Venue: Spectrum  

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Opened in 1967, the Spectrum is located in South Philly at Broad Street & Pattison Avenue. It was built to be the new home of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Philadelphia Flyers, which it was through 1996. It also became a 


major concert and special event venue. But on October 17, 1967, in its  very first event, the Spectrum hosted the Joe Frazier vs. Tony Doyle fight. It  would be the start of very big things. From 1967 through 1972, fifteen fight cards were held at the Spectrum, but these were only the warm-up.

Starting in January 1973, the "golden era" of Spectrum boxing began. Promoter J Russell Peltz was hired as Director of Boxing and the rest is history. What followed was one of the richest runs of high quality    boxing matches in any city, at any arena - including Madison Square Garden. Champions Matthew Saad Muhammad (Matthew Franklin) and Jeff Chandler were developed during this period.

Peltz ran sixteen shows during the first year. Highlights included Bennie Briscoe vs. Billy Douglas and Tyrone Everett's first main event. The following year, the Spectrum hosted eleven shows including a tourna-ment of local middleweights.

1975 saw a thrilling draw between Bennie Briscoe and Eugene Cyclone Hart, a fight that was eclipsed for Ring magazine's fight of the year, only by the Thrilla in Manila.

Indoor Arena / 18,000 Capacity
South Philly - Broad & Pattison

Main Event List
Spectrum Poster Gallery
Spectrum Program Gallery
Spectrum Photo Gallery


   10/17/67 - First boxing event
   12/10/68 - First title fight
   01/15/73 - "Spectrum Fights" begin
   11/30/76 - Indoor attendance record
   07/26/77 - Franklin-Johnson fight
   09/17/77 - Duran defends title
   02/10/78 - Franklin-Kates fight
   08/24/78 - Hagler-Briscoe bout
   12/05/78 - Rossman defends title
   02/01/80 - "Spectrum Fights" end
   08/07/82 - Braxton defends title
   12/16/95 - Mike Tyson fight


In 1976, Marvin Hagler came to town for a trio of bouts. He suffered his first career loss by dubious decision to Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts in January. Two months later he returned to face Willie "The Worm" Monroe and was soundly defeated. Some say this was the only fight Hagler ever really lost. In September, Hagler faced Cyclone Hart and scored his first Philly victory. 1976 ended with the legendary title bout between Alfredo Escalera and South Philly's Tyrone Everett. The shockingly bad decision allowed Escalera to retain his championship. The paid attendance for the fight (16,019) remains the indoor boxing record for Philadelphia today.  

1977 welcomed Roberto Duran to the Spectrum for a nationally televised lightweight title defense against Edwin Viruet. In July, perhaps the greatest Spectrum fight ever was staged when Matthew Saad Muhammad and Marvin Johnson had the fans (and themselves) dizzy in a grueling two-way thriller that finally ended in round 12 and gave Matthew the vacant NABF light-heavyweight belt.

1978 was probably the best year of the golden era. Ten shows were held including Saad Muhammad-Richie Kates (probably the second-best fight in the arena's history), Hagler's win over Briscoe, Bobby Chacon's stunning first trip to the east coast, and Mike Rossman's defense of his newly-won light-heavyweight title.

As the Atlantic City casinos became established, the number of Spectrum Fights began to recede. In 1979, there were only six shows. The knockout streak of a young Thomas Hearns was snapped by Alfonso Hayman in April and middleweight prospect Curtis Parker became a new Philly star, with three consecutive headlining appearances by the end of the year.

The last bout of the "Spectrum Fights" series occurred on February 1, 1980 with Joltin' Jeff Chandler in the main event. By that date, casino boxing was in full bloom. Casino money and a national TV boxing boom conspired to end this last grand era of Philadelphia boxing. Since 1980, only a dozen shows were staged at the Spectrum.

In 1982, Matthew Saad Muhammad called upon the ghosts of his thrilling prime years in an attempt to regain his WBC crown from Dwight Braxton (Qawi). Braxton easily defended in six rounds. In 1995, shortly after his jail term for rape, Mike Tyson beat Buster Mathis, Jr. at the Spectrum. The last significant Spectrum bout took place in 2003 when Philly's Bernard Hopkins defended his middleweight title against Morrade Hakkar in a dull atrocious mismatch.

The very last boxing show at the Spectrum occurred on October 19, 2007 when Jameel Wilson and Richard Stewart fought to an 8-round draw in the main event of a Power Productions card.

The Spectrum stood for another three years and was occasionally used for entertainment events. A series of "farewell" games and shows were staged by the Flyers, Sixers, Bruce Springsteen, and other acts. However a proposed "farewell boxing show" never happened. The demolition of the Spectrum began on November 23, 2010.