PHILLY BOXING HISTORY

  

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GRAVESTONE FUND PROGRAM 

Many of our ring heroes currently lie in unmarked graves all over the Philadelphia area. Although memories of these men are firmly fixed in our hearts and minds, their final resting places remain anonymous and in danger of being totally forgotten in the coming years. 

In 2005, as part of our mission to remember and honor Philadelphia's boxing legends of the past, Philly Boxing History.com established a program dedicated to placing headstones on these unmarked graves.  As often as possible, we designate one recipient, and along with the family, place a headstone, and hold a memorial service for the public. 

In the initial year of the program, we named Tyrone Everett as the first honoree.  Everett was the inspiration for this entire effort.  He was one of the finest young prospects ever to come out of Philly. His "failed" attempt to win the title is legendary.  But sadly, his life was cut short just six months after his most famous bout.  He was twenty-four years old.  For twenty-eight years, his grave remained unmarked - but no longer.  In December 2005, a beautiful new headstone was placed for Tyrone at Eden Cemetery, in Collingdale, PA. 

We followed this up with a headstone for Gypsy Joe Harris in 2006, and in 2008, Garnet "Sugar" Hart was named as the third honoree. In addition to placing a headstone for Hart, we also interred his cremated remains. The most recent gravestone was for Tacony lightweight legend Eddie Cool and his boxing brother Jimmy Cool.  

Now we embark on a new gravestone project for former light heavyweight champion and perhaps the most exciting fighter to ever come out of Philadelphia, Matthew Saad Muhammad. 

This Web site is proud to be involved in this endeavor.  However, we need assistance from anyone willing to help. We ask that anyone who loves and respects the history of Philadelphia boxing help us with this rewarding but costly program. 

If anyone visiting this Web site would like to contribute to our Gravestone Program Fund, we would greatly appreciate the support.

 


You can make your contribution by clicking the GoFundMe above link. Please note that there are various reward levels that come with special "thank you gifts".

If you do not wish to use GoFundMe, you may mail us a check or money order directly, use PayPal, or call to use a credit card. Just follow the instructions below. 

In addition, your name will be added to our on-line list of contributors, found below on this page, and listed in future programs and other printed material related to future events.

CONTRIBUTE TO THE GRAVESTONE FUND

PAYMENT METHODS: 

1. GoFundMe
Use one of the above links and make your donation with a credit or debit card.

2. Check or Money Order
Send check or money order to:
"Fairhill Street Productions, LLC / Gravestone Fund" - P.O. Box 428, Sewell, NJ, 08080

(Note: Fairhill Street Productions, LLC is the parent company of PhillyBoxingHistory.com)

3. Credit Card
If you prefer to make your donation with a credit card please call John at 609-377-6413. We can process your credit card donation over the telephone.

4. PayPal
You can send your donation via PayPal. Select "Send Money" and use  johndisanto@phillyboxinghistory.com
as the Payee / Receiver.
 

     

2015 - MATTHEW SAAD MUHAMMAD

Matthew Saad Muhammad started his Hall of Fame boxing career as Matthew Franklin and before long became the most exciting fighter of the Spectrum era. His legendary wars were unforgetable, as "Miracle Matthew" came back from the brink of defeat time and again. His wars with Marvin Johnson, Richie Kates, Yaqui Lopez, and Billy Dougals during the first part of his career were some of the best bouts Philly fans ever saw. In 1979, he met Marvin Johnson again and after eight brutal rounds he was the WBC light heavyweight champion. Around this time Matthew became Saad Muhammad. He successfully defended his crown eight times, many of them the signature struggles that he was famous for. Saad lost his title against Dwight Muhammad Qawi (Braxton) in 1981. Overall, the South Philly legend posted a pro record of 49-16-3, 35 KOs. Saad Muhammad passed away on May 25, 2014 after a battle with ALS. He is buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Photos of Matthew Saad Muhammad's gravestone
will be posted once it is placed.

   
     
 

2011 - EDDIE
COOL

Eddie Cool, known as the "Tacony Flash", was an Irish-Catholic kid from the streets of Northeast Philly who became a boxing master in the 1930s. He launched his career in 1928 and began scoring wins with a counter - punching  style  that  made him a difficult and highly respected opponent. In 1936, Cool faced lightweight king Lou Ambers in a non-title bout at the Arena. The Pride of Tacony won the grueling bout but not the belt. The impressive boxing skills and toughness that he displayed made him a feared man and he was never granted a rematch or a title shot, despite becoming the #1 contender. He compiled an overall record of 89-28-14 and is considered one of Philly's best kept secrets. But his lifestyle outside of the ring was totally undisciplined and reckless, and it cost him. He died at the age of 35. In December 2011, we placed a headstone on Eddie Cool's unmarked grave at Holly Sepulchre Cemetery.

View Photos of Eddie Cool's (& Jimmy Cool's) gravestone.

 
     

 

2008 - GARNET
"SUGAR" HART

Garnet "Sugar" Hart, one of the finest amateur boxers ever to come out of Philadelphia, won the 1954 National AAU  lightweight amateur champion-ship. He turned pro later that same year and became one of the city's most popular attractions. His style was reminiscent of Ray Robinson - quick, slick, hard-punching, and sweet enough to earn him the same nickname of "Sugar". Hart headlined the last big outdoor boxing show at Connie Mack Stadium, facing Gil Turner in 1958. The following year, Hart battled Charley Scott at Convention Hall in perhaps the greatest war in Philly boxing history. Garnet retired from the ring in 1961 and died on October 15, 2003 at age 67.  He was cremated one week later. On May 31, 2008, his ashes were interred and a headstone was placed for Garnet and his beloved mother at Merion Memorial Park in Bala Cynwyd, PA. 

View Photos & Video of Sugar Hart's Gravestone Event

 
   
 
 

2006 - GYPSY JOE HARRIS

Gypsy Joe Harris was one of the most popular and most talented Philly boxers ever. He stormed up the welterweight ranks in his brief career and even beat reigning champ Curtis Cokes in a 1967 non-title fight. Just one year later, he lost   his   boxing license when it was discovered that he was blind in the right eye. Though he tried to be reinstated, the commission never budged, and at age 22, Harris was left with his championship dreams snuffed. Born to fight, Harris never quite found a new direction for himself. He died of heart failure at age 44 on March 6, 1990. Gypsy Joe was buried in an unmarked grave at Merion Memorial Park in Bala Cynwyd, PA. Philly Boxing History.com placed a headstone for Gypsy Joe Harris in October of 2006. 

View Photos of Gypsy Joe Harris' Gravestone Event

 
   
     
 

2005 - TYRONE EVERETT

Tyrone Everett was a boxing star from South Philly who dominated his foes with a slick southpaw style that mixed finesse and power. He claimed the North American title in two different weight divisions and challenged Alfredo Escalera for the  world title in 1976. In that bout, Tyrone lost what is often cited as one of boxing's all-time worst decisions. Despite the disputed loss, Everett was still considered an eventual champion with a bright future when he was shot and killed by a jealous girlfriend on May 26, 1977. He was 24. Everett was buried in an unmarked grave at Eden Cemetery in Collingdale, PA. Philly Boxing History.com placed a headstone for Tyrone Everett in December of 2005. Everett remains the inspiration for our gravestone program.

 View Photos of Tyrone Everett's Gravestone

 
   
         
       
   

2015 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Dewi Allen, Toni Anastasia, Anonymous Donors, Richard Blacklock, Warren Bone, George Bova, Paul Brocker, Ellen Bromsen, James Calhoun, Laura Carney, Wayne Carter, Darryl Cobb, Nigel Collins, Ed Conrad, Dan Cuoco, Michael Davies, Chuck Davis, Vic de Wysocki, Max De Luca, John & Jennifer DiSanto, Bruce Edelstein, Kurt Emhoff, Steve Gage, Harvey & Dolli Gold, George Hanson, Ken Hissner, Brett Hocker, William Holmes, Daniel Hooks, Guy Gargan, Thomas Jess, Rob Jones, William Kelly, Harold Lederman, Bob Levey, Robert Myers, Akbar Muhammad, Angel Novelli, Ryan O'Neal, Dan O'Rourke, Julian Perez, Ruth Pettus, Tamas Pradarics, Hank Quinn, John Raspanti, Roofers Union Local 30, Tokyo Rosenthal, Nicole Ross, Tom Roy, Ronald Ryes, Joseph Santore, Michael Scache, Peter Silkov, Jordan Singleton, Arnold Thomas in memory of Jimmy Clabby, Alexis Terrazas, Larry Tornambe, Bill Turbett, Miles Ugarkovich, John Ventre, Daniel Ward, Dirk White, Simon Wilcox, Tim Zatzariny, Jr.  
       
   

2014 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Anonymous Donor, John & Jennifer DiSanto, Bob Levin  
       
   

2013 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Nigel Collins, John & Jennifer DiSanto, Guy Gargan, Joe Keenan, Toni Smith  
       
   

2012 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    John & Jennifer DiSanto, Guy Gargan, Toni Smith  
       
   

2011 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Anonymous, Jose Aguiar, BAM Boxing Promotions, Joe Cassidy, Jennifer & John DiSanto, Tom Doyle, Guy Gargan, Toni Smith  
       
   

2010 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Jose Aguiar, Ted Barbour, Paul Bott, Henry "Toothpick" Brown, Nigel Collins, Jennifer & John DiSanto, Guy Gargan, Ken Hissner, Toni Smith  
       
   

2009 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Gladys & Henry "Toothpick" Brown, Nigel Collins, Jennifer & John DiSanto, Bob Levin, Raymond Paquette & Michael Thompson  
       
   

2008 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Anonymous Donor, Gladys & Henry "Toothpick" Brown, Nigel Collins, Gaige Damico, Jennifer & John DiSanto, Guy Gargan, Bob Levin, Raymond Paquette, Curtis Parker, Daniel Rossano, Michael Thompson, VBA Ring 1  
       
   

2007 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
    Anonymous Donor, Kevin Burke, Nigel Collins, Michael "Airplane" Connor, Paul DellaVecchia, Parry Desmond, Jennifer & John DiSanto, Guy Gargan, Ken Hissner, Merion Memorial Park, Raymond Paquette, Chad Andrew Rice, Jeanne & Louis Sgro, Marty Stein, Joe Testa, Michael Thompson, & Alexander Zimba  
       
   

2006 GRAVESTONE FUND DONORS

 
   

Ralph Andracchio, Anonymous Donor, Elmer Bauer, Hal Cohen, Phil Cohen, Terrance Coleman, Nigel Collins, Thomas Paine Cronin, Dan Cuoco, Paul DellaVecchia, Jennifer & John DiSanto, Robert & Tracy Hofstrom, Gypsy Joe Harris Sisters, Floyd Haskins, Tyrone Hogan, Robert Levin, David Levinson, Gregory Lewis, McGuinness Funeral Homes, Thomas O'Neill, Raymond Paquette, Dorothy Petner, Pride of Camden Elks Lodge #83, Richard Santore, Robert D. Scott, Ernest Solomon, Charles Titano, Anthony Valenti, James P. Vines, & VBA Ring 1