Matthew Saad Muhammad KOs Lottie Mwale This Day November 28, 1980 and Retains the Crown
- Matthew Saad Muhammad 175 lbs
- Lottie Mwale 172½ lbs
- KO at 2:25 in round 4 of 15
- Location: Sports Arena, San Diego, California, USA
- Referee: Tony Perez 28-28
- Judge: Roland Dakin 29-29
- Judge: Vince Delgado 29-28
- World Boxing Council Light Heavyweight Title (5th defense by Saad Muhammad)
Matthew Saad Muhammad, the World Boxing Council’s light heavyweight champion, ranked it as “the best punch I ever threw.”
“Now that Muhammad Ali has retired, there’s a new Muhammad on the mountain,” the 25-year-old Philadelphia fighter said after his fourth-round knockout of Zambia’s Lottie Mwale Friday night.
Muhammad, making his fifth successful title defense in 19 months, had lost the first round decisively and was, by his own account, hurt twice in the second. Then he went to work with left hooks to Mwale’s body.
“I found out he couldn’t take a body punch,” said Muhammad, who brutalized the unbeaten No.l-ranked challenger before ending it at 2:25 of the fourth. It was his 15th straight victory, his 13th by knockout.
Following a right lead with a left hook, Muhammad, 28-2-3 with 20 knockouts, sent Mwale crashing flat on his back.
“It was good, clean and fast. I couldn’t miss. I’m not bragging, but I can hit,” said Muhammad, who hasn’t lost since March 11, 1977, when ho dropped a 10-round decision to Eddie Gregory, now Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, the World Boxing Association’s light heavyweight champion.
The two have agreed to fight Feb. 21 for undisputed possession of the crown — if Mustafa Muhammad retains his title Saturday night in Los Angeles when he faces Rudi Koopmans.
Fewer than 1,000 fans, including Muhammad Ali, turned out for the 15-round bout — San Diego’s first title fight.
Muhammad, who won the WBC title April 22, 1979, by knocking out Marvin Johnson, weighed 175 pounds. Mwale, 19-1-0, weighed 172½.
“My strategy was to go out slow and increase pressure round by round,” said Muhammad. “He has a very good counter punch. Each time I jabbed, he made me miss.”
Softened up by Muhammad’s body shots, Mwale, 26, was staggered by left hooks late in the third round and appeared to be out on his feet. But the bell rang before Muhammad could finish him off. “I thought I had him put away, but he survived,” said Muhammad.