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Boxing – WBC Light Heavyweight Title – Dwight Muhhamad Quawi VS Jerry Martin


Dwight Muhammad Qawi born Dwight Braxton is an American former professional boxer….who won world titles at light heavyweight and cruiserweight….was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2004…..and lands on my list of great boxers in the golden age of boxing.

Qawi, then known as Dwight Braxton, was born in Baltimore, Maryland….growing up in Camden, New Jersey….where he got involved with crime at a young age….and eventually was convicted of armed robbery and spent around five years in prison….where at Rahway State Prison that Braxton found his place in life. The prison had an extensive boxing program and one of its inmates, James Scott, was a light heavyweight title contender who fought several times inside the prison itself. Braxton took up the sport….and when he was released from prison in 1978….immediately became a professional boxer. Qawi’s style was most often likened to Joe Frazier and with good reason as he had trained in Frazier’s Philadelphia gym as a professional. He converted to Islam in the early 80’s and had his name changed from Dwight Braxton to Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

He went 1-1-1 in his first three pro fights….then reeled off 14 straight victories to move into the world rankings at light heavyweight. The last of those wins came on September 5, 1981, when Braxton returned to Rahway to fight Scott….with the winner promised a shot at Matthew Saad Muhammad’s WBC world championship belt. Braxton won a unanimous 10-round decision….then on December 19 of the same year….Braxton faced Saad Muhammad in Atlantic City. The ex-convict was the underdog against Saad….who was one of the most popular fighters of his generation and a fellow Hall of Famer….but Braxton defeated him on a 10th-round technical knockout….becoming a world champion for the first time. It was shortly after this that he announced his conversion to Islam and changed his name.

He defended the title three times in the next 15 months….knocking out Jerry Martin as seen in this video herewith…..then he defeated Saad Muhammad a second time before taking down Eddie Davis. On March 18, 1983, he lost a close but unanimous decision to WBA champion Michael Spinks in a unification bout….which Qawi felt that making the division’s 175-pound weight limit had drained him physically….resolving to seek another world title in the newly created cruiserweight division. Freed of the need to fight to keep his weight down….Qawi reeled off another series of wins and claimed the WBA cruiserweight title on July 7, 1985, knocking out Piet Crous in Crous’ native South Africa.  He won two more fights, including a victory over former world heavyweight titlist Leon Spinks….before accepting a challenge from Olympian Evander Holyfield on July 12, 1986. The fight, in Holyfield’s hometown of Atlanta went the full 15 rounds with Holyfield winning a split decision. After the loss to Holyfield, Qawi fought off and on for the next 12 years….but never regained a world title. He had a rematch with Holyfield in 1987 for the WBA and IBF cruiserweight titles….but was stopped in the fourth round.

After a short stint in the heavyweight ranks, where in 1988 he lost to George Foreman by knockout in seven rounds, being forced to quit from exhaustion, he tried to regain the cruiserweight title. On November 27, 1989, he dropped a split decision to Robert Daniels for Holyfield’s vacated WBA title. Qawi retired in 1999 at the age of 46 with a career record of 41 wins 11 losses and one draw with 25 wins by way of knockout.

In this fight with fellow Philadelphian Jerry Martin…..Braxton carried the fight to Martin throughout….knocking him down twice before winning by TKO in the 6th round.

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