Hall of Famer Bobby Goodman passes away, aged 83

Highly-regarded Hall of Fame publicist, promoter and matchmaker Booby Goodman has died, aged 83.

Goodman passed away peacefully in hospital in Galloway, New Jersey, on Sunday, March 5.

Goodman was born on June 8, 1939, in the Bronx, New York, and was the son of fellow Hall of Famer Murray Goodman. Because of his father’s work, Bobby spent his childhood in training camps with some of the greats, from Joe Louis and Marcel Cerdan to Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano.

Bobby studied at the University of Miami, enlisted in the US Coast Guard and was honourably discharged after four years of active duty.

It was working for his father that got Bobby involved with boxing full-time, starting with the 1952 clash between Kid Gavilan and Gil Turner.

Father and son started an advertising firm on Madison Avenue, and they took care of PR for the likes of Don King and Bob Arum, working on huge fights involving Muhammad Ali, Ken Norton and Bob Foster and Bobby eventually became King’s director of matchmaking before becoming the matchmaker at Madison Square Garden. There, as vice president, Goodman worked with Kevin Kelley, Buddy McGirt and Junior Jones and many more, before he went out to work on his own but he returned to Don King’s fold in 1996 as vice president of boxing operations and public relations.

Goodman was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009, and he was also inducted into Hall of Fames in Florida, New York and Atlantic City.

“Bobby Goodman was a great man, a dear friend and an asset to the sport of boxing,” said King. “He was a tireless worker and loved boxing and everyone who was a part of boxing. We will truly miss him and we send our deepest condolences to his entire family.”

Funeral services will be held at Boakes Funeral Home: 6050 Main Street, Mays Landing, New Jersey 08330. Phone is 609-625-2324;; Viewing will be held on Sunday, March 12 from 11am to 1pm, and the service will follow. Flowers are welcome or donations may be made in his memory to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, 360 N. Peterboro Street, Canastota, New York, 13032.