Matthew Saad Muhammad, a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame, was born on 5 August 1954 in the American city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as Maxwell Antonio Loach. The former light heavyweight champion of the world passed away on 25 May 2014 of ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Saad Muhammad’s nickname was Miracle Matthew, because of his ability to mount comebacks.
Saad Muhammed did not have an easy childhood. His mother passed away when he was five years old. An aunt took care of him and his brother, but when she wasn’t financially able anymore to take care of both brothers, she asked Saad’s brother to get rid of him. The nuns named him Matthew Franklin, after the place where he was found by the police and the nuns took care of the young kid, until a Philadelphia couple adopted him and raised him. This couple was loving and caring and raised Matthew like he was their own son.
Matthew Saad Muhammad in the Seventies and Eighties
Miracle Matthew was especially popular in the late Seventies and early Eighties, because of the action and drama in his fights. He turned professional in 1974 and became for the first time WBC light-heavyweight champion in 1979. The popular boxer defended his title eight times, before losing it to Dwight Muhammad Qawi in 1981. Matthew also lost in 1982 a rematch to Qawi.
Qawi and Saad Muhammed have in common that they became muslims and changed their names during their active boxing career. Dwight Muhammad Qawi was formerly known as Dwight Braxton.
After losing the rematch, his personal and professional career went downhill. He did not fight a lot and also had a very short and unsuccessful adventure in professional wrestling.
Homeless and Charity
Matthew Saad Muhammad went bankrupt in 1986 and in 2010 he was living in a homeless shelter in Philadelphia. “I admitted myself here because I thought this was a reputable place where I could get my life together. I went through so much stress, so many problems. When I walked in here, I was in outer space”, the former world champion told a Philadelphia street paper. After getting his life straightened out, Miracle Matthew became involved in charity work and raising funds for homeless people.
On 25 May 2014, Saad Muhammad lost his fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) , a neurological disease which is characterized by progressive weakness and paralysis, which eventually leads to death
(Sources: RHD.org, Wiki)