PHILLY BOXING HISTORY  -  February 10, 2021  
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The Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame (PABHOF) will induct five new members at their annual ceremony tentatively scheduled for October 2021. This year's class is comprised of five excellent boxers, all of whom won PA state titles during their careers. Bantamweight Troy Fletcher, lightweight Marvin Garris, light heavyweight Kelvin Kelly, light heavyweight Julian Letterlough and featherweight Fernando Rodriguez. Fletcher, Garris and Kelly are Philadelphians. Rodriguez hails from Lancaster and Letterlough, the only deceased inductee of the group, was from Reading.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the date for the PABHOF ceremony has yet to been set, but is expected to happen in early October. The pandemic forced the PABHOF to postpone last year's event. So, these five new honorees will be inducted along with last year's class, which includes boxers Paul Spadafora, Myron Taylor, Derek “Pooh” Ennis, Otis Graham, Bee Bee Wright, Bill Bossio, Curtis “Hatchet Man” Sheppard, Johnny Forte, Jack McClelland, Willie Moore, Maxie Strub, Billy Wallace, and Non-Boxers: referee Rudy Battle, promoter Marshall Kauffman, the first female boxing judge Carol Polis, trainer and Olympic coach Alfred Mitchell, trainer Jim Deoria Sr., and trainer Derrick “Bozy” Ennis.

As soon as more information is known about the upcoming event, including how to buy tickets, ads and more, it will be announced here. 




The youngest of the fighting Fletcher Brothers of Southwest Philly, Troy Fletcher fought professionally from 1982 to 1999. He debuted as a bantamweight on June 3, 1982 and won the Pennsylvania State 118-pound title in his 10th pro bout with a 12-round decision over Bryan Jones at the Blue Horizon. As a professional bantamweight, Fletcher compiled a record of 10-1-1, 2 KOs. In 1989, he moved up to the featherweight class and in 1992, faced fellow 2021 inductee Fernando Rodriguez for the PA State title as a 126-pounder. Rodriguez won the 12-round decision to earn the state belt. Fletcher fought on until 1999 and retired with a pro record of 13-10-2, 2 KOs. Fletcher joins his brothers Frank and Anthony, both 2018 inductees, and his uncle Dick Turner, a 2007 inductee, in the PA Boxing Hall of Fame. 


"Machine Gun" Marvin Garris was a professional lightweight from North Philly who fought between 1984 and 1989. His 26-bout career included fights with top names like Micky Ward, Roger Mayweather, Freddie Pendleton, Irleis Perez and Anthony Fletcher. He debuted with a 4th round TKO of Juan Carlos Rivera on April 15, 1984. In his ninth bout, Garris beat Victor Flores by 12-round decision to win the Pennsylvania State lightweight championship at the Blue Horizon on July 16, 1985. He defended that title with a seventh round TKO over Anthony "Cobra" Williams, back at the Blue Horizon on December 9, 1986. His final fight came in 1989 against Anthony Fletcher at the Blue Horizon. Fletcher won the 12-round majority decision to earn the PA title. Garris, a product of Fred Jenkins' ABC Rec Center Boxing Gym, retired in 1989 with an overall record of 15-10-1, 6 KOs.


South Philly's "Special K" Kelvin Kelly fought as a professional 175-pounder between 1982 and 1987. He debuted on November 24, 1982 with a third round knockout of James Stills. Kelly won his first twelve fights, including victories over Lee Royster (twice), Tyrone Booze, Marvin Mack and Freddie Guzman. His win over Guzman, a twelve round unanimous decision, earned Kelly the ESPN light heavyweight championship, December 27, 1985 at Resorts in Atlantic City. His first loss came against contender Eddie Davis (L10) in Tahoe. He bounced back with a twelve round decision over Lionel Byarm for the Pennsylvania State light heavyweight title, July 23, 1986. Two bouts later, he lost the PA title to Vaughn Hooks at the Blue Horizon in his final fight. Kelly retired with a record of 14-3, 1 KO.


Known as "Mr. KO", Julian Letterlough was a heavy-handed light heavy from Harrisburg, PA, who fought professionally between 1998 and 2004. His debut came against Byron Jones, on October 23, 1998 in Reading, his boxing base through most of his career. Of course Letterlough won the fight by KO, as he did in twenty of his twenty one career victories. In fact, Mr. KO knocked out his first fourteen foes. Included in those wins was a first round knockout of Troy Weaver to win the NABO light heavyweight title on April 9, 2000 in Stateline, NV. In his next bout Letterlough won the Pennsylvania State light heavyweight title with another first round KO, this time over Manny Rose in Harrisburg, June 9, 2000. Letterlough then lost a bid for three regional titles against Julio Cesar Gonzalez, February 2, 2001. Gonzalez won a twelve round decision in a wild bout that saw Gonzalez knocked down three times and Letterlough dropped twice. In his final twelve fights, Letterlough went 6-4-2 with 5 KOs. In this final stretch, Letterlough lost bouts to Vassiliy Jirov in a try for the IBF world cruiserweight title, David Telesco, Richard Hall, and drew with Daniel Judah in a bid for the USBA light heavyweight title. Letterlough's last fight came on October 1, 2004 when he stopped Eric Starr in the second round. His final record was 21-5-3, with 20 KOs. Letterlough died on July 8, 2005, after being shot in the back. He was 35. Julian will be inducted posthumously.


Lancaster junior lightweight southpaw Fernando Rodriguez had a storied amateur career that included two consecutive national championships. He started his six-year professional career on January 17, 1989 with a four round decision over Robert Rayford at the Blue Horizon. Rodriguez won seven straight bouts before losing for the first time, in a bout with Tony Green. He drew with Benny Amparo in his next fight, but then won his next thirteen starts. Included in that streak was a twelve round decision over Troy Fletcher for the Pennsylvania State featherweight championship, August 29, 1992, and a defense of the title against Tommy Barnes on November 21, 1993. Rodriguez lost his last two bouts against Harold Warren and Wilfredo Ruiz, and retired with a pro resume of 20-3-1, with 9 KOs.




John DiSanto - Philadelphia - February 10, 2021