Ten-Count for Georgie Benton

By Robert Ecksel on September 19, 2011
Ten-Count for Georgie Benton
Benton knew all about angles, movement, the sublime art of hitting and not getting hit


Georgie Benton, one of the sweetest scientists and greatest trainers in boxing history, passed away this morning in St. Joseph’s Hospital in North Philadelphia. He was 78.

Benton turned professional on July 18, 1949, with a first round KO of Chico Wade at Toppi Stadium in South Philly. During his 21 years fighting in the ring, the opponents he couldn’t outpunch, he was able to outbox and outthink. 

Benton became the top middleweight contender but never got his coveted title shot. In 1970, a stray bullet from a random shootout entered his back. His record was 63-13-1 at the time, and he had no choice but to call it quits.

After two years in and out of hospitals and a long recuperation from the gunshot wound, Benton returned to boxing, this time as a trainer—and it was a match made in heaven.

Benton was known as The Professor, The Master, and The Mayor. He had the knowledge, the old-school basics down pat. He knew all about angles, movement, the sublime art of hitting and not getting hit, and was willing to share that knowledge with others.

Benton worked with some brilliant (and so brilliant) boxers, but brought out the best in all of his fighters: Bennie Briscoe, Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Evander Holyfield, Johnny Bumphus, Leon Spinks, Rocky Lockridge, Joe Frazier, Tyrell Biggs, Tex Cobb, Curtis Parker, Earl Hargrove, and many others.

Benton was named the Trainer of the Year in 1989 and 1990 by the BWAA and was inducted to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2001, the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame in 1986, and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.

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  1. Joe 01:53pm, 09/20/2011

    RIP Mr. Benton.  MSG shows his fight on Classic Fight Nights against Reuben “Hurricane” Carter and let me tell you he gave the Garden fans something to talk about that’s for sure.  Another Benton sighting on the Ali/Frazier HBO special gives us a good view into his boxing philosophy and the work he did in Smokes corner in preparation for the Thrilla and during.  This man will be missed.

  2. mikecasey 06:26am, 09/20/2011

    Now here was a maestro who knew how to box - and how to teach others likewise. I remember George’s career well from my youth, and let’s remember that his time criss-crossed the great Golden Age when the competition was still ferocious.

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