James Shuler (May 29, 1959 – March 17, 1986) was a U.S. Olympic and professional boxer from Philadelphia known as "Black Gold."
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 . Shuler was not with the team, however, as he had stayed in America due to injury . 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 .
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.
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.
Memory and tribute
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."
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.
Professional boxing record
|22 Wins (16 knockouts, 6 decisions), 1 Loss (1 knockout) |
|Loss||40-2||Thomas Hearns||KO||1||10/03/1986||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada||WBC NABF Middleweight Title. Shuler knocked out at 1:13 of the first round.|
|Win||16-13||Jerry Holly||UD||10||04/07/1985||Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey||8-2, 9-0, 10-0.|
|Win||34-0-2||James Kinchen||SD||12||16/02/1985||The Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey||WBC NABF Middleweight Title. 115-114, 116-113, 114-115.|
|Win||15-4||Kenny Bristol||UD||10||25/02/1984||Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||23-3||Clint Jackson||PTS||12||17/01/1984||Pennsylvania Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||WBC NABF Middleweight Title.|
|Win||15-5||Leroy Green, Jr.||KO||1||25/11/1983||Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Win||12-5-2||Wilbur Henderson||KO||3||28/09/1983||Scranton, Pennsylvania|
|Win||21-4||Norberto Sabater||KO||2||17/09/1983||The Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||--||Wilfredo Acosta||KO||1||14/06/1983||Philadelphia Civic Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||30-23-5||Inocencio De la Rosa||KO||4||18/03/1983||Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||56-7-3||Ray Seales||UD||12||23/10/1982||Great Gorge Resort, McAfee, New Jersey||WBC NABF Middleweight Title. 118-111, 119-110, 117-112.|
|Win||9-9||Dario De Asa||KO||2||18/09/1982||The Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||4-5||Collin Keller||KO||2||12/06/1982||Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||6-4||Ricky Sheppard||KO||4||11/04/1982||Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||17-8||Jesus Castro||KO||4||13/02/1982||Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey||Castro knocked out at 0:42 of the fourth round.|
|Win||1-6||Wyatt Simpkins||KO||4||07/11/1981||Playboy Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||5-2-2||Kenny Hodges||KO||3||18/07/1981||Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||2-3||Willard Nance||KO||4||17/06/1981||Martin Luther King Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||0-2||Vincent Evans||TKO||1||11/04/1981||Concord Resort Hotel, Kiamesha Lake, New York||Referee stopped the bout at 1:33 of the first round.|
|Win||0-7||Robert Gregory Dean Thomas||TKO||5||28/03/1981||Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||2-2||Charlie Hecker||TKO||3||28/11/1980||Felt Forum, New York City||Referee stopped the bout at 1:09 of the third round.|
|Win||3-1||Jamal Arbubakar||UD||4||10/10/1980||Felt Forum, New York City|
|Win||0-2||Chris Rogers||TKO||2||12/09/1980||Felt Forum, New York City|