OPENING BELL: 10/25/33 “MARTY FELDMAN” CLOSING BELL: 2/14/17
By: Ken Hissner
Former amateur, professional boxer and trainer Martin “The Hammer of Thor” Feldman, passed away on Valentine’s Day February 14th, 2017 at the age of 83. He was born and fought as an amateur in Paterson, NJ, compiling a 28-1 record and the New Jersey AAU champion in 1952.
Feldman rose to a legendary, and scary, status as a Philadelphia boxer with a professional record of 23-2 (19) though Box Rec has him 20-3 (17). His punch was known as the “Hammer of Thor” to those who fought him in the ring, which included Duke Johnson of red Bank, NJ, who took a right hook that paralyzed his whole side.
After his successful career, Feldman retired in 1961. He used his superior knowledge of the sport to train up future prospects in Broomall, PA, out of whom he molded six world champions in IBF lightweight “Charley “Cho-Cho” Brown (26-16-2), IBF light heavyweight “Prince” Charles Williams (37-7-3), IBF cruiserweight Adolfo Washington, 31-10-2, IBF lightweight Paul “Pittsburgh Kid” Spadafora (49-1-1), WBA super middleweight Chris Tiozzo (33-2) and WBO cruiserweight Tyrone Booze (22-12-2).
Other legends under Feldman’s tutelage include Dave “TNT” Tiberi (22-3-3), Augie Pantellas (28-6), Chad Brisson (22-2) and Jack O’Halloran, whose record plummeted to 15-18 after he left Feldman for another trainer. His record with Feldman was 17-0, once again displaying Feldman’s excellent, vibrant and successful training skills.
In his later years, Feldman kept his solid and stellar enthusiasm for training younger boxers by using the Feldman Fitness Center in Springfield, PA. He also reached aspiring women through his innovative Ladies Tone-Up, because he believed that “a woman can do anything a guy can do.” He also assisted in helping MS patients with severe arthritic problems by using step-by-step training in his wonderful facility, which is still around today. Feldman was inducted into the PA BHOF.
Feldman has two sons, David and Damon. Both have boxed and are currently in the promotional business. David just promoted a show in Wilmington, DE, head lining with Roy Jones, Jr., that had one of the biggest crowds in years. Damon is known for his “Celebrity Boxing.”
IBHOF promoter J Russell Peltz spoke at the Oliver H Bair Funeral Polar in Upper Darby. “Marty Feldman believed a friend is 100% and not 99.9%. When I took Marvin Johnson to fight “Prince” Charles Williams all the rounds were close with Johnson winning. I approached Williams who didn’t have any real guidance. I brought him to Philadelphia and Marty was perfect to train him. He was 12-3-2 fighting out of Mansfield, OH, when I brought him for his first fight in March of 1985 in Atlantic City, NJ. He would go 17-0 under Marty before leaving for another trainer. When my promotional contract ended Marty still trained him and would give me what percentage was agreed on as if I was still his promoter.
Can you imagine someone doing that today? He was sometimes called “the oldest teenager in boxing.” He ran a store for Wrangler jeans,” said Peltz.
Among the many in attendance were boxers WBC & WBA heavyweight champion “Terrible” Tim Witherspoon, IBF light heavyweight champion “Prince” Charles Williams, IBF light middleweight champion Rob “Bam Bam” Hines, Dave “TNT” Tiberi and his wife, Augie Pantellas, Travis Thompson, Ron Aurit, Greg Hackett, John Poore, John Farina, boxing writers George Hanson, John Di Santo of Philly Boxing History, Ken Hissner and Jeff Jowett, James Gibbs Pres of World Boxing Foundation and his wife, trainer Rev Thompson who assisted Feldman as trainer, along with Leroy “Poppa Stoppa” Howard, Billy Briscoe, boxing judge Jimmy Condon, promoter Joe Hand, ESPN analyst Nigel Collins, manager Frank Friel and handler Mr. Pomilio.
A Rabi performed the service and the burial.