When a Peltz Boxing and BAM Boxing show says first fight at 7.30 pm, you know it’s going to start on time, unlike most boxing promotions. You also know that close to 100 percent of the time the matches are going to be competitive. “I match boxers for what the fans want to see, not to build up a fighter,” said Peltz.
Peltz was inducted into the World Hall of Fame in 2000 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004. As early as 1978 he was inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame, 2002 the Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and in 2008 the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.
Peltz first began promoting fights on Sept. 30, 1969, shortly after the 22-year-old Temple University graduate left the sports desk of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. He felt it would be more interesting having someone write about his boxing promotions than for him to write about other cards. His first main event featured “Bad” Bennie Briscoe against Tito Marshall at the legendary Blue Horizon.
By 1973, after having moved from the Blue Horizon to the old Arena in West Philadelphia, Peltz was hired as Director of Boxing at the Philadelphia Spectrum. The featherweight, middleweight and light- heavyweight divisions. He featured fighters like Sammy Goss, Tyrone Everett, Augie Pantellas, Briscoe, Cyclone Hart, Boogaloo Watts, Willie Monroe, Marvin Hagler, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Marvin Johnson, Michael Spinks, Mike Rossman, Richie Kates, Jerry Martin, Yaqui Lopez and Jesse Burnett.
Peltz has promoted or served as matchmaker at many local venues, returning to the Blue Horizon while still at The Spectrum and running at the Blue on a steady basis from 1986 to 2001. He also promoted in the Arena, Philadelphia Athletic Club, Wagner’s Ballroom, Pennsylvania Hall, the Electric Playground, National Guard Armory, Liacouras Center and McGonigle Hall (both on Temple University’s campus), the New Alhambra which would be renamed The Asylum, South Philly Arena and now the 2300 Arena in South Philly. He also promoted cards at the Franklin Plaza and Bellevue Stratford Hotels. In addition: Seneca Alleghany Casino in Seneca, NY; Zembo Shrine in Harrisburg, Silver Star Casino in Mississippi; Ritacco Center in Toms River, NJ; Dover (DE) Downs; Covered Wagon Inn in Wayne, PA; 69th Street Forum in Upper Darby, PA; Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, CT.
Beginning In the 1980s and lasting through 2014, Peltz would venture into Atlantic City at the Tropicana Hotel & Casino, Resorts International, Bally’s, Harrah’s Marina, Caesars, The Claridge, Playboy Hotel & Casino and the Sands. He did matchmaking for Main Events primarily in Newark, NJ, and partnered with Joe Hand Promotions several times in Philadelphia.
Among the well-known boxers he imported were: Ernie Terrell, Earnie Shavers, Emile Griffith, Thomas Hearns, Alfredo Escalera, Jesse Burnett, Yaqui Lopez, Billy Douglas, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Bobby Chacon and Roberto Duran.
Other locals who boxed for Peltz: Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown; Mike Everett, Jeff Chandler, Mike Jones, Buster Drayton, Robert Hines; Earl Hagrove; Gary Hinton; Charles Brewer, and Kassim Ouma. His most recent world champion was Jason Sosa.
Peltz was born Dec. 9, 1946 and married his lovely wife, Linda Sablosly, in June, 1977. They have two sons, Matthew and Daniel, and five grandchildren.
Peltz’s next show is June 2 at the 2300 Arena featuring “Hammering” Hank Lundy against Ricardo Lara. On the undercard will be Isaiah Wise, Scott Kelleher, Crystian Pequero, Tyree Crowder, Victor Padilla and Marcel Rivers.
KEN HISSNER: You are in your 48th year of promoting. Is it true you have only used female boxers when you did work for ESPN?
JR PELTZ: I know it was twice, at least once on USA Network.
KEN HISSNER: You also have never been in favor of heavyweights. Is that because they usually make the worst fights?
JR PELTZ: Other than the major heavyweights, it’s always been hard to make a good heavyweight match but Darroll Wilson against Courage Tshabalala at the Blue Horizon sometime in the 1990s was a classic brawl.
KEN HISSNER: Were Bennie Briscoe and Harold Johnson two of your favorites?
JR PELTZ: Harold was my boyhood idol; Bennie became my favorite once I began promoting.
KEN HISSNER: Would you say that leading “Joltin” Jeff Chandler to a world championship was one of your biggest accomplishments?
JR PELTZ: The most gratifying feeling in boxing is when you take a fighter from the very beginning of his career to a world title so, yes, that was a wonderful experience.
KEN HISSNER: Of the two eras which were the light heavyweights and the other era the middleweights which was your favorite?
JR PELTZ: I cannot classify either as more favored than the other. There were a bunch of good middleweights and a bunch of good light-heavyweights.
KEN HISSNER: Are you finding it more and more difficult coming up with main event attractions?
JR PELTZ: It’s tough to make good matches when most of today’s managers want their fighters to remain unbeaten before they get to a major television network.
KEN HISSNER: You were in China for Sosa’s title winning bout. Is there any other country you would like to visit with one of your boxers?
JR PELTZ: Not really, but traveling outside of the country is one of the best perks of the business.
KEN HISSNER: I want to thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to answer these questions.
JR PELTZ: My pleasure.