Dave Matthews was the 1969 National AAU Light Heavyweight Champion and Golden Gloves king. His most impressive amateur victory was over future lightheavyweight contender Mike Quarry.
Mattews turned professional under manager Dean Chance, and was a stablemate of heavyweight contender Earnie Shavers and lightheavyweight contender Ray Anderson. All three fighters barnstormed around the United States, and soon racked up an impressive array of victories.
From December 1969 to November 1970, Mattews compiled an undefeated record of 14 straight victories, which included upsets over Jack O'Halloran, Rufus Brassell, Orville Qualls, and Art Miller. At 20, he was considered one of boxing's best prospects.
After losing to another promising prospect, Willie Burton, Matthews career suddenly changed gears. He was inactive almost a year, had two fights, and then was inactive for another year.
He lost a decision to future lightheavyweight champion John Conteh. On January 22, 1974, in Hollywood, Florida, Matthews had a chance to re-charge his career when he faced undefeated Al Migliorato. However, Migliorato was too fast for Matthews. In round three, a Migliorato combination sent Matthews down and out.
At 23 years old, the once promising career of Dave Matthews was over.