Matthew Saad Muhammad

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"Matthew Franklin" redirects here. For the computer scientist, see Matthew K. Franklin.
Matthew Saad Muhammad
Statistics
Real name Matthew Saad Muhammad
(born Maxwell Antonio Loach,
formerly Matthew Franklin)
Nickname(s) Miracle Matthew
Rated at Light heavyweight
Nationality American
Born (1954-08-05)August 5, 1954
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died May 25, 2014(2014-05-25) (aged 59)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 68
Wins 49
Wins by KO 35
Losses 16
Draws 3
No contests 0

Matthew Saad Muhammad (born Maxwell Antonio Loach, June 16, 1954 – May 25, 2014) was an American boxer who was the world's light heavyweight champion.

Background[edit]

Saad Muhammad's mother died when he was an infant,[1] and he and his elder brother were sent to live with an aunt. When he was five, his aunt could not afford to look after both of them and she instructed Saad Muhammad's brother to get rid of him. His brother took him to Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway and then ran away. Saad Muhammad was taken in by Catholic Social Services. The nuns gave him the name Matthew Franklin (after the saint and the parkway where he was found). Matthew lived in foster care until a couple from Philadelphia adopted him, raised him, and took care of him like he was their own.[2]

Saad Muhammad was very popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s among boxing fans because of his particularly action-oriented style. Saad Muhammad was known for his ability to take punishment and mount comebacks, and because of this, he was nicknamed Miracle Matthew. ' Saad Muhammad was also part of a group of world light heavyweight champions who became Muslims and changed their names during his era as a Light-Heavyweight, the others being Eddie Mustafa Muhammad (born as Eddie Gregory), and Dwight Muhammad Qawi (born as Dwight Braxton). Saad Muhammad confirmed this in interviews following his boxing career, stating that he was inspired to convert by Ali's conversion.[3]

Amateur career[edit]

Saad Muhammad had a relatively short amateur career, consisting of only 20 amateur bouts. He won the Trenton (NJ) Golden Gloves in 1973 and turned pro the following year.[4]

Professional boxing career[edit]

Saad Muhammad began to box professionally in 1974, with a second-round knockout win against Billy Early. He posted seven more wins that year, before suffering his first loss, at the hands of Wayne McGee by a decision in six.

In 1975, he had two wins and then he and McGee fought again, that time around, resulting in a six round draw. In 1976, Saad Muhammad had a major step up in opponent quality: He faced future world champions Marvin Camel and Mate Parlov, both of them twice.

His first fight with Parlov, in Milan, was also his first fight abroad. He beat Parlov by an eight-round decision. He then beat Camel by a ten round decision, but lost to him by a ten round decision in a rematch. After returning to Italy for a rematch with Parlov, he and Parlov struggled to a ten round draw.

He began 1977 by losing to Mustafa Muhammad (then Gregory), but he quickly turned things around by facing the future three time world champion Marvin Johnson, for the United States Light-Heavyweight title. In his first national television exposure, Saad Muhammad ended up winning by a knockout in round 12, obtaining the regional championship. Shortly after becoming champion, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Matthew Saad Muhammad.

In 1978, the wins kept on coming: He won all four of his bouts that year and defended the United States title against former world title challenger Richie Kates and against four time world title challenger Yaqui López. The Lopez fight, their first of two, was considered a classic by boxing experts, and Saad Muhammad survived a relentless attack by López to retain the belt with an 11th-round knockout.

By 1979, Johnson had become world champion by defeating Parlov, and Saad Muhammad felt he deserved a chance at the world title. So, on April 22, they met for a second time, this time in Johnson's hometown of Indianapolis. This fight was also considered by many experts as a Saad Muhammad classic, and has been shown on ESPN Classic's Classic Fights show. Saad Muhammad won the WBC's world light heavyweight crown with an eight round knockout of Johnson, after staggering him with a right hand towards the end of the seventh round.

For his first defense, he met former world champion John Conteh in Atlantic City. He retained the world title with a 15 round decision. The decision, however, was voided and a rematch ordered because Muhammad's cornermen used an illegal substance to stop the bleeding from a cut.[5] Muhammad retained the crown with a knockout in round four in the second bout.[6] After beating Louis Pergaud, he and López met again, this time, with the world title on the line. Their rematch has also been shown by ESPN's classic network several times, and it was the fight of the year for 1980, according to Ring Magazine. Saad Muhammad was hit with 20 unanswered blows in round eight, but he recovered and dropped López five times in route to a 14th-round knockout win.

He then went on to defeat Lottie Mwale, Vonzell Johnson, future world Super-Middleweight champion Murray Sutherland and Jerry Martin, all in defense of his world title, before facing Muhammad Qawi (then Braxton) in December 1981. In yet another fight that would later by shown on ESPN's classic network, Saad Muhammad lost his title when Qawi knocked him out in 10 rounds.

Saad Muhammad entered 1982 with a rematch against Qawi within his sights, and he defeated Pete McIntyre by a knockout in round two. The rematch between Saad Muhammad and Qawi came off in August, at Saad Muhammad's hometown of Philadelphia. The second time around, Qawi won by a knockout in round six.

From there on until 1992, Saad Muhammad fought sporadically and with limited success. He had been confronting vision problems, and in 1986, he declared himself in bankruptcy. He did, however, fight in many countries around the world between the moment he lost the rematch to Qawi and the moment he retired for good. Among those countries were Australia, Spain, The Bahamas and Trinidad and Tobago.

MMA career[edit]

Saad Muhammad also took a turn in the forerunner of mixed martial arts in Japan, participating in the first UWF International (UWFi) event in 1991. Matched against Kiyoshi Tamura, Saad Muhammad talked a great deal at a lead-in press conference. He declined to say in which round he would knock Tamura out, but guaranteed a victory. Tamura submitted Saad Muhammad 34 seconds into the first round.

Retirement From Boxing[edit]

Saad Muhammad retired from professional boxing with a record of 49 wins, 16 losses and 3 draws, with 35 wins by knockout.

In 1998, he became a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Boxing trainer[edit]

Muhammad trained up and coming fighters out of Atlantic City, New Jersey and worked closely with former Indian Olympic boxing team heavyweight Gurcharan "The Guru" Singh. Singh was scheduled to fight in Slough's Montem Lesiure Centre, England in October 2006 and was accompanied by Saad Muhammad, however due to injury to Singh's knee he was unable to fight.

Retirement and death[edit]

In July 2010, Muhammad was found homeless and living in a shelter in Philadelphia.[1] After that point, he became involved in charity work in the Philadelphia area, some of which focused on raising money for the homeless.[3] He died at a hospital in Philadelphia on May 25, 2014 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).[7]

Muhammad was listed as number 24 on Ring Magazine's list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.[citation needed]

Professional boxing record[edit]

49 Wins (35 knockouts, 14 decisions), 16 Losses (8 knockouts, 8 decisions), 3 Draws [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 11-3-1 United States Jason Waller KO 2 21/03/1992 Virginia Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States
Loss 17-1 United States "Boxing" Andrew Maynard TKO 3 29/10/1991 United States Washington, District of Columbia, United States Referee stopped the bout at 0:20 of the third round.
Loss 2-1 United States Michael "Gang" Green PTS 8 05/10/1991 Virginia Woodbridge, Virginia, United States
Win 9-1-1 United States Govoner Chavers KO 1 15/08/1991 Spain Marbella, Andalucia, Spain
Loss 6-0 Croatia Anton Josipovic PTS 8 09/05/1991 Serbia Novi Sad, Serbia
Loss 10-1-1 United States Ed Mack UD 8 26/02/1991 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States 75-77, 75-78, 74-77.
Loss 4-0 Germany Markus Bott TKO 3 16/02/1990 Germany Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany
Draw 24-13-3 Australia Kevin Wagstaff PTS 8 24/10/1989 Australia Boondall, Queensland, Australia
Loss 14-2 United States Frankie "Tennessee Stud" Swindell TKO 1 21/10/1988 New Jersey Newark, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:33 of the first round.
Win 0-1 Lee "The Poll" Harris TKO 1 08/04/1988 Virginia Mechanicsville, Virginia, United States Referee stopped the bout at 0:30 of the first round.
Win 13-13 United States Bobby Thomas UD 10 04/12/1987 West Virginia Weirton, West Virginia, United States
Win 4-0 The Bahamas James "Killer" Coakley KO 3 26/06/1987 The Bahamas Nassau, Bahamas
Loss 23-5 The Bahamas Pat Strachan UD 10 30/01/1987 The Bahamas Nassau, Bahamas 96-97, 96-97, 97-98.
Win 15-6-1 Colombia Tomas Polo Ruiz UD 10 16/11/1986 Trinidad and Tobago Mucurapo, Trinidad and Tobago
Loss 7-2 Jamaica Uriah Grant UD 10 21/02/1986 Florida Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Win 13-15 United States Chris "Deep" Wells TKO 6 10/01/1986 Florida Hollywood, Florida, United States Referee stopped the bout at 0:40 of the sixth round.
Loss 17-1 United States Willie "Sandman" Edwards TKO 11 11/02/1984 Michigan Detroit, Michigan, United States NABF Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 11-25-1 United States Larry "Tumbler" Davis TKO 10 09/09/1983 New York New York City, United States
Loss 11-6 United States Eric Winbush TKO 3 23/03/1983 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:53 of the third round.
Loss 17-1-1 United States "Camden Buzzsaw" Dwight Muhammad Qawi TKO 6 07/08/1982 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:23 of the sixth round.
Win 17-11-1 United States Pete McIntyre TKO 2 17/04/1982 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:28 of the second round.
Loss 15-1-1 United States "Camden Buzzsaw" Dwight Muhammad Qawi TKO 10 19/12/1981 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:54 of the tenth round.
Win 22-2 United States Jerry "Bull" Martin TKO 11 26/09/1981 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:28 of the 11th round.
Win 28-5 Scotland Murray Sutherland KO 9 25/04/1981 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Sutherland knocked out at 1:16 of the ninth round.
Win 22-1 United States Vonzell Johnson TKO 11 28/02/1981 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:23 of the 11th round.
Win 21-0 Zambia Lottie Mwale KO 4 28/11/1980 California San Diego, California, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Mwale knocked out at 2:25 of the fourth round.
Win 49-9 Mexico Yaqui Lopez TKO 14 13/07/1980 New Jersey McAfee, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. 1980 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Referee stopped the bout at 2:03 of the 14th round.
Win 17-1 Cameroon Louis Pergaud TKO 5 11/05/1980 Canada Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:19 of the fifth round.
Win 33-3-1 United Kingdom John Conteh TKO 4 29/03/1980 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the fourth round.
Win 33-2-1 United Kingdom John Conteh UD 15 18/08/1979 New Jersey Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. 146-142, 144-143, 146-141.
Win 22-2 United States Marvin Johnson TKO 8 22/04/1979 Indiana Indianapolis, Indiana, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 43-7 Mexico Yaqui Lopez TKO 11 24/10/1978 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:59 of the 11th round.
Win 11-3 United States Fred Bright TKO 8 16/08/1978 New Jersey Newark, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:18 of the eighth round.
Win 18-3-1 United States Dale Grant TKO 5 19/06/1978 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:10 of the fifth round.
Win 34-3 United States Richie Kates TKO 6 10/02/1978 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:35 of the sixth round.
Win 11-10-1 United States Dave Lee Royster UD 10 01/11/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 35-12-1 United States Billy "Dynamite" Douglas TKO 6 17/09/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States NABF Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 15-0 United States Marvin Johnson TKO 12 26/07/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:12 of the 12th round.
Win 19-9-1 United States Ed "Savage" Turner KO 6 23/06/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Turner knocked out at 0:53 of the sixth round.
Win 2-19 United States Joe Maye PTS 10 21/04/1977 Delaware Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Loss 20-2-1 United States Eddie Mustafa Muhammad SD 10 11/03/1977 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Draw 15-1 Croatia Mate Parlov PTS 10 03/12/1976 Italy Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy
Loss 16-1 United States Marvin Camel MD 10 23/10/1976 Montana Missoula, Montana, United States 91-100, 96-98, 96-96.
Win 8-7-1 United States Bobby "Fire" Walker TKO 4 15/09/1976 Pennsylvania Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:57 of the fourth round.
Win 14-0 United States Marvin Camel SD 10 17/07/1976 California Stockton, California, United States
Win 12-0 Croatia Mate Parlov PTS 8 21/05/1976 Italy Milan, Lombardia, Italy
Win 19-34-4 United States Harold "70's Version" Carter PTS 10 13/02/1976 Maryland Owings Mills, Maryland, United States
Draw 2-1 United States Wayne McGee PTS 6 21/10/1975 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 13-2 United States Roosevelt "Rosy" Brown TKO 4 24/07/1975 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 3-1 United States Vandell Woods KO 6 25/02/1975 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Woods knocked out at 0:55 of the sixth round.
Loss 1-0 United States Wayne McGee PTS 6 10/12/1974 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 3-1 United States Joe "Smokey" Middleton TKO 2 22/10/1974 Virginia Alexandria, Virginia, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:32 of the second round.
Win 1-0 United States Lloyd Richardson TKO 4 10/09/1974 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win -- United States "Cuppa" Joe Jones KO 3 15/07/1974 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Jones knocked out at 2:19 of the third round.
Win 1-0 United States Joe "Smokey" Middleton KO 5 22/05/1974 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 6-21-6 United States "Rob" Roy Ingram PTS 4 11/03/1974 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 1-2 Mukeba Apolosa PTS 4 25/02/1974 France Paris, France
Win 1-3 United States Billy Early TKO 2 14/01/1974 Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Resources for Human Development. One Step Away, July 2010, "Matthew Saad Muhammad". Retrieved 25 October 2010.
  2. ^ Nigel Collins (July 1981). "Nigel Collins on Saad Muhammad's Search for His Elusive Identity - Inside the Ring &Out". The Ring (magazine). pp. 18–23. 
  3. ^ a b Whitaker, Tim (2011-07-26). "From Champion Boxer to Down and Out: Matthew Saad Muhammad's Story | Articles". Phillymag.com. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  4. ^ "Boxing News | Matthew: You Gave Everything You Had!". Fightnews.com. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  5. ^ "Fight declared void". News.google.com. 1979-12-10. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  6. ^ "Conteh floored five times in one round". News.google.com. 1980-03-31. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 
  7. ^ "Matthew Saad Muhammad always brought his 'A' game - Ring TV". Ringtv.craveonline.com. 2014-05-25. Retrieved 2014-06-20. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Marvin Johnson
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
22 April 1979 – 19 December 1981
Succeeded by
Dwight Muhammad Qawi
Preceded by
Victor Galindez
The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion
30 November 1979 – 19 December 1981
Awarded title