James Shuler

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James Shuler
Personal information
BornMay 29, 1959
DiedMarch 17, 1986
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This article is about the boxer . For the Virginia politician, see Jim Shuler.
James Shuler
Personal information
BornMay 29, 1959
DiedMarch 17, 1986

James Shuler (May 29, 1959 – March 17, 1986) was a U.S. Olympic and professional boxer from Philadelphia known as "Black Gold."

Amateur career[edit]

Shuler was the 1979 and 1980 National Golden Gloves Light Middleweight Champion. He qualified at 156 pounds and was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic boxing team that perished in an air crash in Warsaw, Poland, on March 14, 1980 [1]. Shuler was not with the team, however, as he had stayed in America due to injury [2]. The team was en route to Warsaw, Poland for the USA vs. Poland Box-off as part of "USA vs. the World." event. Among the USA Boxing teammates who were killed in the plane crash were Lemuel Steeples from St. Louis; Calvin Anderson from Connecticut; Paul Palomino - the brother of Carlos Palomino ; George Pimentel, and Olympic Coach, Sarge Johnson. Members of the team who were also not aboard included Bobby Czyz and Alex Ramos [3].

Shuler's hopes were dashed when President Jimmy Carter imposed an Olympic boycott that forbid the U.S. Olympians from competing in the 1980 Summer Olympics.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Shuler began his professional boxing career as a middleweight on September 12, 1980 with a second-round knockout of Chris Rogers in Philadelphia. During his five years as a pro, he had 22-1 record with sixteen knockouts. His first loss came on March 10, 1986 to Thomas Hearns when he was knocked out in the first round.


Shuler died in a motorcycle accident in Philadelphia on 17 March 1986, just a week after his last fight.[2][3]

Memory and tribute[edit]

Bob Arum, the promoter of Shuler's last fight, said that the boxer came to Arum's room a day after the Hearns fight and thanked him for promoting it. Arum, who had promoted many bouts, said that Shuler was the only fighter who had ever done that, adding, "He was a decent, decent young man."[4]

In 1995, close friend Percy Custus opened the 'James Shuler Memorial Boxing Gym' in boxer's native Philadelphia in honor of the fallen fighter. Custus met Shuler in the 1970s at the Joe Frazier Gym where they trained together and remained close friends for the rest of James’ life.[5][6]

Professional boxing record[edit]

22 Wins (16 knockouts, 6 decisions), 1 Loss (1 knockout) [4]
Loss40-2United States Thomas HearnsKO110/03/1986United States Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, NevadaWBC NABF Middleweight Title. Shuler knocked out at 1:13 of the first round.
Win16-13United States Jerry HollyUD1004/07/1985United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey8-2, 9-0, 10-0.
Win34-0-2United States James KinchenSD1216/02/1985United States The Sands, Atlantic City, New JerseyWBC NABF Middleweight Title. 115-114, 116-113, 114-115.
Win15-4Guyana Kenny BristolUD1025/02/1984United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win23-3United States Clint JacksonPTS1217/01/1984United States Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaWBC NABF Middleweight Title.
Win15-5United States Leroy Green, Jr.KO125/11/1983Canada Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia
Win12-5-2United States Wilbur HendersonKO328/09/1983United States Scranton, Pennsylvania
Win21-4United States Norberto SabaterKO217/09/1983United States The Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win--United States Wilfredo AcostaKO114/06/1983United States Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win30-23-5Dominican Republic Inocencio De la RosaKO418/03/1983United States Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win56-7-3United States Ray SealesUD1223/10/1982United States Great Gorge Resort, McAfee, New JerseyWBC NABF Middleweight Title. 118-111, 119-110, 117-112.
Win9-9Dominican Republic Dario De AsaKO218/09/1982United States The Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win4-5United States Collin KellerKO212/06/1982United States Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win6-4United States Ricky SheppardKO411/04/1982United States Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win17-8Dominican Republic Jesus CastroKO413/02/1982United States Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New JerseyCastro knocked out at 0:42 of the fourth round.
Win1-6United States Wyatt SimpkinsKO407/11/1981United States Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win5-2-2United States Kenny HodgesKO318/07/1981United States Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
Win2-3United States Willard NanceKO417/06/1981United States Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win0-2Vincent EvansTKO111/04/1981United States Concord Resort Hotel, Kiamesha Lake, New YorkReferee stopped the bout at 1:33 of the first round.
Win0-7United States Robert Gregory Dean ThomasTKO528/03/1981United States Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey
Win2-2United States Charlie HeckerTKO328/11/1980United States Felt Forum, New York CityReferee stopped the bout at 1:09 of the third round.
Win3-1United States Jamal ArbubakarUD410/10/1980United States Felt Forum, New York City
Win0-2United States Chris RogersTKO212/09/1980United States Felt Forum, New York City


  1. ^ http://www.yelp.com/biz/james-shuler-memorial-boxing-gym-philadelphia
  2. ^ http://articles.philly.com/1986-03-28/sports/26085097_1_james-shuler-bumper-sanctuary%7C"Boxer's Requiem: Shuler's Corner Is Empty Now", by Sarajane Freligh, Inquirer Staff Writer, posted on 28 March 1986.
  3. ^ http://articles.philly.com/1986-04-01/news/26079096_1_streets-james-shuler-bike%7C"Requiem For A Middleweight On A North Phila Street", by George Azar, April 1986.
  4. ^ http://articles.philly.com/1986-03-25/news/26084136_1_untimely-death-professional-defeat-hearns-fight%7C"James Shuler, Champion", 1986.
  5. ^ http://www.yelp.com/biz/james-shuler-memorial-boxing-gym-philadelphia
  6. ^ http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/remembering-a-true-champion-james-black-gold-shuler

External links[edit]