Via Ken Hissner: In the 60s and 70s, Philly boxing reached its peak when IBHOF promoter J Russell Peltz of Peltz Boxing pitted Philly, light middleweight and middleweight boxers against each other to the delight of the Philly fans.
Names like George “Mayor of North Philadelphia” Benton, “Bad” Bennie Briscoe, Robert “Bam Bam” Hines, “Gypsy” Joe Harris, Willie “The Worm” Monroe, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Eugene “Cyclone” Hart , Dick Turner, Stanley “Kitten” Hayward, Jimmy Sykes, Percy Manning, James “Black Gold” Shuler, Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, Curtis Parker, Jesse “Crazy Horse” Smith, Jim “Slim” Robinson, Charley Scott, Tony “Rocky” Tassone, Perry Lil’ Abney and Artie “Moose” McCloud, Jimmy Beecham, all the Philly boxers fought each other.
The only problem is that it hasn’t produced two world champions, one is Joey Giardello, who has only won two world titles but lost to “Bad” Bennie Briscoe and Stanley “Kitten” Hayward.
Giardello left New York, turned professional in 1951, and first fought in Philly in 1958. In 1960, he had a contested draw with NBA World Champion Gene Fullmer.
He then returned to Philly in 1961, scoring a double, one win over Jesse Smith. In 1962 in Ring Magazine’s “War of the Year,” in a bloody battle, he reversed defeat to Henry Hank at the Convention Hall. In the next fight, he defeats Jimmy Beecham there and loses to Benton.
In 1963, Giardello won two fighting matches, with a second victory over former world champion “Sugar” Ray Robinson, at the Conference Hall, winning the world championship with the world champion. World WBC & WBA Dick Tiger that he defeated.
In 1964, he defended and defeated Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and in 1965 lost the title in a rematch with Tiger. He ended his career in 1967 after a previous loss to Jack Rodgers at the Philadelphia Arena.
The other world champion was Robert “Bam Bam” Hines, who held the IBF lightweight middleweight belt for just three months. He defeated Matthew Hilton, 29-0, in Las Vegas, NV, in November 1988 and lost in February 1989 to Darrin Van Horn, 39-0, in Atlantic City, NJ.
Peltz promoted Briscoe, whom he sent to Argentina in May 1967 to face Carlos Monzon, 40-3, who was not yet a world middleweight champion and only in the next match did he win it. South American title.
The round ends in a draw, and if the outside fighter draws in another fighter’s country, the tie is won and Briscoe is entitled to win. There are more draws in Argentina than in any other country.
Briscoe could not rematch for the title against WBC & WBA world champions Monzon until November 1972 in Argentina, which is more than 5 years since their first match.
The only reason Monzon gave him a rematch, in this writer’s opinion, was that Briscoe had hepatitis and only had one battle after recovering, with Monzon’s men feeling Briscoe would not be in a state. best attitude. Monzon won in a bad decision. In 1974, he was stopped for the first time in his career by Rodrigo Valdes, of Monte Carlo, because the WBC World title was vacant.
Another Philly boxer to compete for the title was Hayward, who lost to Freddie Little for the vacant WBC and WBA lightweight belts, losing by decision defeat in Las Vegas, NV, in March 1969. Hayward was promoted by Lou Lucchese. Ranked out of Reading , PA, area from Leesport.
Benton defeated Philly boxer Joey Giardello in August 1962 at the Philly Convention Hall. Giardello doesn’t want a rematch with Benton.
I can still see Benton being brought into the ring during a Giardello match and walking up to him, acting like he was putting money in his chest as a bribe to fight him. Benton was forced into a knockout match with struggling Rubin “Hurricane” Carter to get a match against then-world champion Giardello. He lost to Carter by split decision in May 1963 at Madison Square Garden.
Benton won against boxers Philly Jim “Slim” Robinson (later coach to Mike Rossman) and Jesse “Crazy Horse” Smith while losing to Briscoe in December 1966 at the Philadelphia Arena.
Briscoe, on the other hand, went up against the Philly boxers in 1964, stopped Charley Scott, then defeated Manning in the next fight only to lose to him in a three-fight rematch later in 1965. The same year. there, he lost to Hayward.
In 1966, he beat Benton, in 1967 beat Ike White, in 1969 beat Manning in their third match. In 1975, he defeated Hayward and that same year, drew with Hart and knocked him out in 1976 in a rematch. In 1982, in his final fight, he lost to Jimmy Sykes at Philly’s Blue Horizon.
Two other Philly boxers, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts and Willie “The Worm” Monroe, both defeated “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler in Philly before Hagler became world champion. Watts’ win was controversial, but I attended Monroe’s win over Hagler with new coach Benton in Monroe’s corner.
In 1974, Monroe defeated Hart, stopped Hayward, and lost to Watts. 1976 beat Hagler. At a brainstorming match, I spoke with Monroe, who had a cast on his arm who told me he was giving Hagler a rematch in Boston, and I told him it wasn’t a good idea. Benton changed his running style during their first meeting to stand in front of him without preparing Hagler for it. In the rematch, he knew what to expect and stopped Monroe in Boston and again in Philly before winning the title. In 1979, he lost to Curtis Parker.
Parker will defeat Philly warriors like Kid Samson, Jerome Goodman, and Frank “The Animal” Fletcher. Fletcher lost to warriors Philly Artie “Moose” McCloud (Monroe’s uncle), stopping Jerome Jackson, Caveman Lee, and Ernie Singletary. Afterwards, defeat Sykes and in his final match he is stopped by Parker. Sykes will be stopped by Mike Robinson, stop Tony “Rocky” Tassone, defeat Briscoe and lose to Fletcher.
Back at Watts, he stopped Perry “Lil ‘Abner” Abney, stopped Hart, and defeated Monroe. Manning defeats Sidney “Sweet Pea” Adams, which is stopped by Dick Turner, Hayward, and Briscoe. Afterwards, defeat Briscoe in their next fight while ending his career being stopped by Briscoe.
Philly’s Turner was in this writer’s first live match in Philly, losing to Hayward in what I felt was a controversial decision. He then stops Al Styles and Manning from losing their final match to Hayward. He retired with a detached retina.
The most famous is probably Harris, who beat Johnny Knight twice, Hayward, then in 1967, went to Madison Square Garden and, in a non-title match, defeated welterweight champion Curtis Cokes . He then went to Dallas, TX, to fight for the title only to find Cokes not there and in a local newspaper showing him “going fishing!” Harris was disgusted, then moved to middleweight. He would end his career suffering a single defeat to Emile Griffith in a non-title match.
Harris’ career ended when it was discovered that his next battle was going blind in one eye. This writer tried to get his license back, knowing he’d fought his entire career like that, memorizing eye charts.
His exercise fight at the 23rd PAL in Philly with Briscoe was so brutal that gym chief Duke Dugent had to jump in the ring and stop it after just a minute, telling both of them, “never happens.” out again!” Through Dugent, we tried unsuccessfully to get Harris’ license back, referring to other great boxers with one eye like Harry Greb and Marvin Hart.
At the end of their careers, their records were Benton, 61-13-1 (36), Giardello, 98-26-8 (31), Briscoe, 66-24-5 (53), Monroe, 40-10-1 ( 26), Watts, 39-7-1 (22), Hines, 25-3-1 (17), Hayward, 32-12-4 (18), Hart, 30-9-1 (28), Parker, 29 -9-1 (21), Turner, 19-2-1 (11), Manning, 17-7-1 (11), Harris, 24-1 (9), Shuler, 22-1 (16), Sykes , 13-11-1 (9), McCloud, 11-5 (8), Tassone, 17-7-2 (6), Robinson, 21-9-1 (15), Abney, 24-13-1 (20 ), Smith, 46-12-5 (33), Beecham, 41-31-3 (12), Scott, 35-32 (20) and Fletcher, 18-6-1 (12).
Peltz has this to say about some Philly boxers:
Harris: A one-eyed genius can’t beat the street. Monroe: Always low on her own abilities and never the main character in the cage. Hayward: He’ll be the star in the age of social media, plus he can really fight.
Hart: Best left hook I’ve ever seen live, including Joe Frazier.
Watts: The best of the Watts-Hart-Monroe trio due to his boxing intelligence, but his body may be too fragile to hold in the trenches.
Trend: He likes to fight out of pocket and is such a defensive genius that he often forgets the purpose of a fight is to win.
Briscoe: He comes to hurt you, body or head, and thinks the only battle he ever lost was when Rodrigo Valdes stopped in 1974 in Monte Carlo.
Turner: Only met him once – a loss to Jose Stable – but another talent’s career was cut short by a detached retina.
Fletcher: The heartless force and the most exciting boxer of the early 1980s, who made the most of his unlimited talent, but he couldn’t avoid trouble on the streets.
Giardello: The underrated champion who fought every tough Black boxer of his time. A martial artist counterattack.
Operating: The technician was good but flimsy and was thrown by the management to the wolves.
Scott: Another hot Philly left hooker with an opponent’s schedule has been picked up by Marques de Sade.
Shuler: Defeat James Kinchen but die too young. Hearing loss can be an anomaly, but we’ll never know.
Hines: Gorgeous to watch with his fighting repertoire inside, and you can’t say the same about too many Southpaws.
Parker: Terrible acting warrior who should have been managed better. Too many brutal battles in a row for his bruised style.