Hall of Fame Promoter J Russell Peltz reflects on favorite Atlantic City fights
Boxing in Atlantic City has been prevalent for more than 45 years. One man who has been in the center of a lot of the action on the boardwalk has been International Boxing and Atlantic City Boxing Hall-of-Fame promoter and matchmaker J Russell Peltz.
The Philadelphia legend, who has promoted scores of cards in the shore town, is making matches for the February 24 card at The Showboat Hotel that will feature Thomas “Cornflake” LaManna vs. Gabriel “Tito” Bracero in a 10-round battle for the WBC Fecarbox Welterweight championship.
“I did my first fight in 1973,” said Peltz, who has run shows in just about every property in Atlantic City.
It is only fitting that Peltz is the matchmaker with promoter Rising Star Promotions in the South Jersey based promotional outfit’s effort to bring Atlantic City back to prominence as the the premier fight destination on the East Coast.
Peltz is hoping LaManna-Bracero is added to the memorable bouts that Peltz has been involved in Atlantic City:
1. August 31, 1981 at The Sands Hotel–Frank Fletcher vs Ernie Singletary.(PRISM)
“The fight was televised by local cable channel PRISM (Jim Barniak and Bob Wright, both deceased, did the commentary) and it was for Fletcher’s USBA middleweight title.
“This was the most brutal fight I ever saw, even more brutal than Matthew Saad Muhammad-Marvin Johnson I. This was a closet classic since few saw it on PRISM. The fight was toe-to-toe for seven rounds, no knockdowns, until ringside doctor stopped it between the seventh and eighth round. They coukd have fought this one in a phone booth.
“Singletary was taken to hospital after fight.
“Later, when we couldn’t find Fletcher, we broke into his hotel room, and he was out cold on the floor. We couldn’t get an ambulance so we (Marty Feldman and I) put him in the back of a police wagon and rode with him to the hospital where the doctor told us if we hadn’t found him he would have been dead.
“Singletary kept saying in the pre-fight buildup that no 12-2 TV fighter was gonna beat him. This was a reference to Fletcher getting into the first ESPN tournament and winning while Singletary had been plying his trade for years (24-2 then) and never got that kind of exposure, just on PRISM. Actually, Fletcher already had been on NBC once, beating Norberto Sabater.”
2. September 9, 1980 from Resorts–Mike Rossman vs. Al Bolden (PRISM)
“Ex-WBA light-heavyweight Rossman was getting beat up every round for 8 1/2 rounds against Al Bolden, of Pittsburgh, PA, and finally found a little light late in round 9 and came on to knock Bolden out at 2:32 of the 10th round and salvage the win. Bolden took the second knockdown in the 10th on his knees.”
3. March 13, 1983 from Resorts–Jeff Chandler – Gaby Canizalez (ABC)
“Jeff Chandler, in the most brilliant performance of his Hall-of-Fame career out-boxed, out-punched and out-muscled future champion Gaby Canizales, of Texas, over 15 rounds to defend his WBA bantamweight title for the seventh time by unanimous decision. No one thought he could stand up under Canizales’ body attack but it was Chandler’s body and head attack that kept Canizales at bay for the entire fight. Just magnificent.”
4. March 2, 1985 from the Sands Hotel–Gary Hinton vs Aaron Pryor (ABC)
“Unknown lefty Gary Hinton gave IBF 140 pound world champ Aaron Pryor all he could handle, but a 14th-round knockdown helped Pryor gain a 15-round split decision with Sylvester Stallone in attendance. He was our partner at the time with Pryor. It was Pryor’s last successful title defense.”
5. November 19, 2011 from Ballys–Garrett Wilson vs. Chuck Mussachio
“Moving from light heavyweight to cruiserweight, Mussachio appeared to have out-boxed Wilson for 11 rounds in their USBA cruiserweight title fight, but Wilson drilled Mussachhio with a monstrous overhand right 41 seconds into the 12th round for the knockout win.”
Besides LaManna vs. Bracero, a terrific undercard has been assembled featuring undefeated fighters: light-heavyweight Frederick Julan (8-0, 6 KOs), of Brooklyn, NY; super middleweight Darren Goodall (5-0, 4 KOs), of New Milford, NJ; middleweight Omar Kabary Salem (1-0), of Brooklyn, NY; super lightweight Jahmal Dyer (4-0, 2 KOs), of Baltimore, MD.
FIGHT NIGHT TICKETS: $150, $80 and $55 and can be purchased at: www.risingboxingpromotions.com