Al Couture

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Name: Al Couture
Alias: Al Coutier/'Shiner'
Birth Name: Auriel Couture
Born: 1922-11-28
Birthplace: Lewiston, Maine, USA
Died: 2000-08-06 (Age:77)
Hometown: Lewiston, Maine, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 5″   /   165cm
Boxing Record: click

Boxer Couture Dies Posted Quickest Ko August 10, 2000|By AL LARA; Courant Staff Writer

GLASTONBURY — Former welterweight boxer Aurele ``Al Couture fought 296 professional fights and was once ranked sixth in the world in his division, ahead of Jake LaMotta. He later went on to become the official state photographer under several Connecticut governors.

But he is immortalized for 10 1/2 seconds he spent in the ring, and a single left hook, that earned him the world record for the quickest knockout in boxing history.

Couture, 77, of Glastonbury, died Sunday while vacationing in Maine. Friends say he died secure in the knowledge that his record would never be broken.

``That was very important to him. It was only 10 1/2 seconds, but he worked very hard and went through a lot of fights to be able to do that, said a friend, Bob DiBella of Glastonbury.

A memorial service is set for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Central Baptist Church on Main Street in Hartford. Friends said a who's who of boxing legends will pay homage to the record-holder and their friend.

``Al was known by all the old-time boxers. They're a dying breed, said Hartford boxing manager and promoter Manny Liebert, 87. ``He was one tough devil. A fight with him was never easy.

It was Sept. 24, 1946, in his hometown of Lewiston, Maine, that Couture was slated to fight a boxer named Ralph Walton. He and Walton had boxed twice before. In one of the fights, Walton was disqualified for kneeing Couture in the groin in the seventh round.

``In the rematch, we almost had it out in the aisle before we got in the ring. This guy wanted at me and I wanted at him, Couture recalled in a 1977 interview with The Courant.

The bell rang and both men leapt out of their corners. But Walton had forgotten his protective mouthpiece.

``His cornerman yelled `Hey Ralph' to him at the bell, recalled Couture. ``He turned and froze. Bang, I nailed him.

With Couture standing over the unconscious Walton, the referee immediately counted to 10, declaring the fight over 10 1/2 seconds after it started. It is a record that is likely to stand forever because under today's boxing regulations, Couture would have been required to return to his corner before the 10-count could start.

Couture's boxing career ended when he lost sight in his left eye. Couture went to work as a photographer for the Bridgeport Herald, and later was hired as the official state photographer by then-Governor John N. Dempsey, a job he kept through several different administrations.

In 1996, Couture founded and served as president of The Neutral Corner Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization supported by former fans that has raised thousands of dollars for student scholarships, local police athletic leagues and for groups such as the San Juan Center of Hartford.

He was also active in the ``Ring 4 Boston boxing club of the Veteran Boxers Association, each year handing out a scholarship award in the name of boxer Tommy Greb. Greb had befriended Couture when he was down on his luck.