Venue: The 69th Street Forum  

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  THE 69th Street Forum  


The 69th Street Forum was a theater in Upper Darby, PA that became a boxing venue in 1977. It's life as a fight club lasted about three years with a total of eighteen shows offered. The venue had a 2,000 seat capacity with its boxing ring set up on the theater stage. The Forum more or less served two purposes. The first was as a minor league of sorts for the big league Spectrum fights, concurrently held in South Philly, about 12 miles away. The second purpose was to provide a place for a band of rising and increasingly popular Darby-area fighters develop their skills while drawing a solid audience. 

Augie Pantellas, Richie Bennett, Mike Picciotti, Micky Diflo, Tony Tassone, Dan Snyder and Victor Pappas were the primary attractions at the Forum, with starts by Jeff Chandler, Rudy Donato, Jerome Goodman and others mixed in.  


Pantellas was undoubtedly the Forum's star. He fought there three times - all main events - with all three resulting in the top three ticket-selling bouts in the Forum's history.  Augie's 1977 comeback fight after a six-year layoff was the top attended show with about 1,800 seats filled. One month later, Pantellas knocked out Eddie Rivera before 1,600. Finally, Augie's rematch with Sammy Goss drew 1,500 in 1979.

Richie Bennett made 14 total appearances at the Forum, including three main events. The biggest of these was his first meeting with Bennie Briscoe, but his local showdown with Dancin' Dan Snyder was also a major draw. Mike Picciotti had 13 Forum fights. His lone main event there was his knockout of  Joe Tiberi in 1978. Lightweight Micky Diflo had 10 of his 13 pro bouts at the Forum - all of them preliminary fights. Tony "Rocky" Tassone appeared six times, half of them being main events. Joltin' Jeff Chandler added some luster to the Upper Darby club, fighting there twice in 1979, the year before he became world bantamweight champion. 

All 18 shows were staged by the partnership of J Russell Peltz, Ed Crawford and Marty Feldman. Peltz was the matchmaker for the entire series. During the first half of the run, Crawford and Feldman were listed as the promoters (on posters and other materials). Then by 1979, Peltz Boxing became the dominant promoter of record.  However, all three - Peltz, Feldman and Crawford - were partners in the Forum business   throughout its entire history. 

The 69th Street Forum
Indoor Arena / 2,000 Capacity
Upper Darby - 69th & Market Street

Main Event List
Poster Gallery
Program Gallery
Photo Gallery


   1977 - First boxing card - 3/7
   1977 - Pantellas comeback - 4/7
   1978 - Picciotti KOs Tiberi - 6/1
   1979 - Pantellas-Goss II - 1/30    
   1979 - Chandler-Chocolate - 9/26
   1979 - Bennett-Snyder - 10/30
   1979 - Chandler-Alvarado - 12/4
   1980 - Bennett beats Briscoe - 1/24
   1980 - Martin-Douglas - 2/18
   1980 - Last boxing card - 2/18 


Like the popular Spectrum series - and almost everything else in Philly Boxing - The Fourm's ring action dried up in 1980 when the sport shifted east to the Atlantic City casinos. Casino bouts were flush with cash and promoters pretty much abandoned urban-based boxing for the more lucrative options offered by Resorts and other new gambling houses. Only the Blue Horizon remained steady in offering boxing shows to fans in the City of Philadelphia. After the Jerry Martin - Billy Douglas bout in February of 1980, the Forum never again hosted a professional boxing show.