Hall of Fame Boxing promoter, matchmaker and publicist Robert “Bobby” Goodman passed away in peace and comfort at the hospital in Galloway, N.J. on Sunday, March 5, at the age of 83.
Goodman, who spent 25 years with Don King Productions as Vice President, Boxing Operations, Matchmaker and Director of Public Relations, was the son of another great boxing Hall of Famer, the late Murray Goodman. Bobby and his father were inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame, the only father-son to have achieved those honors.
Bobby also received the Boxing Writers Association of America’s James J. Walker Memorial Award for long and meritorious service in boxing in 1980. He also was inducted into the Florida Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009, the New York Boxing Hall of Fame in 2018 as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame in 2019.
Goodman and his father opened up their own firm on Madison Avenue, Murray Goodman Associates and the pair handled boxing events for Don King Productions, Bob Arum’s Top Rank and Main Events. They also handled individual clients that included light heavyweight great Bob Foster as well as heavyweight champion Ken Norton.
“Bobby Goodman was a great man, a dear friend and an asset to the sport of boxing,” said Hall of Fame promoter Don 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. The Lord giveth and the lord taketh away.”
During the years with Don King, Goodman promoted some of the biggest events in boxing history—the “Rumble in the Jungle” between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman; 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 at Madison Square Garden as Vice President, Boxing and he and his staff developed many world champions , including James “Buddy” McGirt, Aaron “Superman” Davis, Tracy Patterson, Poison Junior Jones, Kevin Kelley, Julio Cesar Green, Lonnie Bradley and Hector Acero Sanchez among others. Corporate changes caused him to open up Garden State Boxing.
Goodman attended the University of Miami in Florida for two years before enlisting in the United States Coast Guard. After leaving the Coast Guard in 1962, one of his first jobs in public relations was with the New York Titans of the old American Football League. Upon the sale of the Titans to become the Jets, Goodman and his father, Murray, began to promote the biggest fights of the era.
Goodman leaves four daughters—Beth Anne Petrosh, Kirstene Jones, Victoria Friendman, Randi Victor, nine grandchildren, his brother William Goodman and his sister, Joyce Messineo.
Funeral services will be held at Boakes Funeral Home: 6050 Main St., Mays Landing, NJ 08330; Phone is 609-625-2324; www.boakesfuneralhome.com; Viewing will be held on Sunday, March 12th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 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 St., Canastota, NY13032.