsome Southerner's record bears close scrutiny. As an amateur he was in a class of his own. winning three A.B.A. titles from bantamweight to lightweight.
He upheld British prestige in international matches, including the 1930 Empire Games in Canada, and represented his country in the 1932 Olympics at Los Angeles. That year he did not bring back a title, but for a nineteen-year-old youngster — one of only three British representatives who all failed — his performance was none the less worthy.
On professional programmes Mizler lost only sixteen fights in about eighty contests, against some of the best men in both the light and welterweight divisions, during eleven years of hectic competition. Harry fought regularly every year, but remember the war years severely handicapped all fighters who were eligible for military service. Mizler himself was an instructor in the Royal Air Force and had little time for fighting his own battles.
But the East End battler utilised his prize money sensibly. After seeing to the welfare of his family he left the fish trade and set himself up in a fashionable gown salon. Today he and his wife Betty have a flourishing concern at Golders Green.
COMPARED WITH DRISCOLL
Surely that is an object lesson to the young boxers of current times. Remember, fifteen years ago, promising talent or " big names " could not command the heavy purses that leading promoters can pay them today. It is perhaps easy to point here and there in Mizler's fine record and say " He was unbeatable that night," or " that was one long thrill." There was for example his contest with the American "midget bulldozer "Al Roth, in 1937, which John Harding of the National Sporting Club considers
His greatest promotion.
Harding proved his matchmaking ability that night by pairing two fine athletes with contrasting styles. Mizler's display in taming the tough Roth, who fought the World champion three times, was compared with Driscoll at his best, and the fight itself considered the most memorable since Driscoll v. Charles Ledoux.
Then there was his points victory over Alby Day, one of the most stirring battles ever promoted at the -old Devonshire Club. His brilliant knock-out of Norman Snow, and the Gustave Humery epic.
Yet Harry, looking back, smiles and comments: " They all came the same to me. I didn't bother myself with reputations. I just trained hard, and dealt with each one according to his merits. After all, an opponent in the ring only has two arms and two legs, the same as you."
The former champion's boxing interests these days are limited because of business demands, but he still finds time to visit local youth clubs to show the lads the advantages of leading with an old English straight left,rather than the jaw first technique—and who better to teach them
TRAINING, training and still more training is Harry Mizler's advice to the championship aspirant. And you can take that from a fighter who practised what he now preaches.
It is so easy for a naturally good fighter to be led astray and dismiss training as something that can be fitted in between times. Many champions in the past have erred in this way.
When William Muldoon, a well-known physical culturist, was prevailed upon to get a drink-sodden John L. Sullivan into shape he found the task so difficult that on one occasion he had to use force on the great champion.
But not every trainer is in a position to knock his charge about.
Muldoon,fortunately, understood Judo — but Nat Seller had only to suggest something and he could regard it as already done.
Nat who combined his duties with that of confidant-cum-guardian angel, speaks highly of Mizler's willingness : " If I wanted him in the gymnasium at 6 a.m. or midnight, he would be there on time. He was always anxious to do his best.
Of course Harry was fortunate in having Seller, whom he had known since boyhood days as a neighbour in St. Georges. Fifteen years Mizler's senior,Nat was old enough to command his respect — already at the age of twenty-one he had trained a champion—at the same time being young enough to act as companion.
But young Mizler always had a shrewd boxing brain both inside and outside the ring, and needed little urging to do what he knew was right.
LOVED HIS FAMILY
Harry became an addition to the Mizler family of two boys and two girls,in the year before the first World War. In the happy but tough early days — with an invalid father and mother who seemed to do everything for them — he developed a deep affection for the intimate circle that was his family.
Most fighters are a generous and warm-hearted section of the community,but Mizler's deep-rooted love of his family is exceptional, and he has proved it many times.
Seller tells of the few occasions that Mizler trained out of London, with a touch of good natured resignation : " When his mind should have been free of care, he would be worried stiff. On the road he would stop at practically every telephone box to ring home and make certain that nothing had gone wrong."
Harry, or Hymie as his parents called him, also had a deep respect for his brothers Judah and Morris, both keen scrappers. The former boxed in local amateur circles. while Moe Mizler turned professional to help his parents' business in Watney Street, Stepney, and boxed with considerable success at the famous "Premierland."
There were four years difference between the brothers and each passed on his boxing knowledge to his immediate junior. Consequently Harry benefited considerably from Moe's Instruction.
The youngest Mizler's first club was the Berners Street School Old Boys,and at the age of ten he gained some experience in scrapping with boys of his own size. But there was little opportunity for improvement—places like the Judean Club in the East End had finished and there was little organised instruction or suitable competition.
When the school closed down, and the club with it, he continued to learn from Moe and eventually moved to Oxford and St. George's B.C.
At fourteen, turning the scales at 1st. 71b., he began his association with the fight game. A few months on the right side of the age limit,he won a London Federation of Boys' Clubs championship and a Stepney Boys' Club title. Although unable to get about easily, his father went_ to watch him in every contest and his presence spurred young Harry to greater heights.
In 1929 and 1930 he won Federation of Boy’s Clubs titles at bantamweight. In the latter year he went on to narrowly capture the championship at the same weight, beating W. Jackson of St. Pancras B.C. on a casting vote. At seventeen, he was then the youngest boxer to win a senior A.B.A.
Strangely enough, he won that title before winning a junior honour.
EMPIRE GAMES SUCCESS.
When the first championship preliminaries began, Mizler was not quite seventeen and so ineligible for the senior competition. Instead he plunged wholeheartedly into the junior Federation tournament but halfway through the series he became seventeen and entered the A.B.A. championships.
Harry won that title and in view of that success was moved straight through to the junior final, which he won also. But as he says today, I had to — it just wouldn't have lone for the men's champion to lose .Wouldn’t have done for the men’s champion to lose to a boy”.
Because of his success, Harry was ,elected to represent Great Britain in the Empire Games held that year in Ontario, Canada. He emerged as me of the Mother Country's four winners — others were Frank Meacham, Fred Mallin and Tony Stuart — coming away with bantamweight honours.
As the youngest member of the team Harry was thrilled by the occasion and was looked after by he others, so to this day he remembers the visit to Canada as one of his greatest thrills. While he was here he won several " friendly contests " and travelled across the border into the United States for a visit.
On his return he was selected for he A.B.A. team to meet Ireland, and won contests in Dublin and Belfast. He did not defend his title the following year and instead challenged for the feathers crown. But he suffered a rare setback Then he lost to an old Oxford and St. George's B.C. rival and " bogeynen," Benny Caplan. However, the next season he achieved his ambition by outpointing Frank Frost in the final.
DAMAGED HAND VICTORY
Harry had come a long way since he first began winning fights at fourteen. Then he was a raw, two-fisted bustler with more enthusiasm than style, but by now brother Moe's lessons, plus his natural head for boxing, were paying rich dividends.
For the Olympic Games at Los Angeles that year (1932) Britain was represented by Harry, Tommy Pardoe and Dave McCleave. The trio returned without a laurel wreath between them, but for a nineteen year-old in such class company,experts reckoned the St. George's boxer had acquitted himself extremely well. He was eliminated in the quarter-finals by the American Nat Bor.
At this stage in his career the “baby" of the Miner family wanted to follow in his brother's footsteps and turn professional. But he was dissuaded and told to bring home he A.B.A. lightweight championship first.
So 1933 saw him fighting his way through to the finals, In doing so misplaced a bone in his right hand, but Professor A. E. Shakesby an eminent osteopath, was secretly called in. While waiting between bouts Mizler sat in a box at the Albert Hall with his hand plastered and tightly bandaged.
In the final he defeated twenty year-old Ernie Smith, of St. Andrew's B.C., Dublin, whom he had outpointed in the feathers semi-final the previous year.
His victory — he was later described as " The Master Boxer " - made him the only champion to emerge that night with an unblemished record. And so he emulated Fred Webster in winning titles at three different weights.
Now, with more than 150 trophies to his credit, he considered himself capable of facing and triumphing over the rigours of the paid ranks.
With Nat Seller he visited Ted Broadribb, who was then matchmaker to Jeff Dickson. They discussed Harry's potentialities, but 'Ted was not thrilled at young Mizler's prospects,although he offered him engagements as a preliminary boy.
The amateur champion and his friend then went to see the late Victor Berliner, general manager of the Blackfriars ''Ring." He arranged for Harry to box fortnightly there, so Mizler joined the same stable as amateur champions Pat Palmer and Dave McCleave.
On June 4, 1934, he entered a public ring without his amateur vest for the first time. A large crowd at the Ring that Sunday afternoon were curious to see how he would shape in his pro debut. His opponent was Bob Lamb, a tough scrapper from Sunderland. They didn't have long to. wait. It took the debutant just 2 min. 13 sec. to dispose of his opponent !
BRILLIANT PRO DEBUT
At the opening bell Mizler came out of his corner fast, meeting Lamb halfway, and sent over three swift jabs to the face. The Sunderland man poked out his own left and Mizler scored with the same punch again. The Londoner then sent his opponent staggering back with a beautifully timed left-right combination, to the jaw.
Lamb desperately threw a left hook to the body, but that was the last aggressive action he took in the contest.
Mizler tore in with a dozen clean lefts and rights to the jaw which sent Lamb down for a count of " three," but before he could box on he collapsed for another eight seconds.
He was given no respite and met another barrage of punches that sent him sagging to the canvas again for " eight." By the time he took another eight seconds count the crowd were shouting 'stop it," buta perfectly timed left and right cross sent him down, out to the wide. The referee stopped counting at three and signalled that Mizler was the victor.
Off to a brilliant start, Mizler now aroused even greater interest. He looked the goods, the crowd reasoned, but was he just a flash in the pan.
Until quite recently toughened fight fans had a peculiar attitude towards amateurs who turned professional. A clever boxer was always appreciated, but the that the poor " Simon Pure " would eventually wilt before the fury that was the professional game. That was the opinion of most " regulars " at the Ring, Blackfriars, when Mizler started out.
His boxing could not be faulted judging on past performances, they conceded, but could the upright " amateur " stance of the slim youngster withstand future onslaughts ?
Despite his brilliant one-round k.o. of Bob Lamb, who had defeated men of the calibre of Phineas John and Cuthbert Taylor, they had still to be convinced.
So it was, then, that two weeks later Jim Travis was imported from Oldham to test the ex-amateur's metal. He did better than Mizler's first professional victim—just 27 seconds better—but was not in the same class as the Londoner. Before the echoes of the opening bell died away, Harry was crashing in punches from all angles, reducing the tough Northerner to a helpless hulk.
To crown his display he jabbed back Travis's head with a jolting left, and whipped a right to the chin that dropped him like a log. The referee automatically tolled off ten seconds, but Jim was " out to the wide" for more than a minute and had to receive medical attention.
At the next show, they tried him out with Nobby Baker, a Welshman who claimed that he had never been knocked out in 200 contests. But if the crowd expected to see Harry extended, they were soon disappointed—Baker lasted only 1 min. 32 sec. ! The Welshman began by forcing the pace, but was punished heavily about the head. As his arms went up to protect his bruised features, Mizler sent him a right smash under the heart that ended the fight. At the close of the month, the Ring protege faced Albert Heasman, another former amateur from Brighton, who at least gave him a workout—for seven rounds.
'It didn't look that way in the opening round when, without preliminaries Mizler caught his opponent with a smashing right to the jaw which dropped him for two. However, he recovered well, and with his greater experience managed to bustle Harry out of his stride. In the fourth round, the local youngster connected with a long looping right to the head which had a damaging effect. Heasman was still feeling the effects in the final round when he took several punches to the head, and. the towel was thrown in from his corner.
Mizler took the same number of rounds to dispose of his next opponent in August, Jim Gordon, in the most interesting match to date. Mizler's newly-won supporters found him none too happy in the early rounds, but in the seventh, Gordon charged in wildly, Mizler ducked and consequently sent his opponent flying over his head. Jim rose at eight, but a left jab sent him back on the ropes. He swayed there, covering his head with his gloves but Mizler pummeled away until a right-hander under the heart made him drop his guard and another to the jaw dumped him on the canvas for six. He took the count on one knee, but then slithered down to his opponent's feet for the full count.
And so with consistent wins, Harry gained confidence and increased his popularity. Victories over Len Burrows who lasted two rounds ; Jim Bird of Newcastle who took him to his first points decision ; Harry Sankey. Aine Gyde and Alec Law who were stopped in nine, five and three rounds respectively.
It was now late in November and Mizler outpointed Evan Lane (Treorchy) after ten grueling rounds.' The Welshman never gave his rival an opportunity to settle down and meted out considerable punishment, but Mizler proved he could take it and kept his left hand working overtime.
The last round saw a complete reversal of fortunes, and a vicious attack by the local favourite had Lane swaying on the ropes in a dazed condition. Over-anxious Harry tore in, punching wildly and missed a great chance of finishing off his opponent before the final bell.
However, by his victory, he was paired with one of the country's outstanding battlers, Norman Snow of Northampton. Although there was no official eliminator tag to the contest, Harry was promised a title shot if he could overcome this big obstacle. They met at Olympia on December 19 in the chief supporting contest on the Seaman Watson v. Dave Crowley bill, although "Boxing News " later headlined its report, "Mizler steals Olympia show."
Normally Harry was nervous before all his contests (although his brain was ice cool as soon as the fight began), but this time a lucky omen took away all pre-fight traces of nerves.
On his way to the weigh-in with Nat Seller in the car. they drove past a news vendor's placard which carried a weather report. They looked closer and saw —"Snow on the ground.-
The fight itself was a thriller and Mizler's boxing was described later by boxing writers as "sheer brilliance." A glorious right hook shook Snow in the second round and before he could recover Mizier poled out a stiff straight left followed by a right cross. Norman crashed to the canvas and although pride made him bounce up again al three, he then collapsed for a count of six.
Harry kept on top and in the fifth round Snow was down again for eight from a right hook. In the next round a left hook to the liver, sent Snow for another visit to the canvas.
But Muter was taking the contest too seriously to rush in wildly this time, and calmly waited for the right opportunity. It came in the eighth round when Norman left his chin unguarded for a split second Over flashed a picture of a straight right and the Northampton man crashed face down. The count was purely a formality. To this day Nat Seller considers that punch one of the best k.o.'s he has seen.
Not content to rest on his laurels Harry took on the Newcastle boxer Norman Dale only four days later and won on points. Then the days seemed to fly, into 1934, until January 18 when, with just thirteen contests behind him, Harry crossed fists with the British Champion, at the Albert Hall. The title-holder was 30-pear-old Johnny Cuthbert of Sheffield, a wily and gallant veteran of 300 contests.
Johnny held the National featherweight title before going on to defeat Jim Hunter for the lightweight crown in 1932, and had defeated the best in Europe. Although he was past his peak, with his vast experience, he was still, a tough enough handful for a youngster who in comparison was still feeling his way among the professionals.
BEST SINCE DRISCOLL
After 15 spirited and wonderfully clean rounds Mizler, whose left hand work had never been better, took the crown back to the East End. Immediately the verdict was announced Cuthbert rushed across the ring to embrace his victor, and later he said : "That is the way I have always wanted to go out of the game. We have a grand fighter to take my place. Charlie Thomas, the referee, commented that Mizler's left was the best he had seen since the days of Driscoll.
During the contest, the Londoner repeatedly snapped back Cuthbert's head with a straight left, although the Sheffielder never stopped trying to connect with his powerful right. The fight maintained the same pattern but excitement never flagged —Mizler boxing with cool precision, keeping the persistent champion at a distance. By the thirteenth round the challenger had gained the upper hand, and a tired Johnny showed flashes of his old brilliance when he ducked, bobbed and weaved on the ropes where Mizler tried to pin him.
The early rounds, however, gave the southerner's supporters a few shocks because their contender repeatedly slithered about the canvas. But the trouble disappeared gradually after his seconds scraped the soles of his boots between rounds.
The mystery was solved in a broadcast later when Harry explained: " I found myself slipping when I least expected it. I could not understand it because they were the same boots as I had worn in all my fights. I only discovered the cause a day or two later”.
"Apparently one of my supporters in his enthusiasm for me to win was most anxious for me to look spick and span—and polished the boots on top and underneath. I don't know whether this was intended for me to look smart in a horizontal position, but it worried me for the first half of the fight."
Before the match Benny Lewis, a well known bookmaker, promised Harry the "Finest gold watch in Great Britain" if he could win. He has that watch to this day together with other watch and gifts heaped on him by his fans. It fact at 3 o'clock in the Monday morning after Mizler had been presented with these gifts before his own supporters at the Ring, Matt Wells, another former lightweight champion, rang up to inquire jokingly if he could tell him the time from the new watches.
But barely seven hours after the referee held up Mizler’s glove and announced the new champion the youngster was pushing his barrow at Billingsgate market to get fish for his parents stall.
From the purse money he paid for his sister Hannah’s wedding and passed the rest over to his mother to look after for him.
DURING the war the "freezing" of boxers' titles was an understandable policy, but un fortunately too many champions have since adopted the process unofficially as a means of protecting their own interests . Exhibition bouts have taken the place of title bouts and carefully selected opponents given priority over logical contenders.
But In Mizler's time things were different and the best fighters kept themselves busy, because even champions were not paid the thousands that many receive these days. Harry was no exception, and three week, after beating Cuthbert he appeared before his followers at the Blackfriars Ring, matched with a tough Belgian. Jules Steyaert . Against a dangerous swinger, he was content to rely on his superior speed and accuracy to pile up the points.
Never in trouble. Harry won by a large margin of points, but because of the contrast in styles and the Belgian's stubborn display they were paired again at the Albert Hall seventeen days later. That night fight fans were entertained " by great collection of champions. Besides Mizler and Jock McAvoy, there were former champions of England Harry Mason). Wales, Len Beynon, Australia, AI Burke) and France (Kid Francis) of the bill. Harry won this second contest just as easily as the first.
Then a month later Harry learned to take the good with the bad and swallowed the humiliation of his first setback in the professional ranks —a twelve round points defeat by Jimmy Walsh of Chester.
He had travelled into the provinces for the first time. To meet a young scrapper little known in the south. The venue was the Liverpool Stadium which has well earned its title as the Graveyard of champions but Londoners were nevertheless numbed by the defeat of the former amateur star.
However, Mizler took the defeat philosophically, and many considered it might have been more beneficial than half a dozen easy victories. Harry was the last to make excuses - for the fight champions never do or seldom do—but his advisers felt that this was one fight at least that he should never have lost.
On the day before the contest instead of travelling by train Harry and Nat Seller were driven north In a friend's brand new Sunbeam Along the route the car broke down and eventually the trio put up for the night at a hotel. His first night away from home ( since his trip abroad) was one of the unhappiest the young champion had ever experienced. He tossed and turned until nearly dawn when they resumed their journey to Liverpool. That could hardly be described as the correct preparation for an important contest.
The fight itself was not outstanding although memorable because of the betting upset that resulted. Walsh surprised the fans by cutting out the work and setting about Mizler with left midi fight hooks which found their target and clearly put the champion out of his stride. Harry fought back but his straight lefts that normally carried so much sting were only pawing efforts in comparison.
The Cestrian won every round until the fourth when Mizler connected with a right to the jaw which shook his opponent. But Jimmy recovered and used his pull in reach to keep out of trouble. Harry's best rounds were the sixth eleventh and twelfth when he attacked viciously and threw everything he had into an attempt to knock out the Midlander. But Walsh was too clever to be caught napping and a very tired boxer emerged a close but clear points winner.
Although he thought he had done enough to get the verdict Harry dashed across the ring and congratulated his rival. Smarting from the defeat, Harry went into action again at the Ring just four days later. Although he lacked a little of his usual fire he boxed well enough to outpoint Edouard Janisin, a tough Frenchman over ten rounds.
Several times he had the continental boxer on the verge of collapse but each time allowed him to recover. But his form was more impressive later in the month when he travelled to Glasgow and out-pointed Joe Kerr.
The Scot, a rugged fighter with an impressive record, caught the champion napping in the first round and floored him with a long looping right. But Harry climbed to his feet and for the rest of the contest kept a piston-like left in Kerr's face so effectively that the Scot's lace was puffed up practically twice Its normal size. At the end of the tenth stanza the Londoner had an overwhelming margin of points In his favour. Alter defeating Norman Dales at Manchester Harry Now acclimatized to the provinces went to Sheffield. Local fight fans had wanted to see the former amateur In action since day he defeated their own Johnny CuthberL And a crowd of 6,000 watched Mizler annihilate the Irish champion, Jack Garland, In two rounds.
Harry was at his best, starting at top speed and shooting out a stabbing left and a wicked right cross dropped his opponent for "eight. Garland survived the round, but in the next was outboxed and outclassed when two similar punches dropped him for another count of eight. He staggered to his feet was helpless on the ropes when a towel fluttered in.
In his next fight, against French-Tiger Defer, Harry won clearly but damaged his hands and It was not until over two months later that defended his British title against Billy Quinlan at
Although he won on points over the championship distance, his form disappointing. Harry started brilliantly and the contest began to develop a one sided atmosphere , but the Londoner not punching hard and gradually lost the initiative. He looked stale, or over trained ,and fought back only patches, while Quinlan gradually mounted up his score In the last round. Mizler suddenly realized his position and walked in determinedly and confidently.
He scored with fine crisp punches to the head and had the Welshman in a bad way but If the rally had come earlier in the contest his victory might have been more decisive.
Fortunately for him many of Quinlan’s punches were nullified because they were delivered with the open glove. Mizler explained afterwards that he was handicapped an extremely sort ring floor which affected his footwork, but the lack of fire In his performance could not be attributed to just that.
After another warming up contest —a ten round points victory over another continental, Nicolas Wilke, Harry was ready to defend his title for the second time against a very formidable rival in Jack Kid Berg. And on that night, October 29. 1931, just nine months after he was crowned. Harry was stripped of his laurels.
Berg, always a hoaxer, had learned all the tricks of his profession in American rings, And. scored In a battle of tactics In the dressing room even before the contest Mizler and his manager, the late Victor Berliner. Walked into the dressing room already earmarked for his opponent with the excuse that it was Harry's lucky" changing room” having won the championship from there. But when the challenge arrived with his manager he adopted a nonchalant attitude and proceeded to get changed himself.
While Harry looked on uncertainly Berg talked in confident tones of how he proposed winning the title. Then a few minutes before the rival fighters were due to leave he began an intensive warm up There was no doubt that the Kid looked impressive and the effect on Mizler, always sensitive before a contest, was unsettling.
Still more embarrassing for the champion was the scene afterwards when he miserably left the ring after the crown had passed from his head a to share the dressing-room again with Berg and his Jubilant party. Berg or Judah Bergman out of the ring was another great product of London's East End. A dangerous all action fighter who had met the best in the United States had restored British prestige there after the failure of Phil Scott.
When they met that night at the Albert Hall the Kid was an experienced twenty eight with every trick of the trade in his repertoire . He had won the Junior welterweight championship of the world and had twice fought Tony Canzoneri for the world's lightweight crown while in striking contras Mizler was twenty-one and a novice in comparison.
But the ex amateur was already a classic boxer and had a shrewd fighting brain. Before the opening bell. ringsiders could odds of 2 to I in favour of Berg. Yet despite their capabilities and reputations, the fight between these two fine Jewish scrappers did not live up to expectations. Neither man was at the top of his form and the contest developed into a grim, dour struggle until the end of the tenth round when Mizler retired
Harry’s superior boxing had the challenger all at sea In the first two rounds but although his straight left seldom left Berg's face, it was not the scintillating punch that hart caused the downfall of so many others.
When the Kid warmed up he attacked persistently and after a hectic set to in the centre of the ring, Mizler emerged with both hands damaged.
This handicap was virtually the end of the champion's hopes for the "Human Windmill" was difficult enough to keep at to distance in normal circumstances The fury of Berg's whirlwind attacks Increased and Harry was pushed and punished all over the ring.
Steadfastly he kept poking away with his left, but although by the seventh round the Kids eye began to swell it was ineffectual in stemming his progress.
In the following round, hooking fiercely with both hands, Berg scored easily and had Mizler in dire trouble. At one stage during those three long minutes Harry was almost out on his feet, but his magnificent fighting instinct spurred a courageous rally just before the bell.
But every punch he connected with felt as though white not needles were being pushed into his knuckles and when he returned to his corner at the end of the tenth round. Victor Berliner called over the referee.
A second later the referee took Mister's towel end threw It over his head into the ring to announce to the hushed house that the British lightweight crown had passed from the head of Mizler to Jack Kid berg.
Two years later Berg was to surrender that title to Jimmy Walsh. Harry's first conqueror.
WITHOUT the responsible burden of the British lightweight championship resting heavily on his shoulders, Mizler was undefeated in 1935. But In eight victories against good class opposition one contest emerged as one of the most memorable in British boxing Whenever close and stirring finishes in the sporting sphere are discussed boxing fans can quote as their example the great “Last Stand” victory of Harry Mizler over Gustave Humary of France at the Albert Hall on October 7th 1935.
So much has been written about that night: so many writers have exhausted their vocabulary trying to recapture the electric atmosphere during eight rounds of savage fighting reminiscent of the Roman Gladiators. and the explosion of cheering as the crowd of 7,000 acknowledged the Englishman victory, that I shall not dwell on the details
Humery, a fighter In the best tradition of Continental lightweights had an Imposing record when he signed articles for the blister contest. But it was his meritorious victory over Kid Berg, the British champion, in March that prompted the match. Could Mizler succeed where his rival rind conqueror had failed . Moreover there was the contrast in styles that added to the attraction.
LEFT LET HIM DOWN
Yet it was Mizler's classic straight left, expected to Jolt the Frenchman's head off, that really let him down.
He won the first round by prodding into Humery's face but failed to really hurt him. Confident that the former British champion could not hurt him Gustave tore in and pummeled away until his opponent sank to the canvas. In a terrible third round for Harry's supporters he was sent to the canvas three times for counts of "nine." "nine" and eight"—on the last occasion he collapsed on the bottom strand of the ropes.
In the following round he made a temporary recovery but the fight soon resumed the same pattern Mizler was battered from pillar to post yet refused to go down. But round five saw him pay another visit to the boards when Humery ducked inside his Ineffectual and now instinctive straight left to crash In at left uppercut to the body. And in the next stanza Mizler was beaten down again
Referee Moss Deyong went to his corner at the end of those three seemingly endless minutes to see whether Harry was fit to continue.
The crowd expected the ex-amateur to retire, and hoped he would for his own sake, but he came up again for the seventh round. Mizler reeled drunkenly round the roped square absorbing enough punishment for half a dozen men, while Humery looked helplessly at the referee, mutely appealing to him to end the one-sided struggle. Harry finally full through the ropes with exhaustion at the end of the round.
His corner pleaded with him to give up but the gallant East Ender demanded one more round In which to "do or die”.
Gambling everything on the knock-out punch In his right glove he I waited for a split second opening and drew the Frenchman after him on to the ropes.
In crashed that right on Humery’s mouth and the surprised foreigner staggered back. Mizler grasped his opportunity, chasing after Humery ferociously and raining in punches from all angles. He did not have to sustain the effort for the tough little Frenchman raised his arm In defeat—that one punch had shattered his jaw.
Part of the crowd who sat silent and with set faces as Mizler fought on gamely and apparently hopelessly now went wild with joy while his supporters who had wept at the sight cried Instead with happiness. Not for some time to come will there be scenes as there were on that memorable night.
Maybe Miller was lucky that the contest was not stopped earlier—as it might well have been today—and maybe Humery was unintentionally guilty of kidney punching, but whatever is said now nothing can detract from the Jewish boxer's performance.
BEAT NORMAN SNOW
Two mouths later almost as an anti climax Harry beat Norman Snow over fifteen rounds for the Southern Area lightweight title . Another fight that year that stands out for an unusual reason was his quick ko of Cardiff's George Reynolds at the Temple Mills Stadium. Stratford. Reynolds had a useful record having recently defeated George Daly and Some fancied him to upset Mizler.
A special car stood by waiting to take him In Stratford. Frank Hough , a more than useful middleweight of pre-war days , was on last and promised to win in short time so that Nat would not be delayed. Frank kept his word and Nat was raced at breakneck speed to keep his other appointment as Harry seldom walked entered the ring without him.
Harry's first words were sympathetically "You must be tired I’ll stop him as soon as I can”.
Well Harry hit Reynolds so hard the Welshman was on the canvas at the end of the first round and was unable to come up fur the next.
Harry continued in the winning vein throughout 1936 until fateful October. In October 1934 he lost his title to Berg and In October 1935 he was battered, although victorious, by Humery, when his consistency was rewarded by a shot at the championship. Jimmy Walsh of Chester an old rival having since wrested the crown from the proud head of Kid Berg received £400 for defending it against Mizler.
Ten thousand people poured Into the Empress Hall. Earls Court at this initial venture of the reconstituted National Sporting Club to see whether the Londoner could region his title. Sharing top of the bill honours on that Promotion were: Larry Gains and Jack London. Although many considered Mizler unlucky in their first contest, he failed to take advantage of this opportunity for revenge and the championship did not change hands The tall lanky and speedy Walsh started in top gear.
Taking Mizler out of his stride. Except for round four when Harry countered his opponent's attacks with heavy punches to the body, and boxed cleverly. Walsh retained the ascendency until the eleventh session. Then Mizler suddenly seemed to wake up and scored with a two fisted attack. Two rights to the jaw shook Walsh but the champion's skill and ring-craft saved him. In the next round the Londoner again forced the pace stabbing out his left and countering well as his rival came in. But although his supporters were given renewed hope Harry could not knock out the Midlander and failed to make up the points deficit incurred during the earlier rounds.
Although there was little between them referee C. H. Douglas — who had conducted the contest from a ringside chair like his late father and other officials of the old NSC. Covent Garden days, had hesitation in naming Walsh as still the champion.
The following month Mizler lost on points at Harringay over eight rounds to Dave Crowley, who was to on and win the title from Walsh. For his victory over his fellow Londoner Crowley was awarded a "Boxing News" Certificate of Merit.
Harry was disappointed naturally at these two failures but In 1937 putting up a great show In London with World Featherweight Champion Peter Sarron of America, he was Invited to South Africa for a return bout. Boxing was still finding its legs in the Union and the match was promoted at Johannesburg to develop interest among sports fans. Unfortunately, from their point of view the fight only went one round. Harry winning on a disqualification.
But the trip did him the world of good as a change. He returned at the peak of his form and on November 15 gave probably the greatest performance of his career In defeating the American Al Roth.
The Humery fight is memorable for Mizler's lion-hearted courage, not for his boxing display Certainly John Harding , general secretary of the National Sporting Club considers the Mizler v. Roth match to be his greatest promotion.
ROTH THE 'TIGER '
Harding went to the United States during the summer to present a Lord Lonsdale Belt to the winner of the Louis-Farr championship tilt. At the same time he searched for suitable talent for his own shows and came back with two fighters—Al Delaney , a Canadian heavyweight, and Al Roth, an outstanding lightweight from New York. Delaney, but for certain playboy instincts, might have gone on eventually to win the World title. Joe Louis described him as the hardest puncher he had ever faced and his stay In this country
If not sensational, was highly successful. Roth a pocket edition of Max Baer was like a little tiger with the punch oft an elephant, and was intended an opponent for the British champion Walsh. In 1935 he had come within an ace of beating World champion Tony Canzoneri and had met all the leading lightweights. Walsh was unable to fight the American and as a warm-up contest Roth took on in tough Northern battler, Jack Lydon. He proved to be a top class two fisted performer and forced the Englishman to retire In five rounds.
Harding's match-making ability was emphasized shortly afterward, when he produced Mizler for Roth's next opponent. The contest was later described as the greatest classic since the Driscoll-Ledoux clash of styles.
Just before he was matched with AI Roth of New York Mizler became friendly with Betty Greenfield an attractive young woman who was to become his wife two years later
. Betty met Roth al a dance and asked him during the course of
conversation what he did for a living.
The exchanges went something like this:
Al (swelling out his chest and trying to look nonchalant "I'm a professional
Betty (surprised): What a coincidence! My boy friend is a fighter—his name is Harry Mizler."
Al: "Oh, that guy. I may be meeting him in the ring soon which will be tough luck for him. I’ll slaughter him."
TIPPED FOR TITLE
That story may carry more than one moral, but it may also have spurred Mizler to be at the peak or his form and outpoint the American by an overwhelming margin over ten rounds. Certainly Harry looked brilliant and besides being awarded a "Boxing News" Certificate of Merit was very strongly tipped to regain the British lightweight title.
for the contest, made at ten stone. John Hinting paid Mizler £250 and Roth £150. and to this day looks back at the promotion and considers it the best bargain he over made. On the same bill Harding Introduced Aurel Toma (ex-King Carol of Rumania's chauffeur) to British boxing fans.
Toma went on to writs finis to the career of Benny Lynch by scoring a third round knockout—the only time the great little Scot bad been stopped decisively in the whole of his career. But in his first contest Toma was paid £50 for a draw with Jim Brady of Dundee.
The opening exchanges in the Muter v. Roth contest stamped the pattern for the ensuing rounds The American lighting machine who had battered into gory defeat countless opponents charged In with his head lowered and fists poised tor the kill. But he never had a chance to use them, being pulled up halfway by a bunch of padded knuckles which exploded in his face. Mizler's famous straight left was working at it’s best with every ounce of shoulder weight behind it.
Al paused and then charged again —only to he met by the identical punch plumb centre on his face.
For the third time he jumped in, but this time a jarring left was followed by a right cross that had him buckling at the knees. The crowd went delirious as Mizler drove In punches from all angles and had the American In dire straits But. bull-like. Roth refused to take a count and shaking his head clear met Harry with his own fists flailing.
In the second round Al adopted different methods attacking from a crouching position, bobbing his bead from side to side. but Mizler's timing that night was uncanny and his left never strayed from his rival's face. And so the fight wore on with Harry outclassing the American at long range and even boxing him at close quarters.
It is estimated that during the contest he must have caught Roth at least 200 times with that accurate and stinging left.
The tenth and last stanza surpassed all others for shear excitement Realising that his only chance was to win by a knockout Al bustled into the Englishman so relentlessly that for once Harry could not keep him out Facing a human whirlwind Harry backed on to the ropes and played his trump card. For nearly a minute he joined In and exchanged punch for punch until the great Roth wilted.
ROTH ON ATTACK
His superiority lay in his ability to slip and roll with many of his opponents punches, but be scored with every one of his own
Roth desperately returned to the attack, but suddenly his left hand "went" and immediately
Mizler grasped the ascendancy again. As In the first round he threw every punch In his versatile repertoire and only the American's great courage kept him on his feet . It was subsequently revealed that Roth's hand was damaged in the sixth round. but even allowing this handicap, he was completely outclassed on the night
Mizler’s recption was the biggest since the time he fought Humery. and many experienced ringsiders placed him in the sane category as Peerless Jim Driscoll.
Undoubtedly Harry could have defeated the world champion on that form, but as had so often happened in the past. It was not maintained.
The following March. Harry was paired with Dave Crowley at the Albert Hall in a final eliminator for Walsh's title. But again the ex. champion disappointed his supporters. Opposed to the Clarkenwell scrapper, a perky cock-sparrow, speedy and strong Harry with weight troubles becoming an
Ever increasing problem—he weighed in within half pound of the lightweight limit — lacked fire.
Although the contest never reached classic heights it was always so fast and spirited that interest never flagged and Crowley emerged a narrow but clear points winner over twelve rounds.
The same month the East Ender moved into the next weight division and won three fights on the trot. He was established as a serious welterweight threat by a fine win over George Daly, but then he was outwitted over eight rounds by Harry Craster whom be had already defeated
But Mizler won most of his fights until his call-up for the RAF. In 1940. As physical training instructor he devoted his abilities to teaching thousands of airmen the rudiments of boxing until he was invalided out because of stomach trouble. In 1941-43 he took on some of the best men in the division, beating men In the class of Eric Boon, Paddy Roche and Harry Crastor- who had defeated Marcel Cerdan—and losing to top notchers like his old rival Kid Berg also a corporal at the time,. Arthur Danaher and Ernie Roderick.
NOT AT BEST
However, Harry was no longer at his best. The little characteristics of the old Mizler could still be seen in the ring – his set dead pan expression no matter how his fortune swayed, and his great fighting spirit. But his body was finding it difficult to withstand the rigours of the fight game.
Eventually Harry was forced retire against Jimmy Molloy, a tough two fisted battler with a fine record, but not in the same class as the Londoner of five years previously. So the “Guv’nor” as Harry refers to his wife stepped in at this stage and told him he had finished with boxing for good. Betty had travelled hundreds of miles to watch the ex champion since they met and had never interfered
But now she realized he was squaring up to Father Time as well the opponent every time he entered the roped square. Harry mew better than to argue:
So it was then that Mizler’s excellent career was Interred at Liverpool Stadium—that Graveyard
of Champions—where as a newly crowned champion he lost for the first time to Jimmy Walsh and for the last time nine years later to Molloy.
After leaving the RAF Harry returned to the family fish stall In the East End, although before long he and Betty had taken the plunge into the gown business. Today he has a flourishing concern and to meet him there is little to associate him with his old profession. Quietly spoken and facially unmarked he looks the successful businessman he is , a tribute to his boxing ability.
Yet Harry makes no secret of the fact he entered and endured that life to make money for himself and his family. If he had his life to lead over again he says he would still box—but only as on amateur. "That way I could box for pleasure and maybe train three or four nights a ,week, but to get to the top in the Professional ranks you've gut to be conscientious and that means training every day '
"Unfortunately too many present-day young fighters neglect their training." he points out.
That is probably the reason why Harry does not wish he had two prospective champions for sons, Instead of daughters. Natalie, eleven, and six-year-old Adrienne.
WHEN this series opened I explained that Mizler had everything that goes to make an all-time great champion—yet something went wrong. Perhaps now you can draw your own conclusions. Whatever they are, remember too, that Harry Mizler—win or lose—was a gentleman both in and outside the ring.
THIS IS A RECORD OF THE PROFESSIONAL FIGHTS
JUNE 1933 – DECEMBER 1943
RECORDED IN THE CONTEMPORANEOUS DIARY OF HARRY MIZLER’S FIGHTS AS KEPT BY HIS
BROTHER, JUDAH MIZLER
Transcript typed by Adrienne Edwin, youngest daughter of Harry Mizler.
Foreword by Adrienne Edwin: Youngest Daugher of Harry Mizler
My uncle wrote this diary. A dedicated man who idolised his family and was very proud of his brother. All their lives they squabbled but, loved each other dearly.but of course they were a very close knit family. One of the last things Uncle Judah wrote was an insertion in the Jewish Chronicle when my father died. In March 1990 it was when we returned home from The grounds and he was rather agitated and asked for some paper and a pencil. I found one and gave it to him and he produced this to be put into the J.C. it read; -
WHEN YOU WERE A KID I WAS A BROTHER TO A KID
WHEN YOU WERE A MAN I WAS A BROTHER TO A MAN
NOW YOU ARE GONE I AM STILL YOUR BROTHER
TILL' WE MEET AGAIN.
And they did sadly three months later.
Uncle Judah had a way with words; he used to put pen to paper and wrote from the heart. He always said exactly what he thought as you can see from his work.
My father used to tell me stories about his boxing career I asked him once whether or not his brothers used to go and watch him fight and also how they felt about his success. He said that they did come and watch all his fights that they were able to go to, and of course they were very proud of him but, he did mention the fact that after the fight he used to hide from uncle Judah leave as swiftly as he could. At the time I thought it funny but after reading this diary I can understand .He must have driven him crazy, but of course after reading this you can understand that he only wanted the best for his baby brother.
If you ever get a chance to read Uncle Judah’s A Diary From The 1930's - only then perhaps you may begin to understand THE MIZLERS.
-Adrienne Edwin, 1994
THE PROFESSIONAL FIGHTS OF HARRY MIZLER
Sunday 4th June 1933
Harry K.O. Bob Lamb ( Sunderland) in the 1st round, it lasted 2 minutes 13 seconds. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry was slightly heavier. He started with a nice left hand followed with one, two, punches, and finished Lamb off, like a good workman. ( O.K. Harry )
Sunday 18th June 1933
Harry K.O. Jim Travis (Oldham) in the first round. It lasted 2 minutes 40 seconds. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry came out of his corner briskly, poked his left and caught Travis easily. He then set about Travis with one, two punches to the head, finally knocking him out with a beautiful One to the jaw.
( O.K. Harry, but a right to the body would have done the job a bit quicker)
Sunday 2nd July 1933
Harry K.O. Nobby Baker ( Wales ) in the 1st round. It lasted 32 seconds in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started nicely with his left, Baker came out to him and Harry started his one-two punches to the head, went back to the ropes and covered his head. Harry saw an opening to the head and sent in a beautiful right there, and knocked out Baker.
(O.K. Harry, good work keeps it up.)
Sunday 30th July 1933
Harry beat Albert Heasman (Brighton) the towel being thrown in the 8th round. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started well boxing nicely at first, then let go his one-two punch. Caught Heasman, had him down three times in the first round, but did not steady himself to finish him off. He did not do anything until the 6th round then boxed nicely. In the 7th he boxed nicely caught Heasman with one two and had him down again followed him up caught him in a corner and Uppercutted him down again, he then let him have it Heasman was being counted out when the towel came in.
( O.K. Harry, glad to see you go 7 rounds. It shows you are still as powerful in the 7th as in the first. Watch your man and steady yourself when you have him going in the future.)
Sunday 27th August 1933
Harry K.O. Jim Gordon ( Darlington ) in the 7th round. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started off full of confidence with a nice straight left, boxed well using his brains all the time. The end of the first round saw Harry punching away with both hands.
Later in the fight, Harry was boxing well, but sometimes he was very short with his left hand, but all the time making Gordon look like a novice. Gordon was very strong and always dangerous but, Harry mastered him. Harry opened the 7th round with nice straight lefts, then with the right. Gordon backed to the ropes and covered up. Harry gave him a right hander to the heart, and Kept hitting away with both hands, until Gordon went down for eight. When he got up Harry went for him with one, two punches till he dropped to be counted out.
( O.K. Harry. good work keeps it up, but see that your left hand always hits its target. Don't be short with it. )
Sunday 10th September 1933
Harry stopped Len Burrows ( Wales ) the Referee stopped the fight in two rounds in a 10 ( 3 min ) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars. [Len Burrows came in as a substitute for Billy Granoli (Wales)]
This contest started off with Harry letting his man attack him and he had to guard him off, which was very easy, for he saw Burrows was very easy. Harry let him carry on and now and again he would shoot a straight left. In the second round Burrows became dangerous, by hitting Harry three times below the belt, so Harry let him have it. He hit him all over the ring, and the Poor chap was out on his feet when the referee stopped it.
( O.K. Harry, once again it shows you, YOU MUST NOT HAVE PITY When you have your man against you in the ring by being hit low, It was very dangerous, TO YOU.)
Sunday 24th September 1933
Harry beat Jim Bird ( Newcastle ) on points in a 10 (3 min ) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.. The contest was one of the hardest Harry had ever had.Harry started the first round like a champion using straight lefts one two punches to good effect, had Bird going. The following rounds Harry fought well, but he did not have the same steam and punch that he usually had. Harry waited for Bird too long meanwhile Bird kept going all the time. The last two Rounds Harry got inside Bird and pasted him with both hands, they were two good rounds for Harry. Harry also forgot to fight his man from a clinch, but walked away from him instead.
( O.K. Harry you won and you won well, but if you concentrate on the fight only when you are in the ring, you will be better off. It showed you as strong as ever, even in the 10th round you Must fight your off from a clinch, not walk away from him and not let him go scott free, and you can also use your two hands to good effect when you get inside. Don't forget use them when Inside.
Sunday 8th October 1933
Harry stopped Harry Sankley ( U.S.A. Manchester ) in nine rounds the towel coming into the ring, the same time as the Referee stopped the contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started boxing well, at a fast pace. He kept using both hands, but missed lots of opportunities of knocking Sankley out. Sankley did not win a single round, he was the receiver all the time. Harry's right hand went in the third round.
( O.K. Harry, but I was not impressed with your showing today. You must remember to keep you head cool. When you have your man going, judge your distance with your left hand before Using your right. )
Thursday 19th October 1933
Harry stopped Aine Gyde ( France ) in five rounds. The Referee stopped the contest
( Aine Gyde's eye being cut ) at The Holborn Stadium in a 10 ( 3 min ) round contest.
Harry started boxing with his left hand only, never using his right. He made Gyde look silly at times. Gyde had his eye cut in the fifth round and the Referee stopped the contest. Harry fought with one hand only as his right hand was crocked, so he could not use it. Good work with one hand. ( O.K. Harry, you boxed very well with your left hand, keep it up. Always use your left hand first before using your right.
Sunday 29th October 1933
Harry stopped Alex Law ( Smethwick ) in the third round. Law retired with a closed eye the same time as his seconds threw the towel into the ring. At The Ring Blackfriars. in a 10 ( 3 min ) round contest.
Harry started off at a fast pace with his left hand, but was short with it in the first round because he was sizing Law up Harry came out for the second round with a beautiful left and continued boxing very cleverly, by now he had Law's measure. Towards the end of this round he caught Law with a one two punch to good effect. When they came out in the third round, Harry Started off with his left hand nicely, and then caught Law with a one two punch, followed him up and got inside using right uppercuts to good effect. On the break, followed him with two hand punching till Law stopped and his second threw the towel into the ring.
( O.K. Harry, you boxed very cleverly (the best I've seen since turning pro. ) continue like this and always use your brains when in ( and out ) of the ring. Another little reminder.. Keep your distance perfect with your left hand first.)
Sunday 26th November 1933
Harry beat Evan Lane ( Wales ) on points in a 10 ( 3 min ) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started with his usual, fast straight left and then set about Lane with both hands. In the second round, Harry came out of his corner with a one two punch and had Lane groggy, he went after him, but could not put him out. (Because he kept punching at the head all the time ). Lane used all his experience to get himself out of trouble. After the third round there was nothing in the fight until the seventh round. Harry kept leading with his left. Lane ducked it and then rushed him to the ropes held him or ruffed it. In the seventh Harry boxed well and when they came to close quarters, Harry used a nice uppercut every time. In the last round Harry started with a one-two punch and had Lane all but out. Lane once again used his experience holding on for dear life.
( O.K. Harry, it shows you are strong all the way through, but use your brains if missing with straight lefts. Make them lower or hook it , don't let your man be govenor of the fight. you be govenor of it. Make him fight the way you want him. You won and you won it well. Keep doing it always.
Tuesday 19th December 1933
Harry K.O. Norman Snow (Northampton) in the eithth round in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Olympia Kensington.
Harry started in a cool way, using his brains. Snow came rushing in and Harry used a nice straight left or stepping aside making Snow look like a real novice. Harry boxed magnificent all the time, he also punched with both hands, whenever it was necessary at close quarters. Harry had Snow in the second, and in the fifth, and sixth then in the eighth he K.O. Snow with a perfect right hand punch you could ever wish to see. Harry's performance was the talk of the time.
( O.K. Harry, and how your boxing was marvellous and your punching were great. Just keep on doing the same you showed you are really using your brains, ask why? You were the govenor not Snow. You’re best performance since turning pro. ).
Sunday 24th December 1933
Harry beat Norman Dale (Newcastle - On - Tyne) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
This was Harry's 13th fight.
Harry started in his usual way, in the first round, boxed Well in the second. Harry caught Dale with a one-two punch that put him on his back for six seconds. Then something went wrong with Harry. There was no force in his punches, he also kept Shooting his left hand short and missing. Dale kept on countering, that’s how the fight went for a few rounds forcing with a straight left and punching two hands to the body, until The last round, when Harry got a slight cut over the right eye. Then Harry kept defending himself but he well won the fight till the last round.
(OK Harry, you can do much better. It was very unfortunate That you were ill but, you must tell me before hand. Never mind this showing, but you will show everybody what you can do when You fight Johnny Cuthbert for the Championship. You will show them the real
Thursday 18th January 1934
Harry beat Johnny Cuthbert ( Sheffield ) on points, for THE LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF GREAT BRITAIN. In a 15 ( 3 min ) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington.
Harry came out of his corner, with a set face to do his best. Cuthbert started leading first but missed Harry as Harry shot a straight left out and caught Cuthbert’s face. The first round continued with Harry slipping all over the show, but gaining confidence in him. The second round Harry started using a straight left hand and continued to box in his true form but still slipping a little, The fight kept on these lines, Harry boxing brilliantly with his hands and his brains. He gave a great exhibition of how a left hand should be used. During the contest Harry fought well with Cuthbert at close quarters. Cuthbert was the trier, but Harry had him beat a long way before the end of the contest. The last round Harry had cuthbert down a couple of times. IN THE END HARRY WON on points.
(Harry, You were real O.K. Harry you fought well. This time was the best of your career as you won The Lightweight Championship of Great Britain from the famous Johnny Cuthbert. Carry on like you are. No Swell Head You Understand !!
Sunday 11th February 1934
Harry beat Jules Steyaert (Belgium) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started with his left hand. Steyaert came to him in the early rounds and Harry poked his head off. Later in the contest Steyaert kept catching Harry unexpectedly with good right hand punches to the face. Harry was not like his championship affair but he walked the fight.
( O.K. Harry, there was something wrong you were very sluggish and slow to take advantage of openings when given to you. Remember once again when inside the ring, think of what you are doing, and concentrate on your opponent and you won’t go wrong.
Wednesday 28th February 1934
Harry beat Jules Steyaert (Belgium) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington
There is not much to say about this contest. Harry boxed beautifully and did whatever he liked to Steyaert all but knocking him out. In the last round Harry went and had a bundle with Steyaert, which was not, necessary as he well won the fight all the way.
( O.K. Harry your performance against Steyaert this tine was much better but there is still something wrong with you. It's your hands. Look after them, they come first, and . Dot Forget..
Thursday 22nd March 1934
The first defeat of Harry.
Harry lost to Jimmy Walsh ( Chester & Liverpool ) in a 12 ( 3 min ) round contest at The Liverpool Stadium.
Harry shook hands and sparred up, but Walsh sent over a right hand swing, which caught him right at the start of the contest, upsetting him. After that Harry tried to box in his usual way, but things did not go right with him. For the first seven rounds he could not do anything, he tried with straight lefts, but the majority were all short, Walsh catching him with countering right handers. In the eighth round Harry went into Walsh to have a fight and he hit him ( Walsh ) all over the show bar knocking him out. Harry won every round after the eighth. At the end of the contest the Referee gave Walsh the decision.
( O.K. Harry, don't worry about your defeat, it will do you good. Defeat brings experience and that's what you want, experience. The last five rounds you fought wonderful, like your usual self. I think a draw would have been the right decision, but never mind wait until you meet him again YOU WILL WIN...
Sunday 1st April 1934
Harry beat Edward Jamsin ( France ) in a 10 ( 3 min ) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started in his usual way with a straight left hand. Jamsin tried to catch him with swinging punches, but the left hand always stopped him and the contest went all the way along the same lines, Jamsin swinging and Harry boxing with his left hand only. It was a tame affair, Harry easily won every round.
( O.K. Harry, you won a tame fight, there's something lacking in you. You had your chances in the forth round to K.O. Jamsin, but the little fire in you did not wake up. You stepped Back to let Jamsin recover. If it's your hands look after them first. Remember this.- LOOK AFTER THEM.
Tuesday 17th April 1934
Harry beat Joe Kerr (Glasgow) in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Adelphia Boxing Club Glasgow Scotland on points.
According to reports Harry got caught with a right hand swing and went down momentarily, but was up before the count. After that he walked the fight, he made Kerri look foolish and silly at times, his straight left hand being the Master.
(OK Harry, according to reports you fought better than usual. A few words of advice. Look after yourself and your hands. A Champion is always expected to fight like a champion, Don’t forget this.
Monday 14th May 1933
Harry beat Norman Dale (Newcastle) on points at Kings Hall Bellevue Manchester. In a 10 (3 min) round contest. Harry boxed very well tonight and won well.
Saturday 18th May 1934
Harry beat Jack Garland (Ireland) stopped him in the second round at Hyde Park Sheffield. In a 10 (3 min) round contest.
In the reports Harry fought well with a bad right hand. Harry had Garland out when the Ref. stopped the contest.
Sunday 27th May 1934
Harry beat Tiger Defer (France) on points, in a 10 (3 minutes) round contest. At the ring Blackfriars. Harry well won but the fire in him was lacking , his hands were not too good , that’s what accounts for it.
Saturday 14th August 1934
Harry beat Billy Quinlan (Swansea, Wales) on points in a 15 (3 minutes) round contest for the Lightweight Championship of Great Britain at Swansea Football Ground.
Harry fought in a weary tired way; he was not feeling himself today.
Sunday 9th September 1934
Harry beat Nicholas Wilke (Belgium) on points in a 10 (3 minutes) round contest at the ring Blackfriars.
Harry boxed well but missed opportunities to knock his man 0out, that he should not have missed if his hands were OK but they were not all right.
Monday 29th October 1934
Harry lost to Kid Berg. We threw the towel in at the end of the 10th round. In a 15 (3 minute) round contest for The Lightweight Championship of Great Britain at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington.
Harry was unfortunate to damage both his hands in the second round, but he fought on for eight more rounds with practically no hands & Berg couldn't knock him out.
(Harry just a word of advice. You are still young, see that your hands get well and strong and show the world that you are the real champion of Great Britain.)
Sunday 31st March 1935
Harry beat Francois Machtens (Belgium) on points at in a 10 (3 Min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry well won on points this contest, but he missed a lot and was short with his left hand. He fought very cleverly and did not take any chances with his hands.
(Harry you fought the right fight at the test.)
Thursday 11th April 1935
Harry beat Peter Clark (Liverpool) on disqualification in the 4th round in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall.
Harry boxed and fought well; he punched freely with both hands. He also had Clark down for a count in the first round, but Clark kept hitting low, and he swung a low punch that the Ref. saw in the 4th round and was disqualified.
(Harry you fought well you are just getting into your old form.)
Sunday 5th May 1935
Harry beat Robert Disch (Holland Champion) on points in a 10 (3 min) contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry won a very clever fight; he showed that he can box & fight in this contest, and that he was coming back to his Championship form again.
(Harry you fought a great fight and used your brains, carry on likes this and you will be fighting for your Championship again soon.)
Sunday 2nd June 1935
Harry beat Sonny Lee (Leeds) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry took this contest very easy as he was winning every round. Harry caught Lee a right uppercut in the 6th round and nearly had Lee out, but Lee ducked and swayed out of danger. Then in the last round Harry opened out and hit Lee all over the ring and cut both his eyes.
( Harry you should not have left it to the last round to open out, you should try the first round for a change and you will have the man going all through the contest , try it ! )
Sunday 9th June 1935
Harry stopped George Reynolds (Cardiff) in the first round in a 12 (3 min) round contest at Temple Mills Stafford.
Harry got into his stride straight away. Reynolds came in with both hands fighting & Harry boxed him with his left hand, half way through the round, Harry sent in a one two punch and dad Reynolds down for a count, and for the rest of the round Harry kept boxing for an opening & just before the bell went Harry sent in a chop punch behind the ear and they had to carry
Him to his corner, and when the bell went for the second round Reynolds had not recovered yet.
(Harry you see you can do a job in one round, (if you like)
Not go the distance you are boxing and fighting like a champ
Now the championship.
Wednesday 2nd October 1935
Harry stopped Gustav Humery in the 8th round of a 10 (3-min) contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington.
Harry started off by boxing his man with a straight left hand but Humery took no notice of it and came swinging and slinging his hands to the kidneys. Harry was up and down about eight times during the contest. In the 8th round Harry came out with determination to make a fight of it. He let go a one-two punch and caught Humery and then would not let Humery go because he saw he had him out on his feet. Harry kept punching away till Humery put his hands up and retired at the same time as the towel was thrown in from Humery's corner, and Harry won the fight.
(Harry, you showed everybody that you could take it as well as you can give it. When you are in the ring use your head (brains) hand legs as best as you can and you will lick them all.)
Monday 2nd December 1935
Harry beat Norman Snow (Northampton) on points in a 15 (3 min) round contest for the Southern Lightweight Championship at The Drill Hall Northampton
Harry started off very slowly in the first few rounds getting the measure of Snow. In the following rounds Harry punched Snow all over the ring. In the ninth round Harry caught Snow with a beautiful right hand cross and had him down for seven then followed Snow all over the ring and connected again with a similar punch and had Snow down for nine seconds, after that Harry became very erratic and let Snow hold on until the end of The round. The next few rounds Harry boxed well until the Thirteenth then caught Snow again and Snow went down for eight Seconds and then again for nine second sand was receiving a Pasting during this round. In the last round Harry went for Snow And had him down a couple of times and then snow hung on for all He was worth to last the round out. During the contest Snow got In quite a number of his famous left hooks because Harry stopped Still, when Harry was short with his left leads.
(OK Harry you won the Southern Area Championship but you can do better. You had your chances but you became too erratic, so you missed your opportunities. Remember you are a Champion now and must show the public what you can do in the future.
Sunday 2nd February 1936
Harry beat Ramond Renard ( Belguim Lightweight Champion) on points , in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Ring Blackfriars.
Harry started off like a Champion for the first two rounds he boxed and fought Renard very well. After that everything went wrong with him and he let Renard do all the attacking until the 8th round. During that time he was short with his leads and his legs were slow. After the 8th round he fought back till the end of the contest. Renard made a grand and close fight of it.
OK Harry you scraped home only. My opinion is that you were not fit otherwise your legs should not have gone so weak as they went in this contest. YOU MUST REMEMBER that a boxer like you MUST always enter the ring fit, and that you must get closer to the man when you start leading with your left hand, otherwise you will get caught with a left hook. You can do very much better than you did in this contest.
Sunday 16th February 1936
Harry beat Ramond Renard (Belgium) Renard was disqualified in the 7th for hitting low in a 10 (3min) round contest at The Rind Blackfriars.
Thursday 12th March 1936
Harry K.O. Jose Mico (Lightweight Champion of Spain) in the 3rd round. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall.
Monday 30th March 1936
Harry beat Alby Day on points in a 15 (3 min) round contest for The Southern area championship at The Devonshire Club Hackney.
Monday 25th May 1936
Harry beat Jackie Flynn (Belfast) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Holborn Stadium.1st July 1936
Wednesday 1st July 1936
Harry stopped Antoine Aarts (Belgium) in the 10th round. The Ref. stopping the contest at The Wandsworth Stadium. In a 10 (3 min) round contest.
Monday 19th October 1936
Harry lost to Jimmy Walsh (Liverpool) on points in a 15 (3 min) round contest for The Lightweight Championship and The Lonsdale Belt at The Express stadium Earls Court.
Wednesday 18th November 1936
Harry lost to Dave Crowley (Clerkenwell) on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Haringey Arena.
Sunday 17th January 1937
Harry beat Dodo Williams (Jamaica) The towel being thrown in at the end of the 6th round. At The Ring Blackfriars in a 10 (3 min) contest.
Monday 22nd February 1937
Harry beat Robert Disch (Holland) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at the Collton Hall Bristol.
Thursday 4th March 1937
Harry beat Jimmy Walsh The Champion (Chester) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall
Thursday 15th April 1937
Harry lost to Petey Sarron World Featherweight Champion (U.S.A.) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at Haringey Arena.
Thursday 6th May 1937
Harry beat Dave Finn (Mile End) on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest The Haringey Arena Haringey.
Saturday 19th June 1937
Harry Beat Petey Sarron (U.S.A.) in the first round. The Ref. disqualified him for hitting low. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at an open air Stadium in Johannesburg.
Monday 20th September 1937
Harry beat Douglas Kestrell (Birmingham) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Embassy Ice Rink Sparkbrook Birmingham.
Wednesday 3rd November 1937
Harry beat Frankie Hill (Barrow) Hill got disqualified in the 3rd for hitting low in an 8 (3 min) round contest at Haringey Arena.
Monday 15th November 1937
Harry beat Al Roth (U.S.A.) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest, for the N.S.C. at the Empress Stadium Earls Court.
(This was Harry's 2nd best performance)
Thursday 3rd March 1938
Harry lost to Dave Crowley (Clerkenwell) on points in a 12 (3 min) round contest for The Lightweight Championship.
Monday 28th March 1938
Harry beat Harry Craster (Middlesborough) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Empress Stadium for The N.S.C The first fight as a Welterweight.
Monday 2nd May 1938
Harry beat Leo Phillips (Birmingham) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Holborn stadium.
Monday 30th May 1938
Harry beat George Daly (Blackfriars) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The New Cross-Stadium New Cross.
Monday 3rd October 1938
Harry lost to Harry Craster (Middlesborough) on points in a 10 (3 min) at The Empress stadium Earls Court.
Wednesday 2nd November 1938
Harry beat Reg Whitney (Wellingborough) the Ref. stopped the fight in the 6th round. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Devonshire Club Devonshire Road.
Thursday 24thNovember 1938.
Harry lost to Hans Drescher (Denmark) Champion on points In a 6 (3 min) round contest at Holborn Stadium Holborn.
Thursday 1stDecember 1938.
Harry drew with Hans Drescher (Champion of Denmark) in an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Haringey Arena Haringey.
Monday 19th December 1938
Harry beat Bert Chambers (Widnes) on points in a 6 (3 min) round contest at Holborn Stadium Holborn.
Thursday 2nd March 1939
Harry beat Norman Snow (Northampton) on points in a 8 (3 Min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington.
Monday 24th March 1939
Harry beat George Odwell (Camden Town) on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest for the (N.S.C.) at The Empress Stadium Earls Court Kensington.
Monday 15th January 1940
Harry drew with Jackie Potts (Crew) in a 10 (3 min) round contest at Southampton Skating Rink Southampton.
Monday 10th June 1940
Harry K.O. Albert O'Brian (Hoxton) in the 7th round of a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Tower Ballroom Birmingham.
Thursday 20th February 1941
Harry beat Harry Craster (Middlesborough) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Odeon Picture Theatre Leicester Square West End.
Thursday 27th February 1941
Harry lost to Kid Berg (Aldgate) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Camebridge Theatre Charring Cross.
Harry beat Paddy Roach (Ireland Middleweight Champion) on points in an 8(3 min) round contest at The Clapton Stadium.
Monday 28th August 1941
Harry beat Eddie Ryan (Peckham) on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington.
Monday 3rd November 1941
Harry lost to Ernie Roderick British Welterweight Champion (Liverpool) on a technical K.O. The Ref. stopping the contest in the 8th round in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington.
Sunday 21st December 1941
Harry stopped Pat Howard (Holloway) in the 4th round the Ref. stopping the bout in the 4th round of an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Alexandra Stoke Newington.
Sunday 25th January 1942
Harry lost to Charlie Parkin (Mansfield) on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Alexandra Stoke Newington.
Saturday 30th May 1942
Harry beat Jim Wellard (Northampton) the Ref. disqualified Wellard in the 5th round for hitting low. In a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Franklin Rugby Ground Northampton.
Saturday 20th June 1942
Harry lost to Arthur Danahar (Bethnal Green) on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest at Tottenham Hotspur Football Ground.
Wednesday 23rd September 1942
Harry lost to Jim Wellard on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Queensbury Club Casino Old Compton Street. (Harry was robbed of this decision)
Thursday 12th November 1942
Harry beat Frank Duffy (Bootle Liverpool) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at The Caladonian Baths Caledonian Road.
Wednesday 3rd February 1943
Harry lost to Arthur Danshar (Bethnal Green) in the 8th round the Ref. stopped the fight at The Queenberry Club Casino Old Compton Street.
Wednesday 26th May 1943
Harry lost to Harry Lazer (Aldgate) on points in an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Seymour Hall Seymour Place Marylebone.
Saturday 19th June 1943
Harry beat Frank Duffy (Liverpool) on points in a 10 (3 min) round contest at Willens Hall Greyhound Track Staffordshire.
Monday 23rd August 1943
Harry beat Eric Boon Lightweight Champion (Ely) in an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington. (Very good fight). 6-
Monday 6th December 1943
Harry lost to Jimmy Molloy (Liverpool)
Harry retired at the end of the 4th round. In an 8 (3 min) round contest at The Royal Albert Hall Kensington.
HARRY'S GREATEST FIGHT
Without a doubt other than winning The Lightweight Championship of Great Britain, Harry's greatest fight was his triumph over rugged Frenchman Gustav Humery.
On a cold October night in London in 1935 Harry set The Royal Albert Hall alight.
Harry was up and down about eight times for the first seven rounds. But in the eighth he came out with determination to make a fight of it. He let go (what his brother called) a one two punches which caught Humery. After that Harry wouldn't let him go because he saw that Humery was out on his feet .Harry kept punching until Humery put his hands up and retired
At the same time as the towel was being thrown in from his corner.
Harry had won The Greatest Fight of his career. It was known as a “Story Book Win.”
HARRY MIZLER, A TRIBUTE BY TERRY LEIGH-NYE appearing in “BOX ON!”
Published by THE LONDON EX-BOXERS ASSOCIATION in March 1990
[Re-typed by Anthony Mizler, nephew of Harry Mizler, and son of Moe Mizler, from the Stencilled pamphlet of March 1990].
This Story on Harry Mizler was written by the Late Terry Leigh-Lye as part six of his series ‘THOSE PROUD FIGHTERS WHO WORE THE STAR OF DAVID’ for Boxing News in 1971.
(I enjoyed the series so much and thought it best to repeat it in full as it gives a true picture of Harry Mizler as I knew him and will remember him – MARY POWELL, London Ex-Boxers Association).
MIZLER KNEW REAL POVERTY
Harry Mizler, who is of Polish-Jewish extraction, is the only one of his brothers and sisters to be born in England. His Mother ran a Fish Stall and the boys helped out, indeed Harry for most of his Boxing Career used to get up at 4 o’clock and go with his Mother to Billingsgate, and he remembers on many occasions wheeling her in the barrow when the weather was bad.
Interviewing Mizler for this story in the plush surroundings of the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, it was hard to realise that behind the gentle, suave exterior was a man who had battled during the depression, who had known real poverty but, above all, like most of his co-religionists, had an abiding love of Family.
I was able to appreciate his observations when he said, “Today people take taxis, in those days my mother would walk two extra miles to save a penny on the car fare (that could be used for the Family)”.
MIZLER MAGIC, Jewish boy was champ after only 14 fights
Harry Mizler of St. George’s, Stepney, has to be always epitomised the complete stylist and well he should because, as a child, he was taught boxing by his brothers, Judah and Moe. Judah in his time was a fine amateur and Moe fought as an eight stone Professional and was a standing dish at the Premierland, an East End boxing hall off Backchurch Lane, where the promoters were Manny Littlestone and Victor Berliner.
The Premierland, like ‘The Ring’, Blackfriars, was a place where embryo champions learnt their trade before the most critical audiences in the world.
Both of them used to stage shows on Sunday afternoons and round the ringside one would see stars of stage, film and variety and the ordinary working-man could watch for as little as 1/- a Ticket (5p).
To me, boxing has never been the same sport since the small halls disappeared – today the plush hotel has taken their places with an exclusive membership who come to wine and dine and watch Boxing.
Possibly I am old fashioned but to me boxing, like racing, was essentially a sport for all classes of society and not for the moneyed few.
Back to Harry Mizler – living in Cable St, it was almost inevitable that he would join the St. George’s Social Club which boasted a magnificent boxing section with some of the finest instructors in the ABA world.
In 1932 Mizler became the ABA Featherweight champion. The previous year he had been beaten by a fellow East End Jew, Benny Caplan, in one of the most magnificent fights ever seen between amateurs – a fight that is still talked about being a classic because both men had perfect left hands and every movement was, in fact, boxing perfection.
In 1933, Harry moved up into the lightweight class, winning an ABA title at that weight. He had already represented Britain in the Commonwealth Games in 1930
On dozens of occasions Harry had represented his all over the world but the fame he earned did not make his life any easier for him and his family.
Mizler, after a conference with his brothers, decided to turn professional and they visited the leading promoter of the time, Jeff Dickson, who had his offices in Cecil Court, off Leicester Square. Jeff’s manager was the late Ted Broadribb who, under the name of ‘Snowball’, was the only Englishman to defeat Georges Carpentier.
Ted offered Mizler ‘a job’ at the Albert Hall but Harry and his brothers did not accept the purse money that Ted offered and the fight was refused. The next man that the Mizler boys called on was Victor Berliner, who had left Premierland to act as matchmaker for Mrs Bella Burge, who owned ‘The Ring, Blackfriars’. Bella was the widow of the former British Lightweight Champion, Dick Burge, who won the title in 1897.
Coming out of prison after a long jail sentence because of his involvement in the notorious ‘Gaudi Bank Frauds’, Burge bought ‘The Ring’ with the money put up for him by comedian Alec Hurley, the late husband of Marie Lloyd.
The Ring was built by Rowland Hill (who invented the penny post) as a Methodist Chapel. It was originally a round chapel built in that shape so that the devil could not hide in the corners. Unfortunately, it disappeared in the London Blitz.
Victor Berliner offered Harry an infinitely better deal than had Ted Broadribb, he agreed to become his manager. No contract was signed between the two men, both trusting each other implicitly.
When interviewed, Harry said, “For me Victor was like a Second Father. We never had a written agreement – our contract was a handshake.”
Mizler beat Johnny Cuthbert of Sheffield on points over 15 rounds to win the Professional Lightweight Championship of Great Britain, at the Royal Albert Hall, London.
Cuthbert had already won the a Lonsdale Belt outright by winning the featherweight title, indeed he had twice held the nine-stone crown, winning it from Johnny Curley, losing it to Harry Corbett, winning it back from Corbett and defending it against Dom Volante and my dear friend, the late Nel Tarlton, who was later to capture the title from him.
From this you can see that Mizler was up against a real fighting man but he boxed immaculately to outpoint Cuthbert and went on to defend the title successfully against Billy Quinlan in Wales.
On October 29th 1934, Harry Mizler was stopped in ten rounds for the championship at the Albert Hall by his co-religionist, the great Jack Kid Berg. I happen to know that Mizler’s hands were so bad that Berliner had pleaded with him not to box but Harry had been offered £1,750 for the fight and as this far the greatest money he had ever received he felt he had to go through with it. From the beginning Mizler had no answer to the tearaway tactics of the Whitechapel Whirlwind, fight hardened by his amazing success in American Rings, and with bad hands to boot the result was inevitable.
However, Mizler was far from finished. He beat all the best lightweights around and would have undoubtedly had another crack at the title had not the Second World War broken out and Harry volunteered for the R.A.F.
Even so, he boxed the reigning Champion, Eric Boon, at the wartime show at the Albert Hall and won comfortably on points although the fight was not for the title.
Eric, ever a sportsman, once said “this was not a fight, I was like a pupil with a master” and went on to say how when he started boxing, he used to train at a gym in the East End run by Nat Seller, Mizler’s trainer and Harry would spar with him and instruct him in the finer points of the Sport.
Sellar was to work in Boon’s corner the night he won the Title from Dave Crowley.
Two fights of Harry Mizler’s are for me precious memories. Few will remember the American Lightweight, Al Roth, who came to England shortly before the war with the Canadian Heavyweight, Al Delaney.
Roth was a poor boy from the Bronx who fought his way into the limelight. Never a champion but he could, as Harry would say, “March On a Bit”. Mizler and Roth were matched to box at the new National Sporting Club reopened at Earl’s Court by the Marquis of Queensbury with the late John Harding acting as matchmaker. That night Mizler was superb, Roth’s walk in style was made to measure for one of the best left hand artists in the business, but Harry never made a mistake and the crowd were literally enthralled as, with consummate artistry, he outwitted, outboxed and, in the end, outpunched the American who seemed hypnotised by Mizler’s uncanny skill.
The other battle was against the Frenchman, Gustave Humery, nicknamed “The Tiger”. Mizler, having been battered from pillar to post, suddenly changed the whole course of the fight with a terrific right hand punch which split Humery’s mouth wide open so that the blood from the wound spouted like a cascade, and the referee, Moss Deyong, was forced to stop the fight. I know I never saw a more excited crowd in all my life than that night at the Albert Hall.
Harry retired after the war on his wife’s insistence that he gave up boxing.
Harry is happily married, with children and grandchildren, and as handsome and unmarked as in the halcyon days of his fame.
Every Sunday he collects his grandchildren and goes on a shopping expedition to buy bagels and smoked salmon and then back for a Family Breakfast.
Thank you Harry, for all the entertainment you have given us. You indeed wore the Star of David with Honour and Distinction.
Terry Leigh-Lye, 1971.
Forward by Jeff Dickson from the Royal Albert Hall Thursday 18th Jauary 1934 Official Programme and Souvenir of the Boxing Contests that included the LIGHT-WEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP OF GREAT BRTAIN TITLE CONTEST BETWEEN JOHNNY CUTHBERT (SHEFFIELD) AND HARRY MIZLER (ST.GEORGES).
“TO MY PATRONS
In presenting to you tonight the battle for the light-weight championship between Johnny Cuthbert, of Sheffield, the champion, and Harry Mizler, of St Georges, the challenger, I am full of confidence that this match will produce one of the best fights I have staged at Albert Hall.
With regard to Cuthbert, I take off my hat to him in admiration for the splendid way in which he has upheld British boxing prestige in France. I say without fear of contradiction that he is the most popular British boxer who ever paid a visit to “Gay Paree”.
I take pride in the fact that tonight will be the first time in my association with the British ring I have staged a championship contest in which one of the combatants is a product of London’s Ghetto.
The Jewish race contributed some great boxers to the ring, from the days of Dan Mendoza down to the present period, and from what I have seen of Harry Mizler in action he promises to become one of the best ever. May the best man win.
“PEN PICTURE OF JOHNNY CUTHBERT
Johnny Cuthbert, who won the light-weight title by K.O. Jim Hunter, the Scottish champion, in 5 rounds, about two years ago, is remarkable for his activities, He is one of the busiest champions the British ring has ever produced, and during his long and honourable career he has pursued it along the lines that “little fish are sweet,” and therefore, he has never turned down a match.
After making a feather-weight belt his own property, Johnny turned his attention to the next higher championship, and fought a draw with that hard puncher, Al Foreman, on whom big odds were laid. Foreman turned down the purse offered for the return match because he deemed it too small.
Cuthbert has trained as he always does when his title is at stake. He is very fit and confident he will win. He ridicules the suggestion that his chin cannot survive the devastating power of the challenger’s right hand punch, and thinks his ring strategy and generalship will enable him to outpoint his less experienced opponent.”
“PEN PICTURE OF HARRY MIZLER
Harry Mizler, ex-amateur champion at three weights in three successive years, and winner of 13 contests in a row since he discarded his amateur status, is the hipe of London’s Ghetto. The Jewish race will be behind him to a man in his fight tonight with that wily and vastly more experienced ring man, Johnny Cuthbert.
This good-looking youngster has hitched his wagon to a higher star in the boxing firmament than he British light-weight championship, and hopes one day to rival that famous fighter, Ted “Kid” Lewis, by winning a world crown for his country.
Mizler possesses the physique, and an innate instinct for boxing to help him realise that ambition. All he requires is experience and, should he overcome Cuthbert tonight, in spite of the wealth of boxing knowledge the champion has gathered in American, European and British rings, it is safe to say that he will have taken a long step forward.
“The Star of the East” is a cool, calculating boxer. He has superior hitting power to the champion, and this is what he is banking on to crown him light-weight champion of Great Britain.”