Sailor Friedman

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Sailor Friedman

Name: Sailor Friedman
Birth Name: William Friedman
Born: 1899-06-18
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died: 1968-01-06 (Age:68)
Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Height: 5′ 8″   /   173cm
Reach: 69″   /   175cm
Boxing Record: click

Manager: Max Hoff
Photo #2

  • Last name often-times spelled "Freedman" by newspapers of his day.
  • Per IBRO JOURNAL #73, p.51 (March 15, 2002): Edelman/Friedman/Freedman ran away from home in 1914, arriving in South Philadelphia. He worked as a newsboy, and as an employee in one of Max Hoff's gambling rooms.
  • He served in the United States Navy circa 1915-1918, serving on the USS Michigan. In 1915 he won the bantamweight title at the Great lakes Naval Training Station.
  • At one time he served a one year suspension for fighting with a doctored glove.
Sailor Friedman
  • On July 23, 1922, while in Chicago, Freedman and two other men allegedly murdered Abraham Rubin, a taxicab driver, who was said to have ties to the bootleg liquor trade as a transporter. (This was during America's prohibition era of 1919-1933.) The jury was deadlocked after the first trial. The second trial resulted in a conviction and a sentence of 14 years for Freedman. However, his lawyer was able to secure another hearing (trial?), resulting in Freedman's exoneration.
  • After his boxing career ended, it is said, he continued his ties with the criminal "underworld."
  • He allegedly engaged in private drug trafficking and as a bodyguard for Max Hoff, as well as being a small stockholder in the Quaker Industrial Alcohol Company. He was kidnapped and beaten by two armed men on the eve of a 1923 bout in Milwaukee. In a 1928 grand jury probe, Lewis Elfman identified Freedman as his assailant. He was arrested, but lawyer Benjamin Golder got the charges dropped, due to a lack of evidence.
  • In 1942 Friedman rejoined the navy, once again passing though boot camp at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, where he had entered more than 20 years earlier.
  • Friedman was Jewish.

Record Issues:

Several fights have been listed in Friedman's records (e.g., [[T. S. Andrews Record Book]] series & Everlast Boxing Record) that have not been located and verified. It is quite likely that they occurred in private, perhaps under less than professional circumstances. These fights include the following:

  • 1916: Young Early, Won 6 rounds; Jimmy Valentine, No decision, 6 rounds.
  • 1917: Al Hennessey, Won 6 rounds; Charley Metrie, Won 6 rounds; Joe Sullivan, Won 6 rounds (a second time); Ira Lang, Won 10 rounds; Eddie Gilmore, Won 10 rounds.
  • 1918: Earl Henderson, Won ko 2 rounds.
  • 1919: Chet Neff, Won 4 rounds.

Some other fights have been ascribed to Friedman, also unverified or disproven:

  • 1922: Red Herring, Lost on points. This appeared in a newspaper record for Herring only.
  • 1925: A report in the New York Times supposedly states that Friedman lost to a man named Nichols three or four days before he met Mickey Walker in a 12-rounder. Since "Nichols" is not known from any other fights, this may be a case of incorrect identification.

There was also an incorrect report of Friedman fighting a six-rounder in Philadelphia, but it was actually one Soldier Freeman who had that fight.