|Sammy Goss, Olympian and PA/NJ HOF boxer!
By Ken Hissner, Doghouse Boxing (June 21, 2009)
Sammy Goss was a top amateur coming out of Trenton, New Jersey. He was a two time National AAU champion. In 1965 as a flyweight and the 1968 a bantamweight champion. He represented the USA at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City which included Gold Medalist George Foreman. “I lost in the first round against a Romanian (Nicolae Giju) boxer. My coach jumped all over me for boxing and not just going out there and throwing punches. When I did, I got out hit and it cost me the next two rounds,” said Goss.
Goss was guided by Percy Richardson, Frank Cariello, Pinny Schafer, Pat Duffy and Percy’s son who were all part of the team. Goss turned professional in Porland, Maine, February 20, 1969, on the under card of Trenton’s Georgie “Deacon” Johnson main event. Both fighters won, with Goss stopping Henry Wickham, a veteran of 53 fights, in 2 rounds. Only 2 days later in North Adams, Massachusetts, Goss stopped Jose Garcia in 2 rounds.
On March 3rd Goss stopped Jeff Guy in 1 round at the Arena, in Philly. Then on March 15th he stopped Kid Petito in 5 rounds back in North Adams. That was 4 knockout wins in less than a month. He beat Leo DiFiore (35-6-1) twice in May in Portland over 10 rounds. In June he beat Beau Jaynes (27-8) there over 10 rounds and would later knock out in 1 round in April of 1971.
His 8 fight win streak would stop in September of 1969 fighting Ken Campbell (9-1) who was a member of one of his amateur teams. It was a split decision in Maine and Campbell being from Rhode Island got the break. Goss would win 11 straight after this including Ron Miller (9-1) and his
Trenton debut in 1970 with Jose Isaac Marin (14-4-1) and Augie Pantellas (20-2). The Pantellas fight was a majority decision and big fight at Philly’s Spectrum. This set up a bout with future WBC world champion from Mexico Ricardo Arrendondo (50-4). “I got hit with a left hook and straight right hand,” said Goss. He was stopped in the 5th round when the referee called a halt. “This was a Deborah Hospital show. Arrendondo was a full fledge 130 pounds. Goss was a beefed up 122. We felt we had to fight due to it being a charity show,” said Cariello.
In 1971 Goss would start another win streak this time of 6 including Jaynes knockout and Lorenzo Trujillo (17-2-2) all in Philly. It was topped winning the NABF featherweight title stopping Lloyd Marshall (22-10). In his next bout he got stopped in 5 by Jose Luis Lopez (6-2). “I was mixing it up and got hit with an uppercut splitting my tongue,” said Goss. He got his rematch after posting 6 straight wins in November of 1972 defeating Lopez.
In March of 1973 he was offered as a “St. Patty Day” present for New York’s Walter Seeley (21-1-3) for the NABF super featherweight title at Madison Square Garden. “I usually had trouble with southpaw’s but didn’t that night winning easily,” said Goss. He would return to the Felt Forum in New York posting back to back wins over Jose Fernandez (16-2-2). A month later Goss defeated Edwin Viruet (18-0-2) posting his 4th win in 5 months in New York. “He hit me so hard on the side of my head I had a headache for a month,” said Goss.
Goss had his 14 bout win streak broke by Philly’s uncrowned champion southpaw Tyrone Everett (19-0) for the US Super featherweight title over 12 rounds in April of 1974. “I got knocked down early and chased him all over the ring,” said Goss. In his next fight he fought Fernandez for the third time losing a decision.
Goss would then travel to Japan to fight Flipper Uehara (8-1) to a draw. “He told me I fight strange. So many punches,” said Goss. Next would be another out of the country fight, this time, in South Africa against Nkosana Mgxaji (54-1). “He was a warrior. We battled from the opening bell to the end for 10 rounds. He hit me with a left hook that almost dropped me,” said Goss. “I was told if they gave me the decision there would be a riot,” he added.
In early 1975 Goss picked up a win before going to San Carlos, California against Ray Lunny III (19-3) for the vacant NABF super featherweight title. “He stopped me in the 8th round by a cut over my eye,” said Goss. In May of 1975 he had his second fight in Trenton winning a decision. A month later he met Ronnie McGarvey (24-0) from the Olympic trials in 1968, and was stopped in 6. It was evident that Goss was on the down slide of his career at this point.
At the end of 1975 he fought a draw with Philly’s Jerome Artis (10-1-2) in the first of a 3 fight series between the two. “He ran all night in all our fights,” said Goss. Artis would take the next two fights by decision. Goss would return to Trenton and post 2 wins with a loss in between in a rematch with Pantellas. This time instead of the Spectrum in Philly it was in the much smaller Upper Darby Forum with Pantellas taking a disputed decision.
In January of 1980 Goss would meet future WBA Super featherweight champion Rocky Lockridge (9-0), in Totowa, New Jersey and get stopped in 5 rounds. “He was a heavy hitter with those overhand rights,” said Goss. In his next fight believe it or not I had the honor of Goss fighting in the main event of my promotional debut in Allentown, Pennsylvania, fighting to a draw with nearby Bethlehem’s Angel Cruz (10-2). The crowd was so small (500) that I ran out of cash and paid everyone by check. I was afraid to ask him if the check cleared.
The next 2 fights in 1981 ended in knockout losses to Philly southpaw Anthony Fletcher (8-0) in Atlantic City and Brian Baronet (11-0) in South Africa. The latter would die from ring injuries 3 days later in 1988. The final record for Goss would be 43-15-3 (19). He was 34 years old at retirement. What followed were inductions not only to the New Jersey Hall of Fame, but the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame deservingly so. Goss was 26-6-1 in Philly rings while 4-2 in New Jersey, with all 4 wins in Trenton.
Goss and his brother Barry, also a member of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, now run their gym Goss & Goss Boxing Club out of the Boy’s & Girls club of Trenton since 1990. I had the pleasure of meeting Barry and Sammy along with James Scott who helps. Scott is famous for his fighting out of Rahway prison in early 1970’s. Both brothers run an active gym and are a credit to their community.
e-mail Ken at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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