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Athletes

Roman Greenberg - Jewish Boxer

Based in England, born in the Soviet Union, and raised in Tel-Aviv, 25-year-old Roman Greenberg is one of the top heavyweight prospects in the world

Born: May 18, 1982 - Beltsy, Moldova (Former Soviet Union)
Died: ---

Roman Greenberg With Belt
Roman Greenberg With Belt
When Roman Greenberg was a young boy his family immigrated to Tel Aviv, Israel. He began boxing at age 11, and his earliest boxing memory is of having his nose broken. Despite the injury he continued boxing and in 2000 Greenberg took the silver medal at the Junior World Championships, in Budapest, where he fought at 200 lbs. Though he had hoped to go on to the Olympics, lacking the financial support, he decided instead to turn pro in 2001, making him ineligible to compete in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Since then, the 6 foot 3, roughly 230 lb Greenberg has fought as a heavyweight from his new base of Finchley, England. Greenberg has remained undefeated at 27-0 (as of January, 2008) and is fighting his way up the food chain of the heavyweight division. In fact, he, along with Dmitriy Salita and Yuri Foreman, are the three top Jewish prospects in boxing today.

As he has not yet fought anyone in the top tiers of the boxing ranks his toughest battles are probably yet to come. Although he's displayed plenty of heart, such as when in his 2003 fight against Latvian, Mendauga Kulikauskas, he was knocked down in the 2nd round for the first time in his career, only to come back and knock him out in the 5th.

On March 18, 2006, Greenberg won the IBO Intercontinental Championship with a 6th round TKO against Alex Vassilev, and followed that with another 6th round knockout of Russia's Alexei Varakin on November 4th of the same year in Monte Carlo.

Star of David Boxing Trunks
Star of David Boxing Trunks

Although in today's heavyweight scene he's considered somewhat small, Greenberg has established a reputation for having very fast foot speed and extremely quick hands. In fact, legendary trainer Angelo Dundee described him as, "the fastest big guy since Muhammad Ali." He fights in the orthodox stance and is his style is often described as "cerebral," "flashy" and "patient."

Greenberg wears a Star of David on his shorts as a display of pride for his Jewish heritage. He is also a major supporter of the State of Israel. Although he trains and fights out of England, he still considers Israel to be his home.

To date there has never been a Jewish heavyweight champion of the world. Greenberg eventually hopes to fight top heavyweight Wladimir Klitscho (also Soviet-born).

In August 2008, Greenberg lost his first fight by a shocking 2nd round knockout to fellow contender Cedric Boswell. His record now stands at 27 and 0.

See also: Yuri Foreman, Benny "The Ghetto Wizard" Leonard, Ran "Sweet Dreams" Nakash, Barney Ross, Dmitriy Salita

Interesting Facts
  • Greenberg is fluent in English, Russian German and Hebrew.
  • Greenberg and his companions were once turned away from an Israeli nightclub for lack of funds, which minutes later was attacked by a suicide bomber, killing 21 people and injuring many others.
Further Reading
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