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On this Day: One month before he’s named Fighter of the Year, Emile Griffith is blown away by Hurricane Carter

Emile Griffith
Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter is in terrifying form as he rips through Emile Griffith

RUBIN CARTER w rsf 1 EMILE GRIFFITH
Dec 20, 1963; Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
“NO welterweight belongs in the ring with me,” Rubin “Hurricane” Carter sneered before 147lbs world champion Emile Griffith stepped up to face him in a non-title middleweight bout. Despite Carter’s obvious contempt for his opponent, Griffith, also the light-middleweight world champion, was the betting favourite going in. Those odds looked ludicrous as Carter ripped through Griffith in the opening round. He was wrong about one thing, though: “Griffith won’t get up when I knock him down,” Carter predicted. But Emile somehow got up twice after taking savage blows to the head. That he was practically dragged back into battle by referee Buck McTiernan after the first knockdown was typical of the era but makes for difficult viewing in 2020. 

DID YOU KNOW? A month later, at the Americana hotel in New York, Griffith somewhat apologetically accepted his award for Fighter of the Year. He joked about the loss to Carter in his speech.

WATCH OUT FOR: What a ferocious fighter Carter was at his peak.

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