David Oved - Boxer inducted into hall of fame
AN Australian boxer who featured on Australian television in the 1950s
and 60s has been inducted into the Maccabi Haifa Boxing Hall of Fame.
David Oved, one of Australia’s most decorated Jewish boxers who has a
record of 65 wins and six losses, has been recognised 45 years after his
“This honour is very important to me because it shows they appreciate
me,” Oved, now 72, told The AJN.
“It has taken some time because there were some other people ahead of
me, but this is just great. I hope that in the next few years the
Australian Boxing Association will induct me as well.”
Born in 1936, Oved became Israel’s first Jewish professional boxer and
fought in five countries across the world.
He began boxing at the Maccabi Haifa club, before he was spotted during
the 1953 Maccabiah Games and sent to America to train with some of the
world’s top boxers.
“I was 18-years-old, but the Israeli Army only gave me a release for six
months. I trained at one of the most famous gyms in the world, the
Stillman’s Gym in New York, but then I had to go back to Israel for the
army,” Oved recalled.
While in New York, Oved fought and won 10 straight bouts, including a
victory against John Davidson, who had won eight straight fights before
facing the Israeli.
When he returned to Israel, Oved said he fought in Israel’s first
professional boxing match in front of nearly 40,000 people in Ramat Gan
“It was an amazing feeling,” he said. “I was a pioneer for boxing in
Israel because I made it professional and it was amazing at the time to
be a part of that.”
He then fought bouts in London, Belfast and Scotland before he came to
Melbourne in 1958, and fought professionally for four years. He was a
regular on TV Ringside, at the time one of the most popular prime-time
TV shows in Melbourne.
“I started fighting because I loved it, but by the end, I wanted to do
it for the money. I could earn up to 2500 pounds [the equivalent of more
than $90,000 today] for one fight.”
The biggest match of Oved’s career was the 1959 Australian championship
against local boxer George Bracken. “That was a tough fight that went
for 15 rounds, but he got the better of me.”
Oved, who will travel to Israel in April to receive his award, joked
that his parents always told him not to fight, but he said he was happy
he performed in the ring.
“The important thing to remember is that I finished with my noodles
As seen on
by YV: David and his wife Ellen are good friends of Young Victor and
wife Lynette, we often go out to dinner sometimes meet George Bracken
and his wife Queenie, after Past and Present Boxers Association
A video of David's fight with George Bracken can be viewed here