GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) — Hall of Fame boxing matchmaker and publicist Robert “Bobby” Goodman, who promoted two major Muhammad Ali fights in the 1970s, has died. He was 83.
Goodman died Sunday at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center Mainland Campus in Galloway Township, his family said in a statement. No cause of death was given, but he had been hospitalized for three months.
Goodman spent 25 years with Hall of Fame promoter Don King’s firm, Don King Productions, as vice president of boxing operations, matchmaker and director of public relations. His late father, Murray Goodman, also is in the boxing Hall of Fame. They are the only father-son duo to be enshrined in both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.
Goodman and his father opened up their own firm — Murray Goodman Associates — in New York City and handled boxing events for Don King Productions, Bob Arum’s Top Rank and Main Events. They also handled individual clients, including light heavyweight great Bob Foster and heavyweight champion Ken Norton.
“Bobby Goodman was a great man, a dear friend and an asset to the sport of boxing,” King said in a statement. “He was a tireless worker and loved boxing and everyone who was a part of boxing.”
During his years with King, Goodman promoted the “Rumble in the Jungle” between Ali and George Foreman and the “Thrilla in Manila” between Ali and Joe Frazier; the ”Sunshine Showdown” with Foreman and Frazier; and two fights featuring Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard.
Goodman also worked for Madison Square Garden.
Born in New York, Goodman attended the University of Miami for two years before enlisting in the Coast Guard. After leaving the military, he worked in public relations with the New York Titans of the American Football League. Upon the sale of the Titans to become the Jets, Goodman and his father turned to boxing promotion.
Goodman’s survivors include a brother, a sister, four daughters and nine grandchildren.