Marty Feldman was an acclaimed middleweight boxer who possessed a solid knockout punch. He won 20 of 23 professional fights from 1953 to 1962, scoring 19 knockouts. As successful as his career was, he never earned more than $500 for a single match.
It was as a world-famous trainer and fight manager that Feldman made his greatest impact in the sport, training seven world champions. He worked with dozens of successful boxers such as featherweight contender Augie Pantellas, who learned how to fight while training in the basement of Feldman’s Broomall home. In 1970, Pantellas’ fight with Sammy Goss, of Trenton, NJ, drew more than 10,000 fans to the Spectrum.
Some of Feldman’s better-known fighters were Prince Charles Williams, of Mansfield, OH, International Boxing Federation (IBF) light-heavyweight champ from 1987 to 1993; Dave Tiberi, the Delaware-based middleweight who nearly upset James Toney in 1992; Mike Picciotti, a crowd-pleasing welterweight from Ridley Park, PA, and his most prized student, Southwest Philadelphia middleweight contender Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, a regular on NBC-TV in the early 1980s and a fighter who truly lived up to his nickname.
Feldman also assisted in the camps of 1950s lightweight champ Wallace “Bud” Smith, of Cincinnati, OH; and Charlie “Choo Choo” Brown, of North Philadelphia, who became the first IBF world lightweight champion in 1984, and Paul Spadafora, of Pittsburgh, prior to Spadafora winning the vacant IBF lightweight title in 1999.
In later years, Feldman continued his sports training at the family-owned Feldman Fitness Center in Springfield, Delaware County. He trained not only men, but also women. “A woman can do anything a guy can do” Feldman said. According to his family, Feldman also specialized in working with patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and severe arthritis by using gradual training techniques.
In 2006, Feldman was inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame both as a middleweight boxer and a trainer.
Feldman worked the corners well into his 70’s and died at age 83 on Valentine’s Day, 2017. His sons David and Damon are both boxing promoters.