NJ Boxing HOF

RUBIN CARTER

Born May 6, 1937, in Clifton, N.J., and raised in nearby Paterson, Carter was the youngest 
of four boys and three girls. He frequently got into trouble as he ran with the wrong crowd. 
"I wasn't dumb; just hard to control," he said.

Turning pro in 1961, Rubin was quickly regarded as one of the hardest punchers in the 
middleweight class.

After knocking out Ernie Burford in 2 rounds, he was given a chance against a top rated 
opponent, the hard-hitting Florentino Fernandez, on national TV.

Coming into the bout, Ruben was a heavy underdog, but before the first round was completed,
Fernandez was flat on his back and Rubin was having his hand raised.

He became the top rated middleweight in the world, with wins over Holly Mims, 
Gomeo Brennan, George Benton and Jimmy Ellis (who went on to become Heavyweight Champion). 
He also scored a first round knockout over Welterweight Champion, Emile Griffith.

Rubin also fought and held his own with Luis Rodriguez, Dick Tiger and Joe Archer. 
He lost a close decision to Joey Giardello for the title. 

Whether Carter ever would have been a world champion will never be known, though he 
was past his prime when he was convicted in 1967. He had only one title fight -- and 
he lost it, a 15-round decision to middleweight champ Joey Giardello in 1964. Before 
that bout, Carter had won 20 of his first 24 fights, including 13 by knockout. Afterward, 
he won only seven of his last 15 bouts.

"He could have gone a long way," said Emile Griffith, a welterweight champ who was the 
most storied victim on the Hurricane's 27-12-1 record. "I should know. He knocked me down 
and stopped me."

At 14, Carter was convicted of assault and was sentenced to Jamesburg Home for Boys. 
In 1954, he escaped and to avoid capture, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. While in the 
military, he reputedly showed up drunk at the hall where his division's boxing team was 
training. He put on gloves and fought a heavyweight named Nelson Glenn. Despite being 
outweighed by at least 40 pounds, Carter decked Glenn in the first round and earned a 
place on the team.

Carter left the Army with 51 wins in 56 fights, including 31 by KO. He also resumed a 
troublesome life, including a 1957 conviction for his part in two robberies and an assault. 
After serving almost 4 years, much of which was spent in fistfights with other prisoners, 
he embarked on a more serious boxing career.

After knocking out 36 amateur opponents, Carter made his professional debut on Sept. 
22, 1961, at Annapolis, winning a four-round decision over Pike Reed. Then came a string 
of knockouts - 11 in his next 14 fights.

At 5-feet-8, Carter did not seem tall enough to be a middleweight, but he fought most 
of his professional career at 155-160 pounds. His shaven head, prominent mustache, 
unwavering stare and solid frame made him an intimidating presence in the ring decades 
before such a look became commonplace.

By 25, Carter had become a fixture on nationally televised fights from Madison Square 
Garden at a time when New York was a boxing hub. He made his debut as a headliner on 
Oct. 27, 1962, with a 69-second knockout of Florentino Fernandez.

Carter's raw power and his ability to unleash either one furious punch or a rapid-fire 
combination of lefts and rights led some to compare him to Tony Zale, the stocky 
middleweight champ of the 1940s. When Carter scored an unlikely first-round knockout 
of welterweight champ Griffith in a middleweight fight on Dec. 20, 1963, it appeared 
to be a seminal victory. It turned out to be the pinnacle of his career.

After beating the acclaimed "Fighter of the Year," Carter demanded a shot at Giardello, 
the newly crowned middleweight champ. Finally, a year later, Carter got his wish. The 
more experienced Giardello bobbed and weaved his way through the 15 rounds while Carter 
stalked him. Carter's best chance for victory came in the fourth round, when his left 
hook opened a bothersome cut over Giardello's left eye.


Although Giardello's face displayed the puffy evidence of damage inflicted by Carter, 
there were no knockdowns, and the champ consistently scored with his left. Giardello 
won a unanimous decision in front of 6,000 spectators in Philadelphia. Carter begged to 
differ.

"I think it was mine," said Carter, who believed he had won nine rounds. "I feel I can 
go another 15 rounds right now." He would not go 15 rounds again.


Carter lost his next fight, but after winning three of his next four by KO, he was given 
the New York spotlight one last time against once and future champ Dick Tiger. On 
May 20, 1965, Tiger floored Carter three times and won a unanimous 10-round decision.

Eight fights in seven cities followed for Carter, who won just four of these bouts and 
had a draw against Skeeter McClure on March 8, 1966, in Toledo, Ohio.

Three months later, in the early morning hours of June 17, 1966, two men and a woman were 
shot dead at the Lafayette Grill in Paterson. Within an hour, police pulled over Carter 
and an acquaintance, John Artis, who were in a car similar to the one driven by the 
murderers. They were taken to the police station, where both passed a polygraph test.

On August 6 and in the midst of a grand-jury investigation into the homicides, Carter 
lost his last fight, a 10-round decision to Juan "Rocky" Rivero. Two months later, even 
in the face of the lie-detector tests, Carter and Artis were charged with the triple 
murders.

Arthur Bradley and Alfred Bello, both convicted felons, were the prosecutor's main 
witnesses, and they placed Carter and Artis at the scene of the crime. An all-white 
jury convicted the two black defendants on May 27, 1967. Carter and Artis were each 
sentenced to three sentences of life in prison.

By 1974 Bradley and Bello had recanted their story. Both said they were pressured by 
authorities to offer false testimony against Carter and Artis, whom the authorities 
reputedly referred to as "animals" and "niggers."

Investigative stories about the case in The New York Times gained national attention. 
From Rahway State Prison in New Jersey, Carter wrote his autobiography, "The Sixteenth 
Round," published in 1974, and Dylan performed "Hurricane" for the first time a year 
later. Benefit concerts for Carter were held at Madison Square Garden and in Houston. 

Finally, attorneys for Carter and Artis convinced the New Jersey Supreme Court to hear 
their appeal. The convictions were overturned on March 17, 1976.

In a second trial, Bello did another flip-flop and went back to his original testimony. 
Prosecutor Vincent Hull introduced racial motivation and he made an emotional appeal to 
the jury. The strategy worked. On Dec. 22, 1976, Carter and Artis were found guilty again. 
Artis eventually won parole in 1981, but Carter remained in prison, persisting in his 
fight for freedom.

Finally, in November 1985, federal district judge H. Lee Sarokin released Carter on 
the grounds that the convictions "were predicated on an appeal to racism rather than 
reason, and concealment rather than disclosure."

More than two years later, authorities finally decided against a third trial, and 
the original indictments against Carter and Artis were dismissed for good on 
Feb. 26, 1988.

In Toronto, Carter heads the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted, going 
around Canada and the United States trying to help others who may have been wrongly 
convicted. He also delivers speeches about his life. Although he once expressed anger 
about his past, his reflections have changed.

"There is no bitterness," he said in 1999. "If I was bitter, that would mean they won." 

Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
BORN : May 6 1937; Clifton, New Jersey
(Fought out of Paterson, New Jersey)
HEIGHT : 5-8
WEIGHT : 157-159 lbs
MANAGERS : Carmine Tedeschi, Pat Amato
 

   
1961
Sep 22      Pike Reed             Annapolis, Md       W 4
Oct 11      Joey Cooper           Reading, Pa         KO 2
Oct 24      Frank Nelson          Philadelphia, Pa    KO 1
Nov 17      Herschel Jacobs       Totowa, NJ          W 4
    
1962
Jan 19      Herschel Jacobs       Totowa, NJ          L 6    
Feb 14      Tommy Settles         Union City, NJ      KO 1
Feb 28      Felix Santiago        Union City, NJ      KO 1
Mar 16      Jimmy McMillan        Jersey City, NJ     KO 3
Apr 16      Johnny Tucker         New York, NY        KO 1
Apr 30      Walter Daniels        New York, NY        KO 2
May 21      Sugar Boy Nando       New York, NY        KO 3
Jun 23      Ernie Burford         New York, NY        L 8
Aug  4      Ernie Burford         New York, NY        KO 2
Oct  5      Mel Collins           Jersey City, NJ     KO 5
Oct 27      Florentino Fernandez  New York, NY        KO 1
Dec 22      Holley Mims            New York, NY        W10
    
1963
Feb 2       Gomeo Brennan         New York, NY        W 10    
Mar 30      Joe Gonzalez          New York, NY        LK 6     
May 25      George Benton         New York, NY        W 10    
Sep 14      Farid Salim           Pittsburgh, Pa      W 10    
Oct 25      Joey Archer           New York, NY        L 10    
Dec 20      Emile Griffith        Pittsburgh, Pa      KO  1
    
1964
Feb 28      Jimmy Ellis           New York, NY         W 10
Jun 24      Clarence James        Los Angeles, Ca      KO 1
Dec 14      Joey Giardello        Philadelphia, Pa     L 15
	(For World Middleweight Title)
    
1965
Feb 12      Luis Rodriguez		New York, NY	L 10
Feb 22      Fabio Bettini		Paris, Fra	KO 10
Mar  9      Harry Scott		London, Eng	TK  9
Apr 20      Harry Scott		London, Eng	L 10
Apr 30      Johnny Torres		Patterson, NJ	KO  8
May 20      Dick Tiger		New York, NY	L 10
Jul 14      Fate Davis      	Akron, Oh		KO 1
Aug 26      Luis Rodriguez		Los Angeles, Ca	L 10
Sep 18      Joe Ngidi       	Johannesburg, S.A.	KO 2
    
1966       
Jan 8	Wilbert "Skeeter" McClure	Chicago, IL	W 10
Jan	Johnny Morris		Pittsburgh, Pa	L 10
Jan 25	Stan Harrington		Honolulu, HI	L 10
Feb 27	Ernie Burford		Johannesburg, SA	KO  8
Mar  8	Wilbert "Skeeter" McClure	Toledo, Oh	D 10
	 -There was an error in a scorecard; The Ohio Boxing Commission 
	changed the verdict to a draw     
Aug  6	Juan "Rocky" Rivero      Rosario, ARG          L 10



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