Paul Berlenbach, of French and German ancestry, was born in New York City on February 18, 1901. Berlenbach was both deaf and mute, having suffered from scarlet fever as a child; however, an accidental electric shock restored both his speech and hearing when Berlenbach was in his late teens.
Berlenbach first showed promise as a wrestler, winning two championships, but switched to professional boxing in 1923. Berlenbach fought against McTigue to take the light heavyweight title. With notable prowess, he defended his title for three consecutive years until his rival, Jack Delaney, bested him in 1926. Berlenbach retired in 1933, having fought 52 bouts. Of his 39 victories, 33 were achieved by knockout. Berlenbach passed away in 1985, and he was inducted into the International Hall of Fame in 2001.