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
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
pals became life guards in early 1960s.
Great Web site
Thank you to Gary for the great photo of his dad at
Palisades Amusement Park.