Since 1960, the Blue Horizon has hosted hundreds of boxing cards involving thousands of fighters. Fifty former or future world champions plied their trade there. Few venues anywhere are the repository of more boxing history, and certainly none in Philadelphia.
Preserving that rich ring legacy is the goal of "Night of Legends," an opportunity tonight beginning at 7 o'clock for the city's fight fans to meet and mingle with many of the standouts whose blood, sweat and toil have consecrated the Blue Horizon as one of Philly's cultural treasures.
Among those who have committed to appear are former WBC light-heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad and former WBA bantamweight champ "Joltin' " Jeff Chandler, both members of the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y. Other former world titlists who will be on hand include Charles Brewer, Buster Drayton and Robert "Bam Bam" Hines, in addition to one-time world-rated contenders "Rockin' " Rodney Moore, Bobby "Boogaloo" Watts and Randall "Tex" Cobb.
A donation of $10 is requested of attendees, part of which will go to assist boxers in need, and part toward establishing a Blue Horizon boxing hall of fame to permanently honor the accomplishments of tonight's honored guests and so many others.
"For the last 15 years, I've wanted to establish a boxing museum here," said Vernoca L. Michael, owner and CEO of the Blue Horizon. "Preservation of our building's boxing history is especially important in a city like Philadelphia, which is such a mecca of the sport.
"I think it's also important for young boxers coming along to understand that they're standing on the shoulders of some of the great fighters who came before them." *
- Bernard Fernandez