April 24, 1953

A record box-office smash was scheduled for Boston Garden as lightweight champion Jimmy Carter (no relation to the then US Navy lieutenant junior grade and future president) put his title on the line against Tommy Collins.

Boston Boxing promoter Sam Silverman predicted a sellout of 13,909, taking in $180,000.

Most of the 13,909 on hand were screaming for the fight to be stopped as Carter pummeled Collins, who hit the deck six times in the third round alone. Carter dropped him for the final time at two minutes, 28 seconds of the fourth round and was declared the winner.

With professional boxing, circa 2023, lagging in popularity, it may seem odd to consider that the old Boston Garden was designed specifically for pugilism when it opened in 1927.

Boxing promoter Tex Rickard, who built the third incarnation of Madison Square Garden, had visions of building boxing arenas across the country. He didn’t have enough time, dying in 1929. But he did build Boston Madison Square Garden, as it was originally named.

The Madison Square portion of the name passed on before Rickard.

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