CANASTOTA, NY – MAY 26, 2014 – The International Boxing Hall of Fame announced its flags will fly at half-staff in memory of light heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad. He passed away yesterday at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia. He was 59.
1998 Hall of Fame Inductee Matthew Saad Muhammad
“Matthew Saad Muhammad was one of the most exciting boxers of all time. His drama-filled fights were thrilling and he was a real fan favorite,” said Hall of Fame Executive Director Edward Brophy. “We join the boxing community in mourning his passing and offer our condolences to his family.”
Born Maxwell Antonio Loach on June 16, 1954 in Jenkintown, PA, he turned pro in 1974 as Matthew Franklin and later changed his name to Matthew Saad Muhammad. He won the NABF light heavyweight title in 1977 before capturing the WBC title with an 8th round TKO over Marvin Johnson in 1979. Eight successful defenses followed including wins over John Conteh, Yaqui Lopez, Murray Sutherland and Jerry Martin before losing the crown to Hall of Famer Dwight Qawi in 1981. Saad Muhammad retired in 1992 with a record of 39-16-3 (29 KOs) that includes wins over Mate Parlov, Marvin Camel, Billy Douglas and Richie Kates. His 1980 bout with Lopez was named “Fight of the Year.”
In 1998, Saad Muhammad was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.