PHILLY BOXING HISTORY - October 21, 2021  
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Story & Photo by John DiSanto


Thursday night at the 2300 Arena, promoter-turned-author J Russell Peltz hosted a launch party for his new book, Thirty Dollars and a Cut Eye. The event attracted a large crowd that included fight fans, boxing insiders, and friends and family of the author. The happy crowd mingled and buzzed about the memoir that chronicles the promoter's fifty-year career as the architect of the Philly fight scene since 1969.

For many, it was the first time they had gathered since the COVID-19 lockdown started. The atmosphere was celebratory. There was also a long, constant line of book-buyers snaking their way toward Peltz to have their newly-purchased copies autographed. As he greeted the public and signed his name over and over, Peltz appeared appreciative of the outpouring of interest in his work. It was a good night both emotionally and commercially. However, instead of the crowd coming to watch top-flight fights, this time, they came to see and support Russell himself. You could feel the positive vibes all through the venue.

The book is a 400+ page tome loaded with inside stories and details about everything Philadelphia boxing over the past five decades. After recently "retiring" from promoting fights, a quarantined Peltz used his time during lockdown to begin writing the book that so many had been waiting for. The writing was arduous, but the pages kept coming as he recalled his amazing run as Philly's top promoter and matchmaker. As the chapters mounted, Peltz seemed surprised, almost in disbelief that he was actually writing the book which he had been considering for some time.

Although books sales began a few weeks ago, on Thursday night, reality set in: Russell Peltz has penned a book that will certainly be the ultimate record of the Philadelphia fight scene. The night felt significant, and the book most certainly will be too.

Copies of Thirty Dollars and a Cut Eye are available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, other major booksellers, and from the author himself at If you want to understand the meaning of the title, which is the question I've heard most from interested parties, you'll have to buy the book. The wait for this answer, and everything else the book offers, is finally over.




John DiSanto - South Philly - October 21, 2021