Philly Boxing History

FEBRUARY 10, 1978



One of the all-time great Philadelphia fights took place on this day in 1978 when Matthew Saad Muhammad faced Richie Kates in a rousing Spectrum struggle. 

As the 4th round wound down, Kates, the more experienced 175 pounder, had established a lead while Saad's slow fuse continued to burn. Suddenly, Richie fired a short right hand that dropped Matthew face-first to the canvas. As he got up, the bell sounded, saving him.

In the 5th, Kates whacked away, trying to finish the job. But suddenly, Saad Muhammad exploded with a combination that floored Kates! Richie arose but appeared to be in no condition to continue. But then the bell rang, saving him!

As the 6th round started, it was clear that Kates had not recovered from the assault, and Saad Muhammad, always a great finisher, swooped in for the TKO win at 1:35. With his victory in this true Philly classic, Matthew Saad Muhammad retained his NABF title and continued his march toward the world championship. If this wasn't the best-ever Spectrum fight, then it ran a close second (to Saad's win over Marvin Johnson in 1978).   

  1927 - Harry Blitman KO8 Ray Wiegand at Philadelphia
  1933 - George Godfrey NC6 Ed 'Bearcat' Wright at Kansas City, MO
  1936 - Tommy Forte KO1 Roy Thomas at the Laurel Garden in Newark, NJ

  1944 - Billy Arnold KO1 Henry Jordan at Philadelphia

  1947 - Harold Johnson KO4 Jimmy Holden at Allentown, PA
  1949 - Percy Bassett W8 Archie Wilmer at Philadelphia
  1951 - Joey Giardello W8 Jan Henri at the Cambria in Northeast Philly (Kensington)
  1953 - Johnny Saxton W10 Freddie Dawson at the Arena in West Philly
  1953 - Gil Turner W10 Charlie Williams at Miami Beach
  1969 - Augie Pantellas KO3 Eddie Rivera at the Arena in West Philly
  1969 - Roy 'Tiger' Williams KO1 Young Joe Louis at the Arena in West Philly
  1976 - Tyrone Everett W12 Rosalio Muro at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1976 - Jerome Artis W10 Johnny Copeland at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1976 - Cyclone Hart KO3 Melvin Dennis at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1978 - Curtis Parker W6 Kid Samson at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1979 - Jo Kimpuani KO7 Skinny Jimmy Rothwell at Dunkirk, France (Rothwell's final bout)
  1919 - Bob Montgomery
  1934 - Joe McCausland
  2009 - Rochelle Norris
  2014 - Randy Jenkins