Inducted on November 13, 1997
They once tagged him the “Kid Promoter”. He has gotten a bit older and much wiser, but Murad Muhammad, a native of Newark, New Jersey, has earned his niche among the major boxing promoters in the world.
Murad’s introduction to boxing was through traveling the world with the great Muhammad Ali. He was only 16 then and for 10 years, he was Ali’s personal security man. Boxing intrigued Murad, the challenges were many, and the traveling with Ali sparked his interest in becoming a promoter.
Murad Muhammad became the first African-American to receive a promoter’s license in the State of New Jersey in the mid 1970’s.
As a promoter, Murad’s impressive record proves that he was truly an innovator in his field and surely would become a major force to be dealt with. He was the first promoter to have a professional boxing show held and televised behind prison walls. This was unheard of, nor was it ever considered a possibility until Murad Muhammad went to work on it. Rahway State Prison was the host to H BO and the world for the unprecedented bout between the then prisoner and ranked fighter, James Scott, against the most talked about WBA contender, Eddie “The Flame” Gregory. This same show was also a first for HBO in the way of boxing events, and would later win HBO the prize for best program of the year. And Eddie Gregory would later go on to be the Light Heavyweight Champion of the World. It seems that opening the doors is a trademark of Murad Muhammad’s promotions and proved to be successful for all involved. The cable network was a winner, Eddie Gregory was a winner and the State of New Jersey was a winner with the added income from the television tax income it received from this event.
Murad Muhammad has a list of successful first efforts to his promotional credits. He started the presentation of world championship
boxing to such noted Casino Hotels in Atlantic City as, Bally’s, The Golden Nugget, The Sands (formerly the Brighton Hotel), Playboy, and Harrah’s Marina. He is also credited with bringing the first Heavyweight Championship Bout featuring Larry Holmes vs. Scott Frank, to New Jersey in 50 years-held at Harrah’s in the early 1980’s and televised on NBC-TV.
Champions were no strangers to Murad Muhammad either. His works as a promoter include capturing the Light Heavyweight division with such notables as Matthew Saad Muhammad-WBC Champ, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad-WBA Champ, and Dwight Quai Muhammad-WBC Champ. Promotions of these events led to sellout crowds in the early 1980’s of Philadelphia’s famed Spectrum as well as other sellout venues in Atlantic City.
Murad Muhammad proudly notes that any fighters he has worked with and promoted have all gone on to be world ranked contenders and/or champions, made great money and earned a well remembered place in boxing history. “No bums have ever been promoted by Murad Muhammad”. Some of these notable boxers include Juan LaPorte, Wilfredo Gomez, E. Pedrosa, (Featherweights) Matthew Saad Muhammad, Eddie Mustafa Gregory Muhammad, Dwight Quai Muhammad (all light heavyweights) Marvis Frazier, Rodney Frazier, Burt Cooper, Timmy Witherspoon, Elijah Tillery, Alfonso Ratliffe and Larry Holmes and currently Donovan “Razor” Ruddock and James “Bonecrusher” Smith (Heavyweights).
Promotional events with the world’s “Sellout” is a difficult task for many. However, Murad Muhammad has a list of events with the illusive phrase.
From Philadelphia’s Spectrum, to Atlantic City Casinos to Puerto Rico’s Robert Clemente Stadium, he has successfully sold out his shows. And leaving the country to promote successful events is no threat to Mr. Muhammad. Razor Ruddock as well as in North Carolina against James “Bonecrusher” Smith.
Murad is also credited with bringing Muhammad Ali out of retirement to face the then Heavyweight Champion, Larry Holmes. He also introduced Larry Holmes to the beginning IBF and upon his acceptance of their championship, put the IBF on the road to the success it enjoys today.
Murad Muhammad is a resourceful, committed and determined individual. Not only has he promoted in New Jersey, but he has taken his promotions on the road–to Lake Tahoe, Reno, Las Vegas, and countries such as, Venezuela, Panama, Puerto Rico, where he sold out the Roberto Clemente Coliseum with the Wilfredo Gomez-Juan La Porte fight … He convinced Larry Holmes to defend his heavyweight title for the IBF fledgling. When Holmes retired, so did Murad, but only temporarily. In 1986, he signed Razor Ruddock to an exclusive long-term promotional contract and took him from an unknown boxer to the pinnacle of his profession. Murad opened up the Madison Square Garden after being closed for four years and almost had a sellout crow and shocked the metropolitan area with the highly successful Razor Ruddock v. Michael Dokes bout.
Murad Muhammad Professional Accomplishments
* The first pro boxing event behind prison walls at Rahway State Prison with James Scott (Rahway Prison) versus Eddie Mustafo Muhammad for Light Heavyweight.
* The first pro-boxing card in the new Atlantic City.
* The first HBO presentation of boxing featuring Scott as Eddie Gregory .
• The highest audience share for a network boxing event on NBC with Larry Holmes vs. Marvis Frazier (49% show prime time) * Have promoted major bouts in all divisions, most notably:
1. Muhammad Ali
2. Larry Holmes
3. Ron Lyle
4. Tim Witherspoon
5. Marvis Frazier
6. Elijha Tillery
7. Rodney Frazier
8. Donovan Razor Ruddock
9. Pedro Agosta
10. Bonecrusher Smith
1. Bert Cooper
2. Mike Hunter
1. Eddie Mustafo Muhammad
2. Matthew Saad Muhammad
3. Dwight Muhammad Qwai
4. James Scott
5. Jerry “The Bull” Martin
6. Jerry Celestine
7. Ritchie Kates
8. Vonzell Johnson
9. Yaqui Lopez
1. Mustofa Hamsho
2. Curtis Parker
3. Reggie Jones
4. Wilfred Cipson
5. Carlos Santos
6. Reggie Johnson WBA Middleweight of World
1. Smokin Joe Frazier, Jr.
2. Steve Heron
• Promoted and hosted major closed circuit events throughout the State of New Jersey.
* Have extensive sale of his bouts to ABC, CBS, NBC, HBO and pay-per-view into such as Ruddock/Dokes and co-promoted the biggest grossing pay-per-view event of all pay-per-view event programming with the Tyson/Ruddock I Match, 1991 Bout and Tyson/Ruddock II.
Murad Muhammad is a US American boxing promoter, the owner of the company M & M Sports .
He became the first African-American to receive a promoter’s license in the State of New Jersey in the mid 1970s. Muhammad was the first promoter to have a professional boxing show held and televised behind prison walls when HBO televised a fight out of Rahway State Prison between prisoner and ranked fighter, James Scott, against contender, Eddie ”The Flame” Gregory later known as Eddie Mustafa Muhammad.He is also credited with bringing the first Heavyweight Championship bout featuring Larry Holmes vs. Scott Frank, to New Jersey in 50 years. He had the highest audience share for a network boxing event on NBC with Larry Holmes vs. Marvis Frazier (49% show prime time)
His remaining name fighter was a 43 year old Evander Holyfield who he promoted in his comeback attempt but took a bath in his fight against Fres Oquendo. Holyfield was paid $2 million for the Oquendo fight which the live gate in the range of $400,000 and meager PPV sales couldn’t refinance.
Promoting Record – Murad Muhammad