Philly Boxing History

AUGUST 24, 1978




Marvelous Marvin Hagler made his fifth and final appearance at the Spectrum in South Philly on this day in 1978. He faced Philly legend Bennie Briscoe in the ten round main event in one of the biggest indoor boxing events in the city's history. The fight drew a paying crowd of 14,930, making it the third largest indoor attendance ever.

Hagler won the fight by decision comfortably on the judges cards, but Bad Bennie did his best to make the rising Hagler uncomfortable during the match. And the old pro, far past his prime, did enough to make the usually aggressive Hagler fight with great caution. Despite being one of the toughest and best up and coming contenders, Marvelous Marvin played it safe against Briscoe. He was able to control the fight, take the decision, and get out of Philly with his record and future intact.

Hagler cut his boxing teeth in Philadelphia. His first two visits resulted in the first two losses of his career (L10 Boogaloo Watts & L10 Willie Monroe). But after these initial setbacks, Hagler developed his reputation as a Philly Killer. He twice avenged his loss to Monroe, both times by KO. He also stopped Eugene 'Cyclone' Hart, and shortly before he became middleweight champion, avenged his loss to Watts with a 2nd round TKO. In one of his many title defenses, Hagler destroyed Philly-born William 'Caveman' Lee in less than one round. Anticipated matches with Curtis Parker and Frank 'the Animal' Fletcher during Hagler's championship reign never materialized. Although both might have been excellent brawls, it is unlikely either fight would have ended with a new Philly champ.

Hagler wore his crown with great distinction, and finally retired after losing to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987.

  1921 - Lew Tendler D8 Sailor Friedman at Phillies Ball Park in North Philly
  1922 - Gene Tunney W8 Tommy Loughran at Phillies Ball Park in North Philly
  1926 - George Godfrey W10 Tiny Jim Herman at the Portland (OR) Armory
  1931 - George Godfrey KO2 Seal Harris at the Arena Garden in Toronto, Canada
  1931 - Leroy Haynes KO1 Jack Gilmore at Los Angeles, CA
  1951 - Gil Turner W8 Jimmy DeCerio at Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ
  1951 - George Benton KO2 Buddy Newly at Convention Hall in Atlantic City, NJ
  1952 - Percy Bassett D10 Federico Plummer at Arena de Colon in Panama City, Panama
  1978 - Jeff Chandler W8 Sergio Reyes at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1978 - Curtis Parker KO3 Dan Snyder at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1978 - Richie Bennett D6 Tyrone Freemen II at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1989 - Saoul Mamby TKO9 Gary Hinton at the Hyatt Regency in Tampa, FL (Hinton's last bout)
  1900 - Nate Goldman