Pound 4 Pound Boxing Report

Talking all things boxing!

A Tribute to Matthew Saad Muhammad

By. BrotherJR

May 25, 2014

Sad news to report in the boxing community. Former WBC Light Heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad has passed away at age 59 in at the ICU of Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Muhammad had been battling Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Muhammad was known as one of the most exciting and entertaining fighters of the 1970’s. A darling of network television during that era, Muhammad will be remembered as a warrior though and through as well for his terrific bouts against the likes of Marvin Johnson, John Conteh, and Yaqui Lopez. Saad Muhammad was a hard man who lived a hard life. As told in a tribute written by Jackie Callen detailing his rough childhood, “Mathhew’s mother died when he was an infant and he and his brother were given to an aunt. She did the best she could but could not care for them so she decided to give the youngest brother away. She had him dropped off at a park where he was picked up by Social Services. They named him Matt Franklin and put him in foster care until a family finally adopted him.”

Saad Muhaamad (known as Matthew Franklin as a child, he changed his name after his conversion to Islam) used that hard life as a motivating force. He was a man who knew how to survive and fight back. That attitude ingrained in him throughout his tumultuous childhood, mirrored the way he fought as boxer and that’s made him so respected both in and out of the ring. It was his fight style and background that also made him so popular during the 1970’s when boxing on network television was at an all-time high and Matthew Saad Muhammad was a favorite of the networks as he was a mainstay on ABC and CBS during their boxing broadcasts. His two wars against Marvin Johnson and his give and take struggle against Yaqui Lopez are considered classics among boxing fans. Don’t let his record fool you (49-16-3, 35 KO’s) Matthew Saad Muhammad was one of the best Lt. Heavyweights during the 1970’s and will always be remembered as a true fighter.

Sadly, Saad Muhammad’s post-fight boxing career was a struggle. He succumbed to the all too familiar stories of once terrific fighters ending up basically poor, if not broke. However, the end of his life should not and will not define him because he triumphed and was the very definition of a champion, both in and out of the ring. Long live the life and legacy of former Lt. Heavyweight great Matthew Saad Muhammad. Given the news of his passing, I decided to feature a video of one of his many exciting wars, the rematch with over Marvin Johnson in which Saad Muhammad won the WBC Lt. Heavyweight title. This bout took place on April 22, 1979 in Indianapolis, Indiana.


May 26, 2014 - Posted by | Blog, Boxing, Podcast, Video | , ,

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