|Real name||Reuven Goldstein|
|Nickname(s)||The Jewel of the Ghetto|
October 10, 1907|
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||April 23, 1984
Miami Beach, Florida, USA
|Wins by KO||38|
Before he became a referee, Goldstein boxed professionally from 1925 to 1937. Nicknamed the "Jewel Of The Ghetto," Goldstein was a smooth boxing, hard punching welterweight with a large following in his hometown of New York City.
Fighting his first professional fight at the age of 17 and appearing on the cover of The Ring Magazine just one year later, Goldstein won his first 23 bouts, developing into a remarkable lightweight and middleweight contender. His boxing career ranged from 1925 until 1937. He won 50 of 55 professional fights — 34 by knockout. All five of his losses were by early knockouts in the fourth round or before. In 30 of his own knockouts, his opponent failed to make it past the fourth round, and a dozen fell in round one.
The Terris fight was a much-hyped battle between the two rival Jewish New Yorkers. Each fighter had his legion of supporters, and their eagerly anticipated face-off produced a stirring 1-round fight. Goldstein seized the advantage when he floored Terris for a count of nine, and confidently seemed on his way to an easy victory. Terris, however, upon arising timed Goldstein's charge and caught him coming in with a powerful blow, knocking Goldstein out. Interestingly, Terris suffered from the same flaw as Goldstein (a glass jaw), and was himself KOed by McLarnin.
Later, after his boxing career ended Goldstein became a popular referee, and he was the 'third man' in several high-profile fights.
For example, he refereed the Sugar Ray Robinson-Joey Maxim light heavyweight title fight on June 25, 1952. The bout was held outdoors at famed Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York. Robinson, the reigning middleweight king, was seeking to wrest Maxim's light heavyweight crown. Temperature at ringside measured a blistering 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), and it was even hotter in the ring under the lights.
A preview of the fight's ending occurred when Goldstein collapsed from the heat after the 10th round, and could not finish refereeing the remainder of the match. Another referee, Ray Miller, was rushed into service so that the fight could be concluded. In the 13th round, Robinson began wavering, and staggered around the ring on unsteady, wobbly legs. Overcome by the heat, he could not answer the bell for the 14th round, resulting in a 14th round TKO for Maxim. Robinson, who was ahead in the scoring, was thus deprived of an opportunity to win a world title in a third division. When asked if Maxim got lucky when Robinson collapsed from the heat, his colorful manager, Jack "Doc" Kearns, replied: "It was just as hot for Maxim in there as it was for Robinson." Robinson commented: "I lasted longer than Goldstein, and nobody was hitting him."
Goldstein also refereed the first Floyd Patterson-Ingemar Johansson world heavyweight championship fight in Yankee Stadium on June 26, 1959. In the third round Johansson floored Patterson, who arose but appeared out on his feet. Goldstein was criticized for not immediately stopping the match and allowing Johansson to knock Patterson down six more times before ultimately awarding the bout to Johansson.
Goldstein served as a referee for 21 years, and was the "third man in the ring" for 39 world title fights.
The biggest controversy involving Goldstein as a referee occurred in on March 24, 1962 when he refereed the Benny "Kid" Paret-Emile Griffith world welterweight championship fight, which was televised live by American Broadcasting Company in the third Madison Square Garden. Paret was hung-up against the ropes in the 12th round when Griffith delivered a barrage of unanswered punches to the head of the seemingly helpless Paret as Goldstein looked on. When Goldstein finally did intervene, Paret slumped to the canvas, unconscious. He died 10 days later from the injuries he suffered in that bout. Goldstein never refereed another fight. Some have said the reason Goldstein was ineffective in the fight was that he was recovering from a recent heart attack. Ironically, before the fatal bout, Goldstein had been regarded by many as the finest referee in boxing. His son Herb pointed out that he had often been criticized for stopping other fights too early.
Halls of Fame
Goldstein was also inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
- "Reuven "Ruby" Goldstein ("The Jewel of the Ghetto")". Jewishsports.net. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
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- "International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame". Jewishsports.net. Retrieved January 20, 2011.