“The Winner and NEW
Middleweight Champion of The World… Joey Archer!”
The anticipation of those
glorious words surely ran wildly through the mind of New York’s
Middleweight contender Joey Archer as he awaited the
judges’ decision after 15 rounds of fighting against champion
Emile Griffith. Surely he had done enough to garner the
decision and wrestle the title away from the great champion.
The waiting must have seemed
like an eternity to Archer and to his many loyal fans who
filled New York’s Madison Square Garden on July 1966 to
witness their favorite son’s long awaited challenge for the
Middleweight title. Ring announcer Johnny Addie’s
booming voice finally delivered the verdict, and the winner
“Irish” Joey Archer
began his career, and his dream of achieving boxing greatness, in
1956 at 18 years of age. He was a master boxer with excellent
speed but lacked any semblance of power in his punches. Fighting
mostly in various New York and Texas venues, he was a winner in
his first 30 fights, with only 7 victories coming inside the
distance. His most notable win was against the highly ranked
Don Fullmer by a decision. This win earned Archer a date
against tough Puerto Rican contender Jose “Monon” Gonzalez,
who administered the unbeaten Archer his first defeat in a
close, split decision.
Two months after tasting
defeat for the first time, Archer avenged the loss by
beating Gonzalez in a clear, decisive decision. The
victory propelled “Irish” Joey on a streak of 15
consecutive wins against some of the Middleweight division’s top
fighters, including England’s Mick Leahy, Denny Moyer,
Argentina’s Farid Salim, Canada’s Blair Richardson,
tough veteran Holley Mims, the ever dangerous Rubin
“Hurricane” Carter, and his most impressive career win,
against the great future Hall-of-Famer and three time World
champion Dick Tiger of Nigeria.
The final win in the streak
was against “Sugar” Ray Robinson in what would be the
last fight of Robinson’s illustrious, Hall-of-Fame career.
Having reached the top of the Middleweight division, Archer
suffered an unexpected, close split decision loss to the ranked
Joey earned a title challenge against Middleweight champion
Griffith based on his impressive recent winning streak.
The title fight against Virgin Islander Griffith in 1966
was a hard fought, close contest, and after 15 rounds of
fighting, ring announcer Johnny Addie’s booming voice
finally rendered the decision. “The winner, by MAJORITY
decision, and still champion… Emile Griffith!!!
Archer’s dream of
winning the prized Middleweight title went unfulfilled, as the
referee ruled the contest a draw, with the other two judges
voting in favor of the champion. Six months later, Archer
would again fight Griffith for the Middleweight title, and
would once again taste defeat in a very narrow, controversial
“Irish” Joey Archer
announced his retirement from boxing after the disappointment of
these two bitter, close losses to Emile Griffith. He
ended his brilliant career with a record of 45 victories (with 8
by KO) and only 4 defeats.
Although never having
captured a world title, Archer’s brilliant boxing skills
earned him induction into the “World Boxing Hall of Fame”
in 2005. He is currently on the eligibility list of the
“International Boxing Hall of Fame” making him eligible for
induction into that prestigious organization.
Perhaps “Irish” Joey
Archer would have traded all the accolades for a chance to
hear the referee announce: “The WINNER and NEW Middleweight
Champion of The World… Joey Archer!!!