Nearly Great: Irish Joey Archer

By Mike Casey on January 24, 2013
Nearly Great: Irish Joey Archer
People kept asking when the handsome Irishman was coming back. Joey Archer never did.

Even back in the mid-sixties, the cuties of the game like Joey Archer were beginning to become unfashionable…

Everything seemed to be going so well. Then everything stopped. The sparkling career of middleweight contender Joey Archer had ground to a halt. Clever Joey, with his silky, old-school skills, was The Ring’s number one contender to world champion Joey Giardello after outsmarting two of the titans of the division in Rubin (Hurricane) Carter and Dick Tiger.

Archer was on a roll. The trouble was, he was suddenly rolling backwards. By the summer of 1965, the stylish Irish New Yorker had compiled a near perfect record of 44-1. But after outpointing Johnny Torres in February, Joey wouldn’t see action again until November when he would decision what was left of Sugar Ray Robinson. In the more competitive era of the mid-sixties, those nine months of inactivity shunted Archer from first to fourth in The Ring ratings.

Joey Archer, quiet, magical and mysterious to the very end of his career, was also variously described as “invisible” and “forgotten.” Artful Joey, for all of his glorious skill and deft moves, never would push his way to the head of the line. “Always the bridesmaid, never the bride” was how the old-timers used to describe the great welterweight contender Dave Shade some thirty years before. Joey Archer probably knew what they meant.

As he sat on the sidelines after beating the unrated Johnny Torres, The Ring’s managing editor, Nat Loubet, decided to do some digging. Referring to the Torres win, Loubet said: “One warm-up scrap for a man who was supposed to be a lively candidate for the middleweight championship. One bush fight for a prime attraction to whom the Garden was supposed to have a big interest.”

Loubet then started pitching some tough questions and offering some theories: “Why hasn’t Archer been kept busy? Why has the Garden filed him away among the inactive issues? How can the Garden, catering to ticket buyers, afford to ignore a native middleweight with a vociferous, ticket-buying following?

“It has been charged that Archer has been mismanaged. This is something for Joey and his older brother Jimmy, who is his pilot, to settle between themselves. Jimmy is operating a bar and grill in New York and possibly does not have the time to devote to a thorough job of managing.”

Jimmy Archer, like any good fight manager, was quick to respond to his brother’s predicament, ramming a ton of hard luck stories down the barrel of a cannon and lighting the fuse: “We have been posting $5,000 checks with the New York commission for a title match with regularity. We keep getting them back. Nobody wants to fight a clever Irishman who gave Tiger a boxing lesson.

“If we have to leave the middleweights to get action and money, we are ready. We will sign with Jose Torres (light heavyweight champion), if we are assured of a fight with Wayne Thornton, the number one light heavyweight contender, whom Jose doesn’t desire to fight.

“There are fine middleweights in Europe. You would think that the Garden would bring over Nino Benvenuti, Sandro Mazzinghi or the former bullfighter (Luis) Folledo, for an Archer fight. But the Garden has done nothing.”

With unintended humor, a frustrated Jimmy added: “I have tried to book a fight in Japan but they don’t have middleweights.”

He had searched long and hard in other nooks and crannies too. “I had something going in England and Ireland. But the alleged promotions fell apart. Believe me, I have tried. I now am ready to go before the New York commission and demand the kind of treatment and protection to which Joey is entitled.

“I hope that now, with the Giardello-Tiger fight out of the way, General Krulewitch (commission chairman) will do something in our favor. Up to now, he hasn’t admitted that Joey is alive. It is a situation the like of which was supposed to have been eliminated when we got a commissioner in New York.

“We would be better off if Joey were rated number ten.”

Slowly but surely, the gridlock was broken and Joey Archer got his shot at the world middleweight championship in 1966 against Emile Griffith.

Unfashionable

Even back in the mid-sixties, the cuties of the game like Joey Archer were beginning to become unfashionable. Many new fans coming into the game wanted to see knockouts, excitement and a few buckets of blood into the bargain. Archer didn’t have a knockout punch and he wasn’t interested in sexing up his image by foregoing his skills and getting involved in slugging matches. To a large degree, Joey got a pass by being swept along by his large contingent of Irish New York supporters, which made him a box office attraction. But even some of his fans would be frustrated by their man’s reluctance to really go for it.

Archer was the Billy Graham of the era, a master of finesse and subtlety, whose tricks were sometimes as hard to catch as those of a magician. Welterweight Billy was another beautiful boxer from New York who beat the very best but came up short at the moment of truth in losing a disputed decision to champion Kid Gavilan. Archer would suffer two such experiences against Griffith.

In 126 fights, Graham lost just fifteen times but posted just 27 knockouts in his 108 victories. The average modern day fan has always had trouble getting his head around a boxing artist who doesn’t knock ‘em dead and thrill. Nicolino Locche, another master craftsman, had a similarly paltry batting average in the KO column. Whether such boxers become champions or not, that average fan still looks at their records, shakes his head and says, “Yeah, but these guys didn’t knock many people out, did they?”

In any event, Joey Archer still enjoyed an outstanding career at the top level and perhaps deserved to win at least one of those decisions over the great Griffith.

Turning professional in 1956, Joey’s progress through the ranks was as serene as his style before his first loss to tough cookie Jose Gonzalez in 1962, which was quickly avenged. Archer systematically picked off some of the best guys around, including Don Fullmer, Mick Leahy, Denny Moyer, Blair Richardson, Farid Salim and the seemingly eternal Holly Mims, who boxed for seventeen years and logged 102 fights.

Boxing historian Mike Silver saw much of Archer and was always impressed by the grace and skill of the Irish New Yorker. Says Mike: “How does someone who, in Pete Hamill’s words, ‘could not break a potato chip with his punch’ get to be the number one ranked middleweight in the world and along the way defeat two of the division’s most feared punchers? I’m talking about those two monster middleweights—Rubin (Hurricane) Carter and Dick Tiger.

“He does it by mastering the art of boxing. He develops his jab, footwork, balance and, most of all, strategic thinking. It should also be noted that Archer had one of the best chins in the business. But it was a rare occasion when he was hit with two punches in a row.

“I saw him fight many times. Early in his career he came off a 16-month layoff because of a knee injury. His first fight after the layoff was against rugged Jose Gonzalez. Archer’s timing was off and he lost the 10-round decision. In the rematch two months later, Archer completely outboxed Gonzalez, even staggering him several times. It was a masterful exhibition of the art of boxing and showed that Archer was a thinking fighter.

“Joey Archer was a throwback to an era when fight fans appreciated a well schooled clever boxer. He was very good but not quite at the level of other Irish boxing masters such as Mike Gibbons, Gene Tunney and Packey McFarland. But really, how many were? In style Joey resembled Gibbons most. The film of Gibbons fighting Packey McFarland bears this out.

“What I find impressive about Joey Archer is that he went as far as he did without possessing a strong punch. And he never let any of his fights degenerate into a slugfest. He foiled those attempts with elusive footwork and his accurate and well timed left jab.”

Jewels

The two jewels in Joey’s crown would always be his five-star triumphs over Rubin Carter and Dick Tiger. Carter, living fully up to his nickname, was in his violent prime and putting the fear of death into his fellow pros when Archer came strolling along and outpointed him in October 1963 at Madison Square Garden.

Earlier that year in Pittsburgh, Rubin had smashed out welterweight champion Emile Griffith in one electrifying round. Emile was testing the middleweight waters in a non-title match with a view to jumping up a division. He put that plan on the back burner for another three years after Carter wrecked him.

Rampant Rubin had already posted a first round blitz over Florentino Fernandez, rated by Gene Fullmer as the hardest punching middleweight of the era.

My good pal Ron Lipton—referee, writer, historian and umpteen other things besides—says: “The left hook Rubin hit Archer with in the 10th round had a wallop that would have dropped most anyone for a 10-count. Joey had iron balls and came to win with a fierce mental attitude.

“Joey’s chin, his willpower and pride were top shelf, as was his balance, jab, timing and ring generalship.”

Archer was a constant irritant to the big hitters and the two-fisted swarmers who were accustomed to sweeping away most others. Ask former champion Dick Tiger, who was doing very nicely in campaigning for a return title tilt with Joey Giardello until Archer popped up with his now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t routine. Since losing the championship to Giardello at Atlantic City in 1963, Tiger had impressively accounted for a couple of tough nuts in Jose Gonzalez and Don Fullmer.

What was it like to fight Dick Tiger? Well, it wasn’t fun. Crawling across broken glass might have been a marginally more preferable option. Ron Lipton sparred with Tiger and the very best middleweights of that golden generation, including Rubin Carter, Emile Griffith, Holly Mims and Jose Gonzalez.

Ron has especially fond memories of his time in the Tiger camp. “While in the basement of the old Garden before the Giardello title fight in ’65, I spent many hours with Dick in and out of the ring. Candy McFarland would box with him before me, and when Tiger was really warmed up, I would use all my skills, conditioning and power to survive him and give him good work.

“Jersey Jones and Jimmy August had brought Tiger through his major successes and in camp his focus was deadly. I knew he would come in on time, ripped, defined and with the bones and couplings of a Terminator.

“He kept me there because I kept turning him, firing on the pivot, and used my skills to avoid his major body attack. At 154 lbs., I could not afford to be pinned in the corner by him and have him rip off body shots. He felt and looked like 172 lbs. with his rubber suit on to lose weight. His thighs and shoulders were like iron.

“His left hook would land on my powerful arms and I would ride out the shots that whistled past my headgear. He jarred me to the roots and now and then I had to take his body shots. Because of my speed of foot, he never landed the really big hook, but he nailed me with right hands that gave me pins and needles in my feet, they were so hard.

“I moved my head well, and unlike a knockdown I suffered once for about a five-count against Rubin Carter, Tiger never floored me. But his left hook felt like it shook loose every organ in my body.

“We were good friends, I got paid and I learned from him. I could make him laugh only after all the work was done, which made me feel great. His focus in training was one of a kind and his eyes in that ring were something to behold. I have never seen such intense focus and a deadpan look except for Joe Louis and Sonny Liston.

“I knew how Dick handled Hank, Fullmer, Carter, Gonzalez, Florentino Fernandez and the rest.

“He was the king of the shootouts if you chose to fight him. There was no one stronger at 160 lbs. than him, I don’t care what anyone says.”

Against the fleet-footed Archer, at Madison Square Garden in the fall of 1964, Dick often resembled a man trying to catch a fly with two fingers. Referee Zach Clayton scored the bout 6-3-1 in Archer’s favor, while judge Al Berl called it 5-4-1 for Joey. Judge Tony Castellano saw the fight 5-4-1 for Tiger. It was a costly defeat for Dick. Joey Archer was suddenly Giardello’s principal challenger and Tiger had to wait a while longer for his second title reign.

Tiger, much like Sonny Liston and Roberto Duran, couldn’t understand a man who didn’t want to stand fast and have a proper fight. Those guys who danced and jabbed and pirouetted around the ring all night long—how were you supposed to have a proper fight with them? Ever the gentleman, Dick didn’t get spiteful in his post-fight interview but couldn’t help expressing his frustration at chasing the elusive Archer hither and yon for thirty fruitless minutes.

“They kept telling me I’d never get a decision over Archer in New York,” Tiger lamented. “They said I had to knock him out to win.” Some fans booed the decision, but Archer wasn’t bothered. “I fought strictly according to plan,” Joey said. “Only way to beat a guy like Tiger is to box him. And that’s what I did – most of the time. I bet people used to boo Tommy Loughran too.”

Emile Griffith

Was he hard done by or was he not? Could he—should he—have done more than he did? These were the questions asked of Joey Archer after his two desperately close points defeats to Emile Griffith for the world championship. The title picture had changed by the time Joey got his first shot at the big prize on July 13, 1966, at Madison Square Garden. Old foe Dick Tiger had regained the title from Giardello but then lost it to Griffith. Rubin Carter had hit the skids with losses to Luis Rodriguez, Johnny Morris and Stan Harrington, and would be arrested for triple homicide later that year.

All Archer had to do was beat Griffith to become the king. Ah, that devastating little word, ‘all’. Nobody quite knew how to assess hustling, bustling, artful Emile. He wasn’t a classic boxer and he wasn’t a dynamite puncher. But his very own recipe book was full of spicy ingredients that made him a confoundedly difficult man to beat. He nullified the punchers and cleverly bulled the boxers. One could see how Rubin Carter had destroyed him, but one could also understand why nobody else had found the right key to the lock.

Archer seemed to do everything right in that first match, but did he do enough? Should he have adapted his style when Griff began to figure him out? After losing a 15-round majority decision, Joey sat in his dressing room and clenched his fists in frustration. “I thought, I really thought, I had it 9-6 easy,” he told brother Jimmy. In fact the best score that Joey got was a 7-7-1 draw from referee Johnny LoBianco.

“Yeah,” Jimmy Archer concurred, “you did everything you had to do.”

“In a sense Archer had,” wrote Mark Kram in Sports Illustrated. “But in a sense he hadn’t.”

What puzzled Kram was the failure of the brainy, ringwise Archer to play a smart game of chess when Griffith started coming on. Joey had made all the right moves in the early going. Wrote Kram: “Griffith came out throwing punches, hard and often, but Archer, parrying and jabbing with his left in a classic style – he does not waste motion – did not catch much.

“However, as the fight progressed Griffith started to slip under the jab and come up with a right hand that had his head and massive shoulders behind it. He began moving Archer around just as easily as he had physically dominated the heavier Dick Tiger when he beat him for the middleweight title.

“More significant, though, was the fact that Archer did nothing about this. Over 49 fights, of which he has now lost only three, Archer always controlled the direction of the action. His moves were quick and slick, his long left jab precise and constant. But against Griffith he was not as mobile.

“There was no pattern to his fight. He said later that he did this to confuse Griffith, but it was a tactic that cost him. Archer was staggered in the sixth round when Emile raked his fair, smooth face with a left-right combination, and he took a bad cut high over the bone of his right eye when Griffith accidentally butted him on the ropes in the eighth.

“A destructive chunk of machinery when he wants to be, Griffith was all over Archer now, shooting both hands to the body and ramming up and through his taller opponent’s guard. The Archer poise was fading. He was not thinking, and he has to think to win. Instead, he chose to trade with Griffith.

“It was not until the 10th, his best round, that Archer put it all together. He spun off the ropes like a matador, his feet moved to music and his jab was always there. The crowd did not roar aimlessly now. But in the 11th Archer reverted to muscle – he does not have much – and Griffith rocked him with a solid right. Archer smartened up some after that, but it was too late.

“Joey needed a big round in the 15th, but Griffith would not let him have it. Had he won it decisively, the Irish (fans) might have been able to build a solid case for Archer, especially in view of the scoring: one judge called it 9-5-1 for Griffith, the other had it 8-7 Griffith and the referee came up with a draw, 7-7-1. But now no one could grouse seriously about the result. Griffith, forever crowding Archer, had been swift and punishing.”

Later on, when Joey’s supporters were commiserating with each other at Jimmy Archer’s bar on 96th Street and Second Avenue, a fire engine screeched to a halt opposite. A longshoreman peering out of the window quipped, “That must be Joey’s disappointment burnin’ up.”

If Archer thought he beat Emile the first time, then he damn well knew he beat the champ in their return go at the Garden in January, 1967. Yet the second verdict was even more of a snub than the first. No majority decision for Emile. This time it was unanimous. “Griffith beats Archer in another squeaker” ran the headline in Boxing illustrated.

Once again, Mark Kram wasn’t convinced, rubbing a little salt in the wound by saying that Archer lost to a man who “would rather shop than fight.”

It seemed that everyone had an opinion and a backhanded compliment for Joey’s technique. Griffith’s co-manager, Gil Clancy, said of Archer: “He’s the best negative fighter around. He’s some guy to fight. He’s never there, and he’s always ready to run.”

Kram, back in the Archer dressing room to hear more hard luck stories, experienced a distinct feeling of déjà-vu: “It seemed as if the three of them had never left the dim room in the belly of the Garden, as if they were wax figures and the room was a museum dedicated to losers.

“Freddie Brown, the trainer who looks like a trainer should, prowled from corner to corner. Jimmy Archer, the brother and manager with a waterfront manner, stood on the edge of the crowd circling the table, his eyes empty. Joey, his long, pale legs swinging slowly, sat on the table and held an ice bag on a cut below his right eye.

“Nothing had changed – same dialogue, same pictures – since Joey had reached out for Emile Griffith’s middleweight title last July and lost on a split decision. Yet there was a certain quality to his anger and bitterness that first time, and you could feel it and you wanted to believe him, because he alone had made the evening special, made it hum like a huge electric cable.

“The Archer who brooded (this time) was just performing. Had he performed as well in the ring he would now be the champion.”

Perfect

Perhaps Joey Archer tried to be too perfect. Perhaps he tried too hard to paint the perfect masterpiece. “You don’t win poker pots by thinking up royal flushes,” said Barbara Long, the acerbic boxing critic of The Voice. Barbara liked Joey Archer, but she preferred Joey Giardello and recalled something that Giardello had said to her: “Archer, he just ain’t hungry enough.”

Joey walked away from the game after the second Griffith loss, retiring to a quiet and private life. People kept asking when the handsome Irishman was coming back. He never did. His departure was in keeping with his understated style.

Would things have turned out differently if the post-Dick Tiger version of Archer had challenged Joey Giardello for the championship in 1964? Possibly, but not likely. The chasm between being a great boxer and a nearly great boxer is huge. But how this writer wishes that Joey Archer was jabbing and feinting on the boxing stage of today.


Mike Casey is the Founder & Editor of ALL TIME BOXING at https://sites.google.com/site/alltimeboxingrankings. He is a freelance journalist and boxing historian and a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO).

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  1. joan sanchezan 10:55am, 12/08/2017

    he fought Emile Griffith and was robbed he had class walked tall handsome and good to his family.  they don’t fight with that class any more ..we miss him ad hope he is looking at this God Bless You Joey We have a lot of good memories Marilyn and I talk about the beautiful cashmere coat caught on fire at Marilyn and Frank house . this is Joan Sanchez Loretta Archers sister she died 8-05-2017 . hope you are well. Merry Christmas And Happy Year 2018 Love Joanie

  2. Rick DiMicco 07:56pm, 01/18/2015

    I was born and raised in the south Bronx where Joey was from, he was pure class inside the ring. I’m 73

  3. Bob Wagner 03:39pm, 04/07/2013

    did you say you sent me something.  my email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

  4. Bob Wagner 03:09pm, 04/07/2013

    thank you Kevin very nice talking to you.  we will get together


    Bob Wagner

  5. Robert Wagner 03:42pm, 04/06/2013

    if anyone runs into joey archer please give him my phone number 856 3923357   my name is Bob Wagner haVENT SEEN HIM IN YEARS

  6. Bob Wagner 03:29pm, 04/06/2013

    Joey was a great fighter.  If anyone knows where he is at please give him my phone number 8563923357 I haven’t seen him in years we are good friends

  7. Kevin Archer 05:40pm, 02/20/2013

    From Kevin Archer:

    You NEVER saw Joey on the ropes.

    Joey NEVER was knocked off his feet or touched the canvas in 50 fights 46W & 4L

    Joey Beat 7 World Champions –look it up

    Everybody knows that Joey was robbed against Emile Griffith for the Title 2x at MSG, Emile was the house fighter

    Think about it How many Fighters fought for a title and got a rematch for the title 6 Months later in Boxing????

    Remember they fought for 1 Belt not 4,and went 15 rounds

    Joey was like a Lion Tamer in the ring with that GREAT left hand jab –Double jab

    Joey commandeered the fight, You NEVER saw Joey on the ropes always in the middle of the ring.

    Joey had great foot work, always move left & right in a circle

    Joey was a work of Art, a beautiful Boxer and belongs in the Hall of Fame just look at the films

  8. Tex Hassler 08:53pm, 02/16/2013

    When I think about highly skilled boxers, Joey Archer always comes to my mind. He was a master boxer and mastered the art of hitting and not getting hit. To me that is boxing at it’s very best. His fight with Rubin Carter is a classic. The same can be said of Joey’s defeat of Dick Tiger. It is ashamed he could not have fought Tiger while he was the champion. Joey was “all wrong” for guys like Tiger and Carter.  Joey had the sense to quit while he was still near the top of his division. Great write up about a great boxer.

  9. nicolas 12:29am, 01/28/2013

    From what I have seen, it looks like his corner and he were very angry when he did not get the decision over Griffith. I’ll have to watch that fight.

  10. Bob 02:06pm, 01/26/2013

    Great article. Joey was one of my favorites back in the ‘60s. I always thought he would come back after the Griffith fights, but he never did. I recall reading about Joey giving Ingemar Johansson fits during a sparring session. Thanks for reviving these memories.

  11. the thresher 01:59pm, 01/26/2013

    Fighters like Archer sometimes are flashy like Kid Gavilan or stylish like “El Feo” Rodriguez, but more often than not, their calling card is reliance on a crafty persona. They fight in a way that controls the attacking opponent by redirecting his energy,

  12. peter 11:34am, 01/26/2013

    Thanks for another great article!  One summer afternoon in the late 1970s,  I ran into Joey Archer at the Jersey Shore. He was vacationing at a well-known hotel in Spring Lake—a community commonly known as “The Irish Riviera”. He was sitting on the long wrap-around veranda of the hotel in a wicker rocking chair. Standing beside him, rocking the chair, stood a young pretty blonde. “I miss boxing,” he told me. “Know why I miss boxing?” he asked. “The money?” I responded. “No. I miss the contact—the human contact.” I’ve always found that comment a bit mysterious…. I frequently ran into Joey’s brother, Jimmy. He owned a horse-run carriage in NYC. He was yet another interesting boxing personality.

  13. the thresher 10:03am, 01/26/2013

    Almost like in aikido. Sometimes, guys like Archer are so relaxed they hardly look like they are fighting. After throwing lightening fast combos, they might move out and kind of evaluate things and then move back in with something different. Sometimes they even look bored, and then all of a sudden cut loose with an explosion of offense that keeps the other guy off balance. At times, they can torment and humiliate their opponent.

  14. NYIrish 07:49am, 01/26/2013

    Nice read Mike, thanks. You should consider doing one on Billy Graham.
    Mr.Crue, I spoke to Jimmy in ‘72. He had a horse by the bridle in Columbus Circle. I think he had the horse carriages in Central Park.

  15. cnorkusjr 07:44am, 01/26/2013

    Nice piece Mike. Your words bring to light some crazed MSG decisions that anyone knows from that era. Because we have the opportunity to see the videos of these fights, one can see for themselves what was on display by Archer. I dont think I have to mention here that anyone fighting for the Championship has to TAKE AWAY the title from the Champ.
    In the Garden, especially at that time, and Griffith such a hero to NY crowd, any near resemblance of a close fight is going to go the way of the Champ. Unless Archer took 9 Rds from Griffith or scored a KO over Emile, maybe then and only then, Archer would have gotten his title. Highway robbery ? Not at that time or place.
    You can see why he is one tough guy to track down after his career ended.
    But you are correct in stating that his skills and ability to beat some of the bigger foes in his division, definitely has Archer HOF material.

  16. Mike Casey 02:58pm, 01/25/2013

    Thanks kindly, fellas. You do Joey great justice.

  17. RonLipton 02:35pm, 01/25/2013

    Terrific article Mike, superbly done. 

    Joey was one of the only boxers from that era that I never got to know too well.  I remember sitting next to him at one Garden show, and during the prelims I had a chance to speak with him.  It was before he had fought Tiger and one guy with him maybe it was his brother knew that I had been with Carter, I guess they had scouted Rubin.

    He really looked the part of a champion. He was much taller in person than the 5’8” height they list him at, he looked more like 5’10”.  Immaculately attired in a black silk suit and sparkling white shirt and tie, he was a striking looking athlete.  He had that pro boxer look and his eyes glinted and brimmed with toughness and confidence.  I was very impressed with his sturdy looking appearance.  He did not have highly developed muscles but he was strong looking as hell.

    He talked boxing with me and in no way gave me a brush off, I really liked him after that the way he treated me with respect.  He was a class act.

    I was always saddened through the years that no one could reach out to him or speak with him due to what was rumored to be severe pugilistic dementia.  His family kept him isolated from everyone it seemed.

    No amount of boxing writer effort ever seemed to work to get to speak with or even catch a glimpse of Joey as the decades rolled by.

    I felt that Rubin beat Joey, and I also felt that despite all his ring moxie and class, and there is no two ways about it, he was a beautiful boxer with fabulous courage,  yet I felt despite him staggering Tiger in that one moment with a perfectly timed 1-2,  Tiger beat him.

    I was there ringside for many of his bouts including the one with Johnny Torres who was Chegui’s cousin.  I also felt Johnny Torres beat him in Paterson NJ.

    Several of his decision wins were seemingly MSG house fighter gifts but I will say this.  When Holly Mims tagged Joey in their bout, and when Rubin hit him in the 10th, very few fighters would have remained on their feet.

    Joey Archer had the heart of a Lion and remember, like it or not, he holds two wins over a “Hurricane” and a “Tiger.”

    Well done mate.

    Ron

  18. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 01:23pm, 01/25/2013

    Mike Casey-Thanx for this excellent and long overdue write up. He would have boxed Thornton’s ears off…Jose Torres was another matter. You gotta have heart but you gotta have a chin as well and he certainly did! He would have been a monster if he had a big punch to go along with his other talents. I guess you can’t have everything….and heck yea he beat Griffith…both times!

  19. Jim Crue 07:04am, 01/25/2013

    Thanks Mike for another great piece of writing. I remember watching the fights with Griffith. We have no longer have craftsmen like Archer and Emile fighting.
    Archer belongs in the Hall of Fame.
    Does anyone know what he did after he quit the ring? I know one of the Archers had a horse drawn hansom cab in Central Park, but I think it was Freddy Archer.
    Can someone do a piece on Harry Wiley, Sugar Ray Robinson’s trainer. He is ignored when great trainers are spoken of. He may have a had a masterpiece in Robinson but he also worked with Henry Armstrong and Lou Duva once told me Harry was a great corner man.

  20. the thresher 06:36am, 01/25/2013

    A very lengty and complete piece on one of my favorite guys. And Mark Kram was one of my favorite writers.

    Joey belongs in the Hall. Why is he not in it?

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