Name: Harry Lewis
Birth Name: Henry Besterman
Birthplace: New York, New York, USA
Died: 1956-02-22 (Age:69)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Height: 5′ 7″ / 170cm
Reach: 67″ / 170cm
Boxing Record: click
Harry Lewis, the older brother of fellow boxer Gussie Lewis, is inducted into both the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the International Boxing Hall of Fame (Class of 2008). He died in Philadelphia. He is generally credited with holding the Welterweight Boxing Championship of the World between 1908, when he defeated Honey Mellody on April 20, 1908, and March 1911, when he relinquished the title for being over the welterweight limit. The exact dates as to when Lewis held the World Welterweight championship are the subject of minor dispute, as sanctioning bodies with global authority became more the trend in later years, and several boxers were vying for the title during the period Lewis held it. As seen in his BoxRec record, he claimed the Middleweight championship of the World from February through May of 1911, as it was vacant at the time and for that entire year, though no current sanctioning bodies recognize his claim.
In his career he defeated Young Ernie, Honey Mellody, Leo Houck, Frank Mantell, British welterweight champion Young Joseph, and Willie Lewis and fought Joe Gans and Georges Carpentier in important heavily attended bouts. He fought important bouts in Paris, and London between 1910 and 1913. His career ended when he fought Joe Borrell, despite having previously received a head injury from a car accident. Lewis was knocked to the canvas by Borrell in the fifth round and was diagnosed with a blood clot at Philadelphia Hospital. He managed a few boxers in his retirement, though suffered from partial paralysis the rest of his life.
Nat Fleischer rated Lewis the sixth greatest welterweight of all time. He was most adept at speedy counterpunching and feinting and in his prime had a large percentage of knockouts, perhaps caused more by the precision, and frequency of his punches than his strength alone. He also employed a powerful left hook to the abdomen that characterized many of his early and mid career fights.