This Day in Boxing

This Day July 13, 1980 Matthew Saad Muhammad KOs Yaqui Lopez

Matthew Saad Muhammad KOs Yaqui Lopez This Day July 13, 1980

Matthew Saad Muhammad retains the light heavyweight crown




Matthew Saad Muhammad 174¼ lbs

Yaqui Lopez 173¾ lbs

TKO at 2:03 in round 14 of 15

Location: Great Gorge Playboy Club, McAfee, New Jersey, USA

Referee: Waldemar Schmidt 124-123

Judge: Frank Brunette 125-122

Judge: Paul Cavalier 125-123

World Boxing Council Light Heavyweight Title (4th defense by Saad Muhammad)


The Ring Magazine named the bout Fight of the Year for 1980 and the 84th greatest title fight of all-time in 1996.

The Ring Magazine named the eighth stanza Round of the Year for 1980 and the 8th most exciting round in boxing history in 2001.

Muhammad, riding his second wind, floored the game Lopez four times in the 14th round — all with powerful right hands — before referee Waldemar Schmidt of Puerto Rico dashed in to stop the bout at 2:03.

It was a terrific contest with Muhammad and Lopez standing toe-to-toe, slugging it out. Both are known as damaging punchers also capable of taking punishment, and that pattern was established early. On more than one occasion each looked ready to go but never more so than in the eighth round when Muhammad was in never-never land as Lopez unloaded punch after punch.

Muhammad, 27-3-2, was ahead on the cards of all three judges, putting on a tremendous rally after avoiding the knockout. Schmidt said he never considered stopping the bout at that point, although Muhammad was in trouble.

Starting with the ninth round, Muhammad won every round going into the 14th and what turned out to be the final round in the scheduled 15-round affair.

Muhammad put Lopez down for the first time 30 seconds into the 14th round with a left-right, left-right combination. He decked him three more times and then leaped to his feet as Schmidt ended the fight.

Muhammad, who earned a reported $150,000 in his fourth title defense, said his next challenge will be to unify the title by fighting the other Muhammad.

Lopez, 49-10, is now winless in four title chances. He was paid $40,000.

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