‘The Bull,’ Jerry Martin was one of many highest light-heavies in a golden period
JERRY “THE BULL” MARTIN died in November on the age of 67. Although Martin didn’t win a serious championship he was a key member of the light-heavyweight wrecking crew that supplied the division with its most violent and luxurious period.
Born on the island of Antigua in 1953, Jerry Martin would later battle out of North Philadelphia at a time when boxing was booming within the battle metropolis. He would battle 17 occasions in Philly the place he’ll all the time be remembered fondly. The American is perhaps identified to British battle followers for his victory over Otis Gordon in 1980; that bout, staged in Bloomsbury, headlined the primary card promoted by Frank Warren.
Martin solely had one beginner contest earlier than turning skilled in 1976. He would retire eight years later with a document of 25-7 (17) and earn three pictures at sanctioning physique titles. It was his dangerous luck that the opponents in these challenges had been Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Matthew Saad Muhammad and Dwight Muhammad Qawi.
However Martin was greater than only a almost man, beating fighters like Dale Grant, Jesse Burnett, Billy Douglas, and the streaking James Scott contained in the partitions of Rahway State Jail in 1980. Inmate Scott was unbeaten in 19 bouts and making an attempt to steer a belt-holder to pay him a go to when the unfancied Martin dropped him in rounds one and two en path to a factors victory after 10. It was a serious upset on the time.
“Individuals considered him [Scott] as Superman,” Martin instructed The Philadelphia Inquirer in 2011. “Everybody was afraid to battle him. I used to be, too. However the factor that helped me is that you just had to enter the jail the day earlier than for the weigh-in and that settled me down. I realised I used to be going there to do a job, like for another battle.”
That arrange a shot at Mustafa Muhammad and the WBA strap. Martin was aggressive however in the end outgunned as he was stopped within the tenth spherical inside McAfee’s Nice George Playboy Membership in July, 1980. The defeat galvanised Martin’s ambition and, after three comeback victories, he was matched with Matthew Saad Muhammad for the WBC belt. What adopted was a terrific back-and-forth battle, the sort through which Saad thrived on the time.
Martin was rocked a number of occasions earlier than rallying within the tenth just for Saad – in his final profitable defence earlier than shedding to Qawi – to safe victory within the eleventh. In his subsequent outing, Martin could be halted in six rounds by the brand new WBC belt-holder. Martin, by now fading, received three of his subsequent 4 however give up the ring after shedding 10-rounders to Richie Kates and Prince Mama Mohammed.
Outdoors of the ring, Martin was identified for his effervescent smile and good nature. In 2011, he was delighted to be inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Corridor of Fame. Given the braveness he exhibited in a boxing ring, it’s merciless that his coronary heart let him down exterior of it; for the ultimate decade of his life, whereas surviving on Social Safety cash, he was battling coronary heart situations.