Matthew Saad Muhammad
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|Matthew Saad Muhammad|
|Real name||Matthew Saad Muhammad
(born Maxwell Antonio Loach,
formerly Matthew Franklin)
|Rated at||Light heavyweight|
|Height||5 ft 11 in (180 cm)|
|Reach||75 in (191 cm)|
August 5, 1954|
|Died||May 25, 2014
|Wins by KO||35|
Saad Muhammad's mother died when he was an infant, 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.
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.
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.
Professional boxing career
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. Muhammad retained the crown with a knockout in round four in the second bout. 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 en 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.
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
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.
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
In July 2010, Muhammad was found homeless and living in a shelter in Philadelphia. After that point, he became involved in charity work in the Philadelphia area, some of which focused on raising money for the homeless. He died at a hospital in Philadelphia on May 25, 2014 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Professional boxing record
|49 Wins (35 knockouts, 14 decisions), 16 Losses (8 knockouts, 8 decisions), 3 Draws |
|Loss||11-3-1||Jason Waller||KO||2||21/03/1992||Fredericksburg, Virginia, United States|
|Loss||17-1||"Boxing" Andrew Maynard||TKO||3||29/10/1991||Washington, District of Columbia, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 0:20 of the third round.|
|Loss||2-1||Michael "Gang" Green||PTS||8||05/10/1991||Woodbridge, Virginia, United States|
|Win||9-1-1||Govoner Chavers||KO||1||15/08/1991||Marbella, Andalucia, Spain|
|Loss||6-0||Anton Josipovic||PTS||8||09/05/1991||Novi Sad, Serbia|
|Loss||10-1-1||Ed Mack||UD||8||26/02/1991||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||75-77, 75-78, 74-77.|
|Loss||4-0||Markus Bott||TKO||3||16/02/1990||Wandsbek, Hamburg, Germany|
|Draw||24-13-3||Kevin Wagstaff||PTS||8||24/10/1989||Boondall, Queensland, Australia|
|Loss||14-2||Frankie "Tennessee Stud" Swindell||TKO||1||21/10/1988||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||Mechanicsville, Virginia, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 0:30 of the first round.|
|Win||13-13||Bobby Thomas||UD||10||04/12/1987||Weirton, West Virginia, United States|
|Win||4-0||James "Killer" Coakley||KO||3||26/06/1987||Nassau, Bahamas|
|Loss||23-5||Pat Strachan||UD||10||30/01/1987||Nassau, Bahamas||96-97, 96-97, 97-98.|
|Win||15-6-1||Tomas Polo Ruiz||UD||10||16/11/1986||Mucurapo, Trinidad and Tobago|
|Loss||7-2||Uriah Grant||UD||10||21/02/1986||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Win||13-15||Chris "Deep" Wells||TKO||6||10/01/1986||Hollywood, Florida, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 0:40 of the sixth round.|
|Loss||17-1||Willie "Sandman" Edwards||TKO||11||11/02/1984||Detroit, Michigan, United States||NABF Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||11-25-1||Larry "Tumbler" Davis||TKO||10||09/09/1983||New York City, United States|
|Loss||11-6||Eric Winbush||TKO||3||23/03/1983||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:53 of the third round.|
|Loss||17-1-1||"Camden Buzzsaw" Dwight Muhammad Qawi||TKO||6||07/08/1982||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:23 of the sixth round.|
|Win||17-11-1||Pete McIntyre||TKO||2||17/04/1982||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 2:28 of the second round.|
|Loss||15-1-1||"Camden Buzzsaw" Dwight Muhammad Qawi||TKO||10||19/12/1981||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||Jerry "Bull" Martin||TKO||11||26/09/1981||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||Murray Sutherland||KO||9||25/04/1981||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Sutherland knocked out at 1:16 of the ninth round.|
|Win||22-1||Vonzell Johnson||TKO||11||28/02/1981||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||Lottie Mwale||KO||4||28/11/1980||San Diego, California, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Mwale knocked out at 2:25 of the fourth round.|
|Win||49-9||Yaqui Lopez||TKO||14||13/07/1980||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||Louis Pergaud||TKO||5||11/05/1980||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:19 of the fifth round.|
|Win||33-3-1||John Conteh||TKO||4||29/03/1980||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||John Conteh||UD||15||18/08/1979||Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. 146-142, 144-143, 146-141.|
|Win||22-2||Marvin Johnson||TKO||8||22/04/1979||Indianapolis, Indiana, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||43-7||Yaqui Lopez||TKO||11||24/10/1978||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:59 of the 11th round.|
|Win||11-3||Fred Bright||TKO||8||16/08/1978||Newark, New Jersey, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:18 of the eighth round.|
|Win||18-3-1||Dale Grant||TKO||5||19/06/1978||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:10 of the fifth round.|
|Win||34-3||Richie Kates||TKO||6||10/02/1978||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:35 of the sixth round.|
|Win||11-10-1||Dave Lee Royster||UD||10||01/11/1977||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||35-12-1||Billy "Dynamite" Douglas||TKO||6||17/09/1977||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||NABF Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||15-0||Marvin Johnson||TKO||12||26/07/1977||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:12 of the 12th round.|
|Win||19-9-1||Ed "Savage" Turner||KO||6||23/06/1977||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Turner knocked out at 0:53 of the sixth round.|
|Win||2-19||Joe Maye||PTS||10||21/04/1977||Wilmington, Delaware, United States|
|Loss||20-2-1||Eddie Mustafa Muhammad||SD||10||11/03/1977||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Draw||15-1||Mate Parlov||PTS||10||03/12/1976||Trieste, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy|
|Loss||16-1||Marvin Camel||MD||10||23/10/1976||Missoula, Montana, United States||91-100, 96-98, 96-96.|
|Win||8-7-1||Bobby "Fire" Walker||TKO||4||15/09/1976||Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:57 of the fourth round.|
|Win||14-0||Marvin Camel||SD||10||17/07/1976||Stockton, California, United States|
|Win||12-0||Mate Parlov||PTS||8||21/05/1976||Milan, Lombardia, Italy|
|Win||19-34-4||Harold "70's Version" Carter||PTS||10||13/02/1976||Owings Mills, Maryland, United States|
|Draw||2-1||Wayne McGee||PTS||6||21/10/1975||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||13-2||Roosevelt "Rosy" Brown||TKO||4||24/07/1975||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||3-1||Vandell Woods||KO||6||25/02/1975||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Woods knocked out at 0:55 of the sixth round.|
|Loss||1-0||Wayne McGee||PTS||6||10/12/1974||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||3-1||Joe "Smokey" Middleton||TKO||2||22/10/1974||Alexandria, Virginia, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:32 of the second round.|
|Win||1-0||Lloyd Richardson||TKO||4||10/09/1974||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||--||"Cuppa" Joe Jones||KO||3||15/07/1974||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States||Jones knocked out at 2:19 of the third round.|
|Win||1-0||Joe "Smokey" Middleton||KO||5||22/05/1974||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||6-21-6||"Rob" Roy Ingram||PTS||4||11/03/1974||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||1-2||Mukeba Apolosa||PTS||4||25/02/1974||Paris, France|
|Win||1-3||Billy Early||TKO||2||14/01/1974||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
- Resources for Human Development. One Step Away, July 2010, "Matthew Saad Muhammad". Retrieved 25 October 2010.
- 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.
- Whitaker, Tim (2011-07-26). "From Champion Boxer to Down and Out: Matthew Saad Muhammad's Story | Articles". Phillymag.com. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- "Boxing News | Matthew: You Gave Everything You Had!". Fightnews.com. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- "Fight declared void". News.google.com. 1979-12-10. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- "Conteh floored five times in one round". News.google.com. 1980-03-31. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- "Matthew Saad Muhammad always brought his 'A' game - Ring TV". Ringtv.craveonline.com. 2014-05-25. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
|WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
22 April 1979 – 19 December 1981
Dwight Muhammad Qawi
|The Ring Light Heavyweight Champion
30 November 1979 – 19 December 1981