By Jim Amato

Back in the 1940’s and 50’s the great boxing city of Cleveland produced a fine middleweight contender named Chuck Hunter. Born in 1925, Hunter would enjoy great success in the amateur ranks. In 1943 he would win the Chicago Golden Gloves title,the Intercity Golden Gloves title and the National AAU championship at 135 pounds. He would turn professional in July of that year with a three round knockout win over Woody Sweeney. Chuck would win three more and then be matched with veteran Maxie Berger. Maxie came into this bout with over 80 wins in over 100 fights ! Chuck was over matched and ended 1943 losing an eight rounder to Berger.

Two fights into 1944 and Chuck found himself in the ring with Youngstown’s exceptional Tommy Bell. Again over matched at this point in his career, Hunter was halted in the second. For the rest of 1944 Hunter would go 9-2. He went ten rounds with Bell in a December rematch but lost a unanimous decision. Chuck started 1945 well with two knockout victories but his success was short lived as he would lose his next three bouts to Alex and Jimmy Doyle and a third bout with Bell. Then Hunter would pull a few surprises of his own upsetting California Jackie Wilson and Reuben Shank. In 1946 Hunter would lose a close verdict to Cecil Hudson. He would rally to defeat Bobby Berger and Sam Baroudi but lose again to Hudson to close out the year.

Chuck would win his first five fights of 1945 including a kayo over the ever dangerous Artie Levine. Then disaster struck in the form of the murderous punching Bob Satterfield. Bad Bob knocked Chuck out in the tenth and final round. It would take twenty minutes to revive Hunter. In his next bout Hunter lost a split decision to Jimmy Edgar. Chuck would then travel to Scranton,Pennsylvania to be stopped in two rounds by Jerry Petrovich who had a 3-1 record coming in. Despite the bad luck Hunter would turn it around again in 1948 by defeating Dave Clark,Cecil Hudson and Steve Belloise. He ended the year losing a verdict to tough Nick Barone but he would start 1949 by again defeating Artie Levine.

Chuck’s career was turning into a roller coaster now. He would lose twice to the talented Tommy Yarosz but defeat Billy Brown and Dick Wagner. In 1950 Hunter would meet Jake LaMotta at the Cleveland Arena. With a big crowd on hand the rugged LaMotta wore down Hunter and stopped him in the sixth. From this point on Hunter would go 4-10. He dropped a decisions to Harold Johnson and Bobo Olson as well as being DQed for slapping versus Rocky Graziano in 1951. That was Chuck’s swan song. He hung up the gloves for good in 1953. His final ledger was 45-26-1. He fought four world champions as well as several solid contenders. He did the city of Cleveland proud.

Jim Amato

Filed under: Boxing

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