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Gus Lesnevich: Cliffside Park's Hometown Hero

Gus Lesnevich was born and raised in Cliffside Park, NJ and became a well-known name in the world of professional boxing. He turned pro in 1934 and in 1941, he became champion after losing two 15 round decision defeats to Billy Conn.
Gus then went on to beat Anton Christoforidis and Tammi Mauriello on August 26, 1941 to gain the World Light-Heavyweight Championship.


During the war years, he served in the United States Coast Guard from 1943 to 1945.

In 1947, he was awarded The Ring magazine's "Fighter of the Year" Award.


In 1962, he had a small role in the film "Requiem for a Heavyweight."


Gus was a great source of pride for the town of Cliffside Park. But Gus also had a connection with Palisades Amusement Park that I had not known until I received a note from his son, Gary Lesnevich.


From: Gary Lesnevich

I have enclosed a photo of Gus Lesnevich about 1940 as he was to fight Billy Conn, either first or second championship bout. Gus became champ in 1941 after winning title for Light Heavyweight Championship NBA by defeating two main rivals remaining and Billy Conn went on to fight Joe Lewis.

He was a favorite son of Cliffside Park and as honor life guard did a lot of PR for the Park. He was an excellent diver and always drew a crowd when going off the 10ft diving board.

Needless to say I grew up at the pool, my first work permit and with school pals became life guards in early 1960s.

Great Web site

Gary Lesnevich

Thank you to Gary for the great photo of his dad at Palisades Amusement Park.




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