Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Lou Duva Recalls 'Hurricane' Carter as Devastating Puncher

By Keith Idec

Lou Duva doesn’t know what happened during the early morning hours of June 17, 1966, the night that forever altered the life of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter.

What Duva does know is that Carter, no mattered how it was portrayed in the Academy Award-winning film “The Hurricane,” did not beat Joey Giardello in their 15-round fight for the middleweight championship Dec. 14, 1964, in Philadelphia. Like Carter, who died Sunday at 76 after a long battle with prostate cancer, Duva is from Paterson, N.J. They knew each other well, as Carter spent most of his professional career training at a since-demolished Market Street gym in Paterson that Duva once operated.

Duva was proud that a fighter from his hometown reached such heights during boxing’s glory years, but the International Boxing Hall of Fame trainer also was Giardello’s manager. He watched the fight from a ringside seat at Convention Hall and is convinced the three judges who scored the WBA/WBC middleweight championship match for Philadelphia’s Giardello got it right.

“Joey fought his heart out, but so did Carter,” Duva, 91, said. “It was a good fight, but Joey won. He beat Carter. It was proud night for me because it seemed like I had both guys. I figured Joey would beat Carter in a good, tough fight. He did, but he had to watch himself because Carter was such a dangerous puncher.”

The intimidating, muscular Carter’s career crumbled once Giardello defeated him. He went just 7-7-1 in the 19 months following the Giardello loss. Facing three murder charges, a 29-year-old Carter’s career was abruptly cut short after a 10-round decision defeat to Argentina’s Juan Carlos Rivero on Aug. 6, 1966, in Santa Fe, Argentina.

Carter completed a brief but successful pro career with a 27-12-1 record and 19 knockouts. The Ring magazine rated him among boxing’s top 10 middleweights from August 1963 through June 1966.

“Rubin Carter was a very good fighter,” said Duva, who later worked with such legends as Evander Holyfield, Meldrick Taylor and Pernell Whitaker. “He could punch like hell.”

Though Bob Dylan’s song would lead you believe Carter “could’ve been the champion of the world” had he not been imprisoned for the three murder convictions that eventually were overturned by a judge in November 1985, Carter’s career was in decline by the time the incident occurred.

He was, however, one of boxing’s most powerful punchers of his generation and thus a legitimate threat to most he fought. Henry Hascup, a noted sports historian and president of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, followed Carter’s career closely as a youngster in Paterson.

“He was a devastating puncher,” Hascup said. “He had one of the best left hooks in boxing at one time. He was a fearsome individual. He would always talk about stare-downs. When he came into the ring, he had that hood up and he looked like he was looking right through you. He scared some guys half to death, just by coming into the ring, looking like that.”

Hascup acknowledged, though, that time and Hollywood might’ve made Carter out to be a better boxer than he actually was, especially among those more familiar with the his legendary legal ordeal and Denzel Washington’s portrayal in “The Hurricane” than boxing history.

“He was good,” Hascup said. “He wasn’t great, but he was a great puncher. If you were fighting him, you would stay away from him for maybe the first four rounds, and then maybe you’d have a pretty good shot. But he beat some of the best. He did knock out Emile Griffith in 1963 and Emile Griffith was voted ‘Fighter of the Year’ that year by the Boxing Writers Association of America.”

Carter dropped Griffith twice and stopped him in the first round of their Dec. 20, 1963, fight at Pittsburgh’s Civic Center. Their fight occurred after the BWAA voted that year.

While a setback for Griffith, an eventual Hall of Famer who won welterweight and middleweight world titles, the most noteworthy win of his five-year pro career propelled Carter toward his shot at Giardello. Carter dominated eventual heavyweight contender Jimmy Ellis in his next fight two months later, and challenged Giardello 9½ months thereafter.

To read more about Carter’s career, prolonged legal battle and life after boxing and jail, use these links:

http://www.northjersey.com/news/rubin-hurricane-carter-former-boxer-and-passaic-county-native-dies-at-76-1.999750?page=1

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/rubin-hurricane-carter-dead-at-76/article18071079/?page=1

Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.                                                                               

Tags: boxing image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by richardt on 04-22-2014

Lost 6 of his last 12 fights and had about a 30% KO ratio. Average journeyman with a so so KO record. He was an amazing story, but not a great or even very good fighter. Man, people are trying…

Comment by nycsmooth on 04-22-2014

Yes he could hit bit he was easily nullified...he was average...I saw him 5x live, all losses...he couldn't get out of the way of a jab or a pure boxer, as in Archer/Gonzalez...

Comment by turnedup on 04-22-2014

Respect...him and Bhops boy are two tragic boxing stories. Got caught up in a racist system At least Ruben had a few decades of freedom to enjoy some of life, sad he went down for the count from prostate cancer.…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (3)
Top Headlines Petr Petrov Continues To Grind Hard; Antoine Douglas Gets Win Vincent Feigenbutz To Top May 13 Sauerland Card in Karlsruhe Golovkin's Trainer: Spence is Not Ready, Brook Will Beat Him Christopher Diaz, Olympians Return on Top Rank Card, April 21 Muhammad Ali - New Film Getting Developed, To Drop in 2021 Sullivan Barrera vs. Paul Parker Finalized for HBO Latino, April 15 Bellew Admits He Was Terrified, Wrote a Will Before Haye Fight Joseph Parker vs. Hughie Fury Not Likely To Leave Auckland Daniel Dubois vs. David Howe Added To Manchester Card Crawford-Diaz Announced for 5/20 at MSG, Not Prudential Center Kosei Tanaka vs. Angel Acosta Finalized For May 20 in Nagoya Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence - Ticket Information Quigg vs. Simion Could Become Final Eliminator, Says Hearn Cause of Amateur's Death a Mystery as Investigation Continues Warren: Forget Flanagan-Crolla, Let’s Make Flanagan-Linares Amir Khan Eager to Test Out His Surgically Repaired Right Hand Spence's Trainer: Errol is Just as Big, Taller Than Kell Brook Scott Quigg Aims To Reclaim Elite Status With Freddie Roach Paul Butler: Jamie McDonnell Fight Is Close Marcus Morrison: I F***ed Up, Will Be Back Better Andy Lee Tired of "Biased" Commentary During Sky Sports Cards Mikey Garcia Feels Golovkin Made Mistake By Going To PPV Wladimir Klitschko: Guns Are Cocked, I Look Forward To Shooting Hearn: Joshua-Haye is Dead, Haye Needs Bellew Rematch Marriaga Confident of Win: Oscar Valdez is Not Out of This World Golovkin's Coach Has NO Issue With Jacobs Missing IBF Weigh-In De La Hoya Cautions: Canelo Can Not Lose To a Countryman Ricardo Mayorga Ready For Action, Has One Eye on Margarito Klitschko Would Want Farewell Fight at Olimpiyskiy in Ukraine De La Hoya To Mayweather: Forget McGregor, Fight Canelo at 160 DeGale: I Can Fight Gennady Golovkin at 160, Andre Ward at 175 Photos: Barthelemy-Blanco, Hernandez-Davis - Official Weigh-in Katie Taylor Wants Women's Boxing To Have Three Minute Rounds Linares: I'd Love To Face Mikey Garcia in Las Vegas, LA, Anywhere Michael Devine Announces Retirement From Boxing Ohara Davies: Mayweather Advised TMT Boxers To Avoid Me Javier Fortuna Extends Pact With Sampson Boxing Hasim Rahman Jr. Pro Debut Pushed Back To April 14 Jean Pascal To Nick Diaz: You Coward, Don't Talk Sh*t - Fight Me! Lemieux vs. Reyes, Diaz vs. Avila Added To Canelo-Chavez
Advertisement
Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement