Marvin Johnson vs. Matthew Saad Muhammad (2nd meeting)

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1979-04-22 : Matthew Saad Muhammad 175 lbs beat Marvin Johnson 175 lbs by TKO in round 8 of 15

Notes

  • In the first fight between the two, which took place on July 26, 1977, Saad Muhammad stopped the undefeated Johnson in twelve rounds to win the NABF light heavyweight title.
  • Johnson's purse was $150,000, and Saad Muhammad's was $50,000.
  • There was a crowd of approximately 8,000.
  • After the fight, the new champion stated that he had become a Muslim and was changing his name from Matthew Franklin to Matthew Saad Muhammad.
  • The eighth round was named 1979 Round of the Year by The Ring Magazine.
  • The fight was named the 35th greatest title fight of all-time in 1996 by The Ring Magazine.


Franklin roars back to deliver KO blow
Associated Press, April 23, 1979

A bloodied Matthew Franklin floored champion Marvin Johnson with a hard right to the head Sunday to win the World Boxing Council's light-heavyweight title on an eighth-round knockout.

Johnson, who had hammered Franklin's face repeatedly through the first seven rounds, was first rocked to the ropes late in the seventh round with a flurry of punches. That opened a cut beneath Johnson's right eye, and he was staggering against the ropes as the round ended.

In the eighth, Johnson came out punching with his left, but Franklin stunned him and sent him to the canvas at 1:44. Johnson came to his feet, but referee George DeFabis stopped the bout and said Johnson was too dazed to continue.

The fight was Johnson's first title defense since he stopped Yugoslavia's Mate Parlov last December. The original bout with Franklin was scheduled for February, but it was postponed after Johnson suffered a hairline fracture in his jaw during training.

The 24-year-old Franklin, of Philadelphia, whose last fight resulted in an 11th-round knockout of rugged Yaqui Lopez last October, raised his professional record to 23-3-2, including 16 knockouts. His last five victories have been by knockout.

Franklin's next bout likely will be against former WBC champion John Conteh in Monte Carlo in July. That winner may go against World Boxing Association champion Victor Galindez to consolidate the two sanctioning organization's crowns.