Ten $20 bills

The March 19 1938 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained this photograph of a boxer who was willing to bet up to $200 that he would win his upcoming fight.

If Mr. Gaudes had been able to wager all or part of this money on himself, it would have paid off: as it turned out, he did beat his opponent, Baby Yack, in their upcoming boxing match on March 31. In fact, he beat Mr. Yack three times that year: in this match, in a rematch three weeks later, and one final time on November 7th.

I couldn’t find anything on Mr. Gaudes other than his professional boxing record. He continued fighting up until 1941, and then resumed his career after the war, retiring from boxing in 1947. He passed away in 1963 at the age of 52.

I found out a bit more about Baby Yack, whose given name was Benjamin Norman Yackubowitz. He won 90 out of 100 fights as an amateur bantamweight boxer. Along with another Jewish boxer from Toronto, Sammy Luftspring, he passed up the 1936 Olympics in Germany in favour of a People’s Olympics in Barcelona. The Spanish Civil War caused these games to be cancelled and left the two men stranded in Spain.

Eventually returning home, Mr. Yack turned pro and appeared in 37 bouts between 1937 and 1939. He passed away in 1987.

At the time of his first fight with Mr. Gaudes, it’s not surprising that the experts predicted that Mr. Yack would win: he had won 15 of his 17 pro fights up to that time, losing one on points and another on a split decision. Mr. Gaudes’s record leading up to their fight was a bit more uneven: he had recently beaten Mog Mason and Jimmy “Babe” McCusker, but had drawn with Jackie Rodgers and lost to Georgie Pace.

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