Later known as “The Little Champ,” Abe Attell was born on February 22, 1884 to a poor Jewish family in San Francisco, California. At the age of 15, Attell began boxing as a means to help support his family. Quickly successful in his career, Attel was poised to win the featherweight championship by 1901. He defeated George Dixon to earn the title, although this was not universally acknowledged. It was not until 1906, when Attell defeated Jimmy Walsh, that he was widely accepted as the world featherweight champion. He successfully defended his title until 1912.
During his title reign, he made history in 1909 when his brother Monte Attell won the bantamweight championship. It was unprecedented for two brothers to hold championship titles concurrently. Attell’s success streak ended in 1912 at the hands of Johnny Kilbane. Although Attell never found himself in a position to win back the title, he continued fighting until 1917. After his retirement, Attell was involved in various gambling scandals, but his deft maneuvers in the courtrooms kept him from ever being charged. Attell passed away in 1970.