CWRU Links
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CARTER, WILFRED CARLYLE

CARTER, WILFRED CARLYLE

CARTER, WILFRED CARLYLE "WHIZ BANG" (15 or 16 May 1905-26 Apr. 1982) used the skills acquired in his own boxing career to become one of Cleveland's most successful boxing trainers. Originally from Mt. Vernon, O., the son of Edward and Grace Carter, he received his first instincts for self-defense from defending his turf as a shoe-shine boy in a barber shop across from Cleveland's LEAGUE PARK. He began boxing in 1921, acquiring the nickname "Whiz Bang," after a contemporary humor book, because of his hard and fast hitting style. Although he won the city and state welterweight amateur championships in 1928, he retired from the ring after only 6 professional bouts in 1932 because of the low Depression-era prize purses. Married since 1924 to the former Mary Moore, Carter earned his living as a letter carrier for the U.S. Post Office. He began coaching neighborhood boys at the Portland-Outhwaite Recreation Center and at one time had a field of 70 boxers in the northeastern Ohio district A.A.U. competition. One of his charges, Jackie Wilson, fought on the 1936 American Olympic boxing team, while another, heavyweight Jimmy Bivens, was named "duration champion" during WORLD WAR II, in the absence of Joe Louis. Following his retirement from the Post Office, Carter operated a poolroom on Central Ave. and in 1968 was named secretary of the Cleveland Boxing and Wrestling Commission by another of his former pugilistic pupils, Mayor Carl B. Stokes. He died as the result of burns from a fire that destroyed his home on Montgomery Ave., survived by a son, Robert E.