Philly Boxing History

NOVEMBER 18, 1975




On this day in 1975, Bennie Briscoe & Eugene "Cyclone" Hart faced off at the Spectrum in a 10-round middleweight bout. The posters for the fight read "You Asked For It!" and a large crowd of 11,021 came to the South Philly venue to get it. And get it, they did. In one of the best matches of the Spectrum's golden era, two of the most popular attractions, both famous for thrilling wars and heavy punching, went toe-to-toe for ten astounding rounds and together created one of the city's most memorable fights.

War was waged in every part of the ring one round at a time. In every round, both men worked hard to end the affair, but each had a tough nut to crack. Cyclone started fast and won the early rounds. Although both men landed their shots, Cyclone was quicker and able to do more when the fight stayed at a distance. But Bennie rumbled back on the inside. The battle went back and forth, often in the same round.

Briscoe hurt Hart in rounds 3, 7, & 8. So groggy was Hart in the 8th, that his fog carried on well into the 9th. But Briscoe was tired by then and failed to put Hart away when he seemed to have the chance. In the last round, Cyclone staged a comeback and took the 10th with heavy artillery, as his older foe faded.

In the end, the fight was declared a draw. Some observers thought Bennie should have gotten the nod, albeit by the slightest of margins, while others felt Cyclone had sealed it with his last round rally. Somehow, the even scorecard seemed to fit best.

Although the match was clearly Philadelphia's best fight that year, Ring Magazine named this fight 1975's second best bout, with top honors going to the immortal "Thrilla in Manila", Ali-Frazier III.

Briscoe and Hart would fight a rematch five months later with a very different result. The second time around, Bennie jumped out and KO'd Cyclone in the first round.

  1929 - Dick Welsh KO2 Al Conlon at Atlantic City
  1937 - Tony Galento KO3 Leroy Haynes at Convention Hall in West Philly
  1937 - Gus Dorazio W10 Frank Donofrio at Convention Hall in West Philly
  1946 - Billy Arnold KO2 Billy Furone III at Allentown, PA
  1946 - Eddie Giosa W10 Jorge Morella at Valley Arena in Holyoke, MA
  1947 - Dan Bucceroni KO1 Paris Lennon at Camden, NJ
  1953 - Dan Bucceroni KO8 Freddy Beshore at Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles
  1954 - Gil Turner KO8 Charley Scott at the Met in North Philly
  1954 - Boland Abrams KO2 Henry 'Toothpick' Brown III at the Met in North Philly
  1954 - Carmen Bartolomeo W8 Jake Josato II at the Met in North Philly
  1958 - Sonny Liston TKO8 Ernie Cab at the Miami Beach Convention Hall
  1968 - Chuck Leslie W10 Roger Russell at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1969 - Leotis Martin W10 Roger Russell II at the Spectrum in South Philly
  1970 - Joe Frazier KO2 Bob Foster at Cobo Arena in Detroit
  1982 - Charlie 'Choo Choo' Brown W8 Gary Gibson at Ice World in Totowa, NJ
  1997 - Bernard Hopkins W12 Andrew Council at the Show Place Arena in Marlboro, MD
  1911 - Leroy Haynes