NEW YORK (May. 2)
Ruby Goldstein, veteran boxer and boxing referee, known as the “Jewel of the Ghetto”, who died last week at the age of 76, fought a total of 55 times, winning 50 bouts and losing five.
Goldstein, who fought as a lightweight and welterweight won his first 23 battles before sustaining a loss and finished his career with 34 kayos to his credit. His five losses were via knockouts by the likes of Ace Hudkins, Jimmy Mclarnin and Sid Terris, the best in their era.
After his fighting career ended, Goldstein switched to refereeing and worked 39 championship bouts over a career spanning 21 years. He was the arbiter in the fatal Benny Paret – Emile Griffith slugfest in March of 1962.
Considered one of boxing’s top referrees during the 1950’s and 1960’s, Goldstein is best remembered for not stopping the Griffith-Paret welterweight championship just before Paret suffered fatal injuries. Paret sustained repeated head punches while apparently lying helplessly on the ropes.
In defense of his action Goldstein explained, “No one is to blame. It is the type of sport it is. Death is a tragedy that occasionally will happen.” A panel of the New York State Athletic Commission agreed, absolving Goldstein of blame in the death.
In contrast, Goldstein was criticized for stopping two earlier title fights too soon. In 1957, Sugar Ray Robinson was belting middle-weight champion Randy Turpin of Britain in the 10th round when Goldstein stopped the fight, thereby granting Robinson the title. Two years later, Goldstein stepped in after Ingemar Johannson of Sweden floored heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson seven times in the third round.
Goldstein was buried in the New Montefiore Cemetery in Pinelawn, N.Y.