Rubin “Hurricane” Carter – Title Bout

Rubin Carter Fighting Joey Giardello

15 Dec 1964, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Challenger Rubin Carter (right) tags middleweight champion Joey Giardello with a right to the head December 14th during their 15-round title fight. Giardello won by unanimous decision of the three ring officials. Click on image for full photo credits

Rubin Carter is most famously known as the subject of Bob Dylan’s 1975 song, “Hurricane,” the songwriter’s last great protest song (in my opinion).

In 1966, Carter was convicted of a triple murder that he did not commit. Dylan’s song brought great attention to Carter’s plight. Carter’s case became a cause celebre’, and, in 1985, was finally overturned when a Federal Judge ruled that Carter had not received a fair trial.

As a boxer, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was a good-but-not-great middleweight, who lost his only title shot in a 15 round unanimous decision to Joey Giardello. Giardello, at age 34, was past his prime but used his technique and skills learned after 16 years as a pro to out-box the contender. This fight against Carter proved to be Giardello’s only successful title defense, however.

Giardello versus Carter is available in its entirety on youtube. Click here for rounds 1 to 13, you can watch the last couple of rounds of the fight by clicking here.

Rubin “Hurricane” Carter passed away over the weekend. He was 76. I chose to replay his one title shot as my own sort of memorial to the former contender.

Free online “tabletop” games are rare. I only know of a handful, but my favorite by far is paperboxing.com‘s recreation of the old Avalon Hill ‘Title Bout’ game.

The original Title Bout game was produced in 1979, with card sets released in spurts until 1999/2000. Nonetheless, there is an active community that still loves it and continues to make cards for the game.

paperboxing.net replay of the 12-14-1964 title bout between champ Joey Giardello and Ruben "Hurricane" Carter

paperboxing.net replay of the 12-14-1964 title bout between champ Joey Giardello and Ruben “Hurricane” Carter

LET’S GET TO THE FIGHT!

Round 1 was all Giardello. At one point, the champ had landed 12 punches and missed 1, while Carter had landed 1 punch and missed 12. At 2:57 in the round, Giardello hit Carter with a hard right that wobbled the contender, but he stayed up. Round 1 goes to the champ 10-9.

In Round 2 of this replay, Giardello had the opportunity to show off his boxing skills. The champ, a veteran of 126 fights to this point in his career, was known as one of the great practicioners of the pugilistic arts. He was smart and crafty, and in this round Carter landed some big hits, but the champion, the artful dodger, was the overall better boxer. Carter landed one big blow at 2:55, and Giardello knees went weak for a moment, but in the end round two is scored Giardello’s way, 10-9.

As Round 3 started, it looked like it might be a repeat of the first two. Carter landed a couple of good shots, missed big a couple of times. Giardello dodged and weaved, but punched accurately. Half-way through the round I thought this might just be the script for this fight, but then at 1:43 in the third Carter connected hard. Here is the Action Card Result:

Result - Knockdown 45

If you haven’t played Title Bout, the basic procedure is:

1. flip a FAC, read CF to determine which fighter has control at the moment
2. flip another FAC, check RN number on the card of the fighter in control
3. flip another FAC, check the RESULT

The RESULT card pictured above shows a Right Cross (45 on Carter’s card is a cross), that could be a knockdown. Time to flip another FAC:

KD card

The KD result is less than/equal to Carter’s HP rating of 10. GIARDELLO IS HURT! His legs are rubber! Let’s go to the Knockdown chart!

KDR Card

CHECKING THE KNOCKDOWN CHART…
KDR number on the Boxing Action Card is: 18
Giardello’s KDR1 rating is: 3

kd chart

Title Bout Knockdown Chart from paperboxing.com

The Knockdown Chart shows a K
DOWN GOES GIARDELLO! THE CHAMP IS DOWN!
Giardello is struggling to his feet. The ref starts the count.

We flip a FAC to check the Knockout Chart:

KOR card

Checking the KNOCKOUT CHART for a KNOCKOUT…
KOR number on the Boxing Action Card is: 9
Giardello’s KOR rating is: 2

Title Bout Knockout Chart from paperboxing.com

Title Bout Knockout Chart from paperboxing.com

IT’S OVER! IT’S ALL OVER! THE HURRICANE HAS COME TO TOWN – RUBIN CARTER IS THE NEW MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD!!!

hurricane carter
RIP Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014)

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