J Russell Peltz saw his first live fight at the age of 13 and he was hooked for life.
A former sportswriter for The Evening Bulletin in Philadelphia, Peltz promoted his first boxing card in 1969, at the age of 22, selling out the 1,300-seat Blue Horizon in North Philadelphia.
He has been inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N. Y., and the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Los Angeles. He has received the James J. Walker Award from the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1999 for “long and meritorious service” and the Career Achievement Award from the Philadelphia Sportswriters Association in 2000.
In an Aug. 9, 2002, story in Boxing News, the highly respected weekly British publication, Peltz was labeled as a man with “few rivals as the finest matchmaker on the planet.”
Peltz promoted at the Blue Horizon and the Arena in West Philadelphia from 1969 to 1972. In 1973, he was named boxing director at the Spectrum in South Philadelphia, which he turned into the boxing capital of the East Coast. There, he helped attract the largest-ever crowd for an indoor fight in Pennsylvania.
Peltz left the Spectrum in 1980 to promote independently in the Philadelphia and Atlantic City areas. From 1998 to 2004, Peltz was the boxing consultant and matchmaker for the weekly Friday Night Fights series on ESPN 2.
He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Temple University in 1968 and he won the Sigma Delta Chi award as the Outstanding Male Graduate in Journalism.
At The Temple News, Peltz served as assistant sports editor as a freshman, sports editor as a sophomore, and makeup editor and city editor as a junior. As a senior, Peltz secured a full-time job on the sports desk of the Evening Bulletin, working from midnight to 8 a.m., then attending class from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Peltz and his wife, Linda, also a Temple graduate, reside in Florida. They have two sons, Matthew and Daniel, and three grandchildren, Yaacov Moshe Peltz, Chaya Menucha Peltz and Reena Simcha Peltz.