Public memorial service Thursday for Matthew Saad Muhammad

Matthew Saas Muhammad. (Photo by Richard Simmons/One Step Away)

Matthew Saad Muhammad’s public memorial service will be June 5 at Enon Church West, 230 W. Coulter St. in Philadelphia. The viewing is from 9-11 a.m., with services immediately afterward. All of Matthew’s many fans and friends are welcome to attend.

Matthew’s family made plans for a public memorial after numerous requests from fans and friends who wanted to pay their respects. Anyone who would like to make a donation to help the family pay funeral expenses, please contact Deborah L. Wilson Funeral Home, at or 215-848-9776.

Saad Muhammad, former light heavyweight champion and member of the Boxing Hall of Fame who in later years worked as an advocate for people experiencing homelessness, passed away May 25 at Chestnut Hill Hospital. He was 59.

The Philadelphia legend rose to become a world champion after he was abandoned on the Ben Franklin Parkway as a child. Saad Muhammad was a spokesperson for One Step Away, Philadelphia’s street newspaper, and hosted One Step Away’s annual Knock Out Homelessness fundraiser. One Step Away is a program of national human services nonprofit Resources for Human Development.

"Matthew gave people hope," said Kevin Roberts, RHD communications manager and editor of One Step Away. "We were always honored that Matthew enjoyed working with One Step Away. He was a great gentleman, he carried himself with dignity at all times, and he treated people with respect. He was a wonderful advocate because of the way he connected with people, through a simple message that in so many ways summed up his whole life: You might be down, but you can get back up.”