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List of Articles by Mike Angel Lopez


 

YAQUI LOPEZ SPEAKS: MATTHEW SAAD MUHAMMAD WAS THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR IN AND OUT OF THE RING, R.I.P. BROTHER

By Mike Angel Lopez
PhilBoxing.com
28 May 2014



STOCKTON, California -- This past Sunday the boxing world lost a true warrior in and out of the ring, Matthew Saad Muhammad also known as Mathew Franklin, who passed away at the Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia native was 49-16-35KO and was the former WBC Light Heavyweight Champion of the world between 1979-1980 and defended it eight times.

Alvaro “Indian Yaqui” Lopez (61-15-39KO) the pride of “FAT CITY” Stockton, California who had engaged in two exciting mind blowing bouts with Muhammad in a WBC World Light Heavyweight and a NABF Light Heavyweight encounters. The WBC Title fight was “Fight of the Year” in 1980 and round eight was “Round of the Year.” Ring Magazine ranked this fight as #84 in the top 100 fights of all time.

“Muhammad was a true gentleman after the first encounter. He told me if he was ever world champion, he would give me a title shot. He kept his promise and we had a war,” Lopez stated.


Matthew Saad Muhammad.

In that memorable fight, Muhammad once said, “Lopez hit me like 40, 50 or 60 straight unanswered punches and the referee didn’t stop it, I got my second wind and finished the round.”

“In those times, there were only two boxing organizations, the WBC and the WBA and we would fight 15 rounds. Now there are six boxing organizations and many chances to become a world champion, and in my time, the Light Heavyweight division was stacked with great fighters: Michael Spinks, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, John Conteh, Marvin Johnson, Anthony Mundine, Victor Galindez, Mike Rossman, and Dwight Muhammad Quawi, to name a few,” Lopez added.


Yaqui Lopez and Mike Lopez.

Matthew Saad Muhammad and Yaqui Lopez were both inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Lopez will fly this weekend to Pennsylvania and pay respect to his dear friend out of the ring and his toughest opponent in the ring.

As a 12 year old kid watching this fight, it will forever be one of the greatest fights I ever witnessed. Lopez is presently training amateur fighters and his advocacy is to keep kids off the streets by training and learning discipline thru boxing.
Muhammad was adopted by catholic nuns at the age of 5 after he was left on their doorsteps and they named him Matthew after the apostle. He never stopped fighting.

Muhammad was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and succumbed to a stroke that eventually ended his life.

PHILBOXING.COM AND FAMILY SEND THERE DEEPEST CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY OF MATTHEW SAAD MUHAMAAD, MAY YOU REST IN PEACE.


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