Louis (Kid) Kaplan

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Louis (Kid) Kaplan
Class of 2003
Old Timer Category
Hall of Fame bio:click

Name: Louis 'Kid' Kaplan
Hometown: Meriden, Connecticut, USA
Birthplace: Kiev, Ukraine
Died: 1970-10-26 (Age:69)
Height: 157cm
Reach: 159cm
Pro Boxer: Record

Managers: Denny McMahon and Billy Gibson
Trainer: Whitey Bimstein

Brief Biography

Born October 15, 1901 in Kiev, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire, Louis Kaplan and his family emigrated to the United States when he was five years old and settled in Meriden, CT. He began boxing as a teenager at the Lenox Athletic Club in Meriden and turned professional in 1919. A busy fighter, he engaged in over 50 bouts in his first four years in the paid ranks. In 1923 he twice drew with rival Babe Herman before scoring a 10-round win over future world lightweight champ Jimmy Goodrich.

Louis (Kid) Kaplan

By late 1924 featherweight champion Johnny Dundee vacated his title and a tournament was arranged to determine a successor. "Kid" kayoed Angel Diaz in three stanzas, outpointed Bobby Garcia over 10-rounds and then halted Jose Lombardo in four rounds to advance to the finals. On January 2, 1925 he knocked out Danny Kramer in nine rounds at Madison Square Garden to become the new champion. His first two defenses were against the familiar Babe Herman (D15 and W15) in late 1925. Kaplan next decisioned Hall of Famer Billy Petrolle over 12 rounds in a non-title bout.

However, Kaplan's reign as champion was nearing its end. Despite standing 5ft 4 in., he was experiencing difficulty making the featherweight limit and decided to relinquish the crown to campaign as a lightweight in 1927. As a 135-pounder, he scored wins over Jackie Fields, Johnny Jadick, Billy Wallace, Joe Glick, Battling Battalino and Sammy Mandell, among others. Amongst the wins were loses to Wallace, Eddie Ran, and Hall of Famer Jimmy McLarnin. In 1933 he lost to Cocoa Kid and promptly retired from the ring with a 108-17-13D- 12 ND (26KOs) record.

Known as a rugged, pressing boxer who possessed tremendous stamina, the crowd-pleasing "Meriden Buzzsaw" died on October 26, 1970 in Norwich, CT.

Sheboygan Press, Friday, Jan 9, 1925

His first few fights as a professional were conducted under the name of BENNY MILLER. This was because Ma Kaplan would have no boxer fighting in her family. Pa Kaplan, a gifted junk dealer looked upon the profession with more tolerant eyes and in due time BENNY MILLER became LOUIS KID KAPLAN. He has two brothers Noah and Israel who are following his steps in the ring.


Old Friends

This material is taken from a great story was published in May 1970 when Kid Kaplan, then aged 68, was in hospital.

Three men got into a car for a trip to the hospital and that in itself might hardly be worth noticing. This was no ordinary trip and nor was one of the occupants. Denny McMahon, then 85--years-old, was the manager of Louis Kid Kaplan and was on his weekly visit to see his old friend. He said, "I was telling my sister I don't think there was any fighter who was a nicer boy outside the ring than Louis Kid Kaplan. I've never heard him curse in his life and I never heard him ridicule anyone."

Jimmy McLarnin who stopped Kaplan in the 8th round in 1927 had phoned McMahon earlier to see how Kaplan was doing and said, "I never told you before, Denny, but in that fight with Louis, when he knocked me down the first time, he broke my jaw. I know that doesn't help him today, but I never got hit so hard by anyone in my life."


External Links

Cyber Boxing Zone page