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Anthony “Two Guns” Fletcher Finally Freed!

Image: Anthony “Two Guns” Fletcher Finally Freed!

By Ken Hissner: On my most recent visit to the Veteran’s Administration in Coatesville, PA, I was told by retail store employee Jimmy Clark, Jr. about a former boxer now living there at the VA who was Anthony “Two Guns” Fletcher. He was released from prison after 28 years.

At age 25, after being discharged from the Army, Fletcher started boxing and was an outstanding amateur boxer. He won the Regional, National, and six of seven Pennsylvania Golden Gloves titles. He won the Ohio Fair title for four straight years. He lost in the Nationals in Hawaii in 1977.

“Sugar” Ray Leonard and his brother Roger worked Fletcher’s corner for one bout. He turned pro on June 5, 1980.

Fletcher twice defeated future WBA Lightweight champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini, future IBF Lightweight champion Jimmy “The Ringmaster” Paul, future WBC Welterweight champion Milton “Ice Man” McCrory, 2-time Olympian in 1972 and 1976 Davey Lee Armstrong, future IBF Lightweight champ Harry Arroyo and ESPN Lightweight champion Melvin “Tank” Paul.

Fletcher’s final record as an amateur was 159-12. Coming from a fighting family whose uncle was welterweight contender Dick Turner who was 43-0 while serving in the Army and 19-2-1 as a professional.

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At the first live show I ever attended, Turner lost what I felt was a disputed decision to fellow Philly fighter Stanley “Kitten” Hayward, 17-2-1, in January of 1964, ending Turner’s career with a detached retina.

Fletcher’s oldest and youngest brothers were deceased middleweight contender Frank “The Animal” Fletcher, 18-6-1, and a once-promising lightweight Troy Fletcher, 13-10-2, who started his career 13-1-2.

Southpaw, Anthony Fletcher was 24-4-1 over his ten years boxing as a professional. There were losses to Puerto Rico Lightweight champion Miguel “El Zorro” Santana, 20-1-1, and in his final two bouts to Donald “Tiger” Stokes, 17-0-1, and Oba “Motor City” Carr, 8-0.

Debuting in June of 1980, Fletcher won his first six fights in Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Resorts International Casino. In his ninth fight, he defeated his first contender in 1968, Olympian Sammy Goss, 43-13-1, of Trenton, NJ, in two rounds. His future looked so bright!

Fletcher followed this win by defeating two future IBF World Lightweight champions. First Livingston Bramble, 7-0-1, at the Sands Casino in Atlantic City in August of 1981.

The other in his thirteenth fight, defeating future IBF champion Fred “Fearless” Pendleton, 7-6. Another impressive win was defeating New Jersey State champion Ernie Bing, 18-6-2.

In March of 1994, Fletcher defeated Detroit’s Alex “Birdman” Byrd, 18-1, at the Sands in Atlantic City! Then he drew with Frank ‘Rootin Tootin’ Newton, 26-2-1, of Lawton, OK.

After the Newton fight per IBHOF promoter J Russell Peltz’s book “THIRTY DOLLARS AND CUT EYE” Fletcher was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, normally the result of a viral infection that causes one side of the face to droop. He also had retina surgery and did not fight again for two years.

In May of 1987, Fletcher was 21-0-1 when he lost to Burgess. A month later was a loss to Miguel “El Zorro” Santana, 20-1-1. In March of 1989, he won the Pennsylvania State Lightweight title when “Two Gun” defeated fellow Philly boxer Marvin “Machine Gun” Garris, 15-9-1, at the Legendary Blue Horizon, where he was boxing there for the first time.

Fletcher was trained by Elvin ”Rev” Thompson out of the Marion Anderson Gym in South Philadelphia and was inducted into the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame in 2018.

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