GIARDELLO VS. SMITH I
On this day in 1961, Joey Giardello and Jesse Smith met at the Arena in an all-Philadelphia 10-rounder. Joey, coming off a loss to Henry Hank & a so-so 2-4 stretch since his draw with champ Gene Fullmer, was in need of a win. Smith, on a 6-bout win streak since his draw with Hank, looked to retire the old man with his heavy hands. In the ring, Joey showed superior skill, out-boxing Smith most of the way. Joey's excellent conditioning (a rarity) allowed him to sustain for 10 rounds & come away with a resounding unanimous decision victory.
SONNY LISTON WINS #12
On this day in 1955, a 23-year old Sonny Liston scored his 12th victory with a 6th round TKO of Johnny Gray in Indianapolis. The win pushed Liston's young record to 12-1 (6 KO) and came toward the beginning of a 28-bout unbeaten streak. This stretch would run for almost nine years and take Liston all the way up the ladder to the heavyweight championship. He would finally lose to Cassius Clay in 1964, compiling a record of 35-2 (25 KO) through the period. In the final six years of his career he went 15-2 for an overall log of 50-4
HAGLER STOPS CYCLONE
On this day in 1976, Marvelous Marvin Hagler scored a 9th round TKO over Eugene Cyclone Hart at the Spectrum before a crowd of 3,564. It was Hagler's third Philly bout that year, but just his first win. Hart grew frustrated as the fight wore on and he saw his chances to win the bout slip away. He quit in his corner before the ninth, which drew a chorus of "boos" from his hometown crowd. Hagler at age 24 was just getting started as a major attraction. The following year he would avenge his loss to Monroe twice and continue to rise in the rankings.
ROSSMAN BECOMES A CHAMP
On this day in 1978, Mike Rossman stopped Victor Galindez by TKO in round 13 at the New Orleans Super-dome to win the WBA light heavyweight championship. The bout was broadcast on national television as part of the Ali-Spinks II under card. While most of the world marveled at Ali's comeback win over Spinks, the perfection of Rossman's victory may have been lost in the (Ali) shuffle. But his performance was exactly that - a perfect fight on a perfect night. At 22, the entire boxing world seemed to be at the Jewish Bomber's feet.
SAAD - DOUGLAS SLUGFEST
On this day in 1977, Matthew Saad Muhammad (then Franklin) stopped Billy "Dynamite" Douglas in 6 action-packed rounds at the Spectrum. After sizing each other up, the fireworks began in round 3. In the 4th, the action was upgraded to full-scale war, with both guys landing heavy artillery. In the 5th, Douglas dropped Matthew & battered him on the ropes after he rose. But by the end of the round, the tables had turned. In the 6th, Matt continued to land until referee Hank Cisco jumped in to stop it, perhaps a bit early. It was a great Spectrum battle
HOPKINS - DE LA HOYA
On this day in 2004, Bernard Hopkins won a mega-fight versus Oscar De La Hoya with a 9th round KO. It was not the most important fight of his career, but this bout was definitely the highest-profile night of Hopkins' life. And he delivered. After several rounds of careful feeling out, Bernard dropped the Golden Boy with a crushing body shot for the count. It was the only time Oscar was stopped. With the victory, Hopkins defended his middleweight crown for the 19th time, certified his stature as a star attraction and collected a boatload of cash.
BENNY BASS WINS TITLE
On this day in 1927, Benny Bass won a 10-round decision over Red Chapman to win the world featherweight championship. 14,114 fans packed Municipal Stadium in South Philly to see the "Little Fish" win the unanimous verdict, but in the ninth round, they were treated to a boxing rarity - a double knockdown! Early in the round, both fighters landed right hands. Bass went down to his knees, while Chapman fell flat on his back. Both got up, but Bass managed to floor Chapman again in the round, sealing the scorecard victory.
FRAZIER GOES TO 2-0
On this day in 1965, Smokin' Joe Frazier won his second consecutive bout as a professional when he KO'd Mike Bruce in the 3rd round. Frazier would run that consecutive win streak all the way to 1973, when he lost his heavyweight championship to George Foreman. His second pro fight was held at Philly's Convention Hall with Bennie Briscoe vs. Tito Marshall I as the main event. Marshall would win that bout in an upset 10-round decision. Also on the card, Roger Russell KO'd Mel Fulgham in 3 & Royden Collins beat Dennis Heffernan.
CONCRETE KOS CYCLONE
On this day in 1971, Cyclone Hart battled Denny Moyer at the Spectrum. The fight was a barn-burner but the ending was a dud. Make that a 'thud'. In the 6th, after 5 sessions of back & forth thumping, the fighters continued to thrill the crowd of 5,132. Suddenly Cyclone struck, hurting Moyer & forcing him to hold. As they clinched, Denny drove Hart into the droopy ropes. But instead of bouncing off, Hart tumbled out of the ring & cracked his head on the concrete floor. With Hart unable to go on, the bout was ruled a "No Contest" in six.
LOUIS TOPPLES ETTORE
On this day in 1936, the great Joe Louis, fresh off a win over former champ Jack Sharkey, made the first of his two career appearances in the City of Brotherly Love. This time it was a pre-title Brown Bomber (28-1) vs. W. Philly's Al Ettore, who was on a 10-bout win streak. Al's run included victories over Jersey Joe Walcott & 3 against Leroy Haynes. 40, 407 paying customers (plus 10,000 comps) came out to Municipal Stadium to get a glimpse of Louis, touted as a future champ. Ettore was game and did his best, but Louis prevailed in 5 rounds.
TUNNEY & MARCIANO WIN HEAVYWEIGHT CROWN
26 YEARS APART
Sept. 23 is an important day in Philly boxing history. The world heavyweight championship changed hands twice here, on the same date & same site. First in 1926, Gene Tunney won a 10-round decision over Jack Dempsey at Sesqui-centennial Stadium to take championship honors. Then 26 years later at the renamed Municipal Stadium, Rocky Marciano KO'd Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th to take the crown. Both guys also retired without losing their belt.
GIARDELLO BEATS JONES
On this day in 1954, Joey Giardello faced Ralph 'Tiger' Jones in the first of their 3 fights. This 1st match played out at the Arena before 1,833 fans & saw Jones jump out to a lead on the score-cards. But Joey kept the fight close, which thrilled the crowd. In the final two rounds, he began to find his mark. Al-though he hurt Jones a few times, the KO never came. The decision was unanimous for Joey and it was his final rush that gave him the win. They would fight 2 more times with each winning one - Joey in 1957 & Jones in 1959.
CHANDLER WINS US TITLE
On this day in 1979, Joltin' Jeff Chandler stopped Baby Kid Chocolate at Upper Darby's 69th Street Forum to win the vacant USBA bantamweight title. The win brought Chandler his 18th straight victory (18-0-1), his 7th KO, and his very first title, but he was still a little more than a year away from winning his world championship. Jeff wouldn't lose a fight for another 4 years. For Chocolate, born Ronnie Walker, it was his third consecutive loss, dropping his record to 18-3. He would only win one more fight before retiring in 1983 with a 19-7 log.
CHACON STOPS PANTELLAS
Augie Pantellas' comeback came to a screeching halt on this day in 1978. After 5 straight wins, following a 6-year layoff, Augie became antsy for a big fight & faced Bobby Chacon in hopes that a win might bring a title shot. But it was Cha-con who shined in this his first trip to the east coast. Augie showed plenty of grit & his usual willingness to fight, but Chacon had far too many weapons. In the 6th, Augie was dropped twice. He made it to the bell but looked shaky & beaten up as he started the 7th round. 1:32 later, his corner threw in the towel.
HOPKINS CRASHES BIG TIME
On this day in 2001, Bernard Hopkins soundly beat Felix Trinidad at MSG to unify the world middleweight champ-ionship. With 12 IBF defenses, Hopkins added the WBC belt in his previous fight. Trinidad took the WBA crown in his prior outing, looking like the next Sugar Ray Robinson in the process. All was set for the coronation of Felix, but Hopkins surprised Trinidad, Don King & most observers with a totally dominating, career-best win. Finally presented with a chance to prove himself, Hopkins showed just how much greatness he had.
THE THRILLA IN MANILA
On this day in 1975, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier met for the rubber match in their great 3-fight series. The 3rd fight took place at Araneta Coliseum in Manila, Philippines. This time Ali was the champ, having disposed of George Foreman the year before. As everyone knows, the fight was a true classic. The momentum shifted throughout the fight and both appeared to be on the brink of victory - and defeat - at different times in the bout. The battle was finally stopped before the 15th round with Frazier's eyes so swollen that he couldn't see.
SHAW CATCHES MANNING
On this day in 1967, Percy Manning boxed his way to a nice lead on the scorecards for eight rounds of his fight with Joe Shaw. Unfortunately for Manning the bout was a 10-rounder. And it was the final two rounds that made the difference. Knowing he needed it, Shaw closed in on Manning, dropping him twice in round nine. In the 10th, Percy tried to hold up under the onslaught, but Shaw's heavy fire caught up with him. Another knockdown forced referee Bob Polis to halt the bout and award Shaw the 10th round TKO win.
PHILADELPHIA JACK O'BRIEN
Phila. Jack O'Brien, born James Francis Hagen on January 17, 1878, became a pro fighter in 1896 at age 18. He fought as a middle, light heavy & heavyweight throughout his Hall of Fame career. He took the 175 lb. world championship in 1905 by beating Bob Fitzsimmons & held that title until he retired in 1912, even though he had moved on to the bigger division. He drew with Tommy Burns & Jack Johnson in title bouts & lost another championship try to Burns. Loses to Ketchell & Langford pretty much convinced him to quit the ring.
TENDLER VS. GORDON
On this day in 1926, Lefty Lew Tendler beat fellow Philadelphian Danny Gordon by 10-round decision at Carnival Park in West Manayunk. In round five trailing slightly on the scorecards, Gordon dropped Tendler for a count of nine. This was fairly late in Tendler's career when he was campaigning as a welterweight. So immediate thoughts were that his time might be up. But Tendler not only got up, he roared back at his younger foe, piling up the points and banking rounds. In the 10th he even dropped Gordon to seal the victory.
MONTGOMERY WINS 21st
On this day in 1939, Bob Montgomery raised his young pro record to 21-0-1 (14 KO) with a 6th round knockout of Baltimore's Charley Gilley at the Waltz Dream Arena in Atlantic City. In this early stage of Montgomery's career, he was a popular boxing attraction at the New Jersey resort locale. In his first twenty-two bouts, he made 15 appearances there, with the rest of his starts occurring in Philly. In his very next fight, Montgomery would take on the tough Mike Evans and win a ten round decision at the Arena. With the win, he claimed the Pennsylvania state light-weight championship and was vaulted into the limelight. After Evans, Bob suffered his first pro loss and pass his title to Tommy Speigel at a bout at the legendary Cambria. Spiegel's win was widely disputed and called "undeserved" by the news reports of the day.
GOSS VS. PANTELLAS I
On this day in 1970, the two best featherweights on the east coast faced each other in a long awaited battle for local bragging rights and perhaps a shot at the title. Going into the fight, Trenton's Sammy Goss was 18-1 (11 KO). He was a popular Philly attraction with a classy boxing style. Augie Pantellas, a fan favorite from Broomall, PA, had a record of 20-2 with 15 KOs. His style was all action with power in both hands, especially his left hook. On paper this bout looked like a perfect match and 10,743 fans showed up at the Spectrum to see what would happen. But the fight itself did not quite play out as expected. Augie was plenty game, but it was Goss who dominated the action and frustrated his foe throughout. The decision was unanimous (and wide) for Sammy. But in his very next bout, Goss was shockingly KO'd, ruining his title-fight hopes.
WALCOTT HONORED BY
RING 25 IN CAMDEN
This past Saturday, October 6th, the memory of Jersey Joe Walcott (born Arnold Raymond Cream) was honored with a beautiful monument and a dedication ceremony in a Camden, NJ park. The members of the Veteran boxers Association - Ring 25 of New Jersey gave the monument to the city of Camden in Walcott's honor and the city followed suit by calling October 6th "Jersey Joe Walcott Day". A nice crowd was on hand for the presentation, including a strong contingent from Jersey Joe's family, Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison, Ring 25 president Pete Nozza, Henry Hascup of the NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, and Dwight Muhammad Qawi, himself a Camden-champ. The black granite monument, etched with Walcott's picture is permanently installed at the park on Chelton and Master streets.
On October 15, 1956, Sugar Hart scored a 3rd round TKO of Earl Dennis at New York's St. Nicholas Arena. The win gave Hart a 17-1 (15 KO) record & occurred about half-way through his pro career, which ended in 1961 at 29-7-2 (22 KO). October 15 is also the day that Hart died in 2003. Sugar was 67 when he passed away. He was cremated and his ashes were kept by his family up until this point. This web site is currently arranging to have his ashes interred at Merion Memorial Park where we will also place a gravestone for Hart and his beloved mother, who died about one month after him. You can help us honor him by making a donation to our Gravestone Fund. All contributions will be used to cover the costs of Garnet Hart's gravestone & burial. He was one of Philly's all-time best amateurs, most exciting pros, sharpest dressers, & most interesting characters. HELP US
FLETCHER VS. GREEN
On this day in 1982, Frank 'The Animal' Fletcher faced James 'Hard Rock' Green in a nationally televised 12-rounder for Fletcher's USBA middleweight title belt. It was a good match of two extremely exciting 160 pounders who were born to battle on TV. But in the Atlantic City ring, Fletcher was just too big and strong for Green, and the bout came to an end in round number six. Fletcher retained his belt and looked forward to a shot at Marvin Hagler's world title. But in his very next bout, Fletcher lost his USBA crown to Wilford Scypion, who also got Frank's title shot. Fletcher rebounded with a KO of Curtis Ramsey but then lost another title eliminator, this time to Juan Roldan. He would only fight three more times, getting KO'd in two of them. The Animal finished with an overall record of 18-6-1 with 12 KOs, never vying for a world championship.
SPECTRUM DEBUTS AS
The Spectrum, the site of many a chapter in Philly boxing history, staged its very first sporting event on this day in 1967. That event was of course boxing. The main event that night featured a young, undefeated (17-0) Joe Frazier against Tony Doyle (18-2-1) of Salt Lake City. Frazier won the bout easily - with a 2nd round KO (his 16th in 18 starts), & the Spectrum's storied boxing run began. The following year, the venue hosted four fight cards, including Frazier's defense of the NYSAC heavyweight title which he won two bouts after defeating Doyle. Between 1969 & 1972, ten boxing shows were run at the South Philly arena. Its golden era began in 1973 and ran for eight years. On Friday night the 101st boxing show is scheduled. For a complete history of the Spectrum click here.
ARTIS DEFEATS GOSS
IN BOUT #3
On this day in 1979, Jerome Artis & Sammy Goss fought each other for the third & final time. Their first fight headlined a December 1975 Blue Horizon card & ended in a 10-round draw. One month later, they were matched again, this time at the Spectrum. The fight went the ten-round distance again but this time Artis won a close split decision. Artis fought ten more times between '76 and '79, going a ragged 5-4-1. Goss only fought five times during the same stretch. He only managed a record of 2-3 in those five fights, but one of the losses was a bad decision to Augie Pantellas. So on 10/18/79, Artis and Goss faced off again. The site was Convention Hall and in this third fight between the two former national AAU champs, Artis won the ten-round decision by unanimous vote.