Bimstein, "Whitey"

views updated


BIMSTEIN, "WHITEY" (Morris ; 1897–1969), U.S. boxing trainer. One of the greatest trainers in boxing history, Bimstein worked in the corner of approximately 25 world champions, including Gene Tunney, Max Baer, Jimmy Braddock, Primo Carnera, Harry Greb, Jake La Motta, and Jewish fighters Barney *Ross, Jackie "Kid" *Berg, Benny *Leonard, Charley Phil Rosenberg, Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, Ruby Goldstein, Abe Goldstein, and "Kid" Kaplan. Born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Bimstein dropped out of school at the age of 12 and began boxing as a 15-year-old at St. Jerome's Church in the Bronx under the name Johnny White, because he was afraid his father would get angry if he read about his son in the paper. But Bimstein's father allowed him to fight when he found out his son was making more money than he. Bimstein fought as a bantamweight and featherweight until he joined the navy in World War i. After serving in the navy, and a career of 70 professional fights, Bimstein decided to switch to corner work and became an expert cut man. Called Whitey by everyone but his family, Bimstein began a partnership in 1925 with the legendary trainer Ray *Arcel, and the two worked together for nine years, calling themselves the "Siamese Training Twins." After World War ii, Bimstein paired with another legendary trainer, Freddie Brown. He worked with Tunney during his two historic fights with Jack Dempsey in 1926 and 1927, and was the corner man for four victorious world champions – Barney Ross, Lou Ambers, Harry Jeffra, and Fred Apostoli – in one night at the Polo Grounds on September 23, 1937. He was also the cut man for Rocky Marciano, closing a split on Marciano's nose during his fight with Ezzard Charles that helped Marciano retain his undefeated record. Bimstein estimated that he worked approximately 35,000 to 40,000 fights during his career, which lasted into the 1960s.

[Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)]