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#1
Old 09-28-2010, 07:40 AM
Toney616
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Arrow Gerald McClellan





"We're going to wrap this interview here, Jim, because we've got a serious problem with Gerald McClellan"-Gary Newborn

Part 1:Chasing Jones:
As well as the sums on offer, each of them ha the prospect of meeting the unbeaten Roy Jones for more money than they'd ever earned before. McClellan reckoned that the match-up was his: he'd beaten Jones as an amateur, and he was getting better with each fight. Neither boxer was to know that Jones had no intention of risking his reputation against anyone remotely dangerous, that he would pad out his career against a succession of second-rate opponents while somehow convincing his media admirers he was the best pound for pound operator in the business

The start to Gerald's career should have been that of a groomed and favored prospect. After all, despite missing the Olympics in 1988, he was an exceptional amateur and by now he was hooked up with Manny Steward at the Kronk, he most famous gym in the world. His career didn't so much as fly at first, however, as glide into a swamp.

There are not two ways of doing things, just Manny's. Gerald wanted to go with Sugar Ray Leonard in the first instance, but when he saw Leonard leaning towards Roy Jones Jr and when Roy Jones went to the Seoul instead of him, Gerald got mad. He knew then he needed a fresh start after his amateur career had stalled near the hilltop. And that's how Gerald made it to Detroit.

In November, McClellan came to London for the first time and put a shadow of the once awesome John Mugabi away in a round to win the World Boxing Organization's version of the middleweight championship. He impressed his London audience with the ruthlessness of his finishing, even if the title was more cardboard than gold and the opponent was shot.

McClellan looked his usual awesome self in knocking Mugabi down three times and the tile was OK, but not enough. He hungered for the genuine big time, he wanted to know, the big money? Why wasn't he fighting Jones?

Roy Jones, meanwhile, was pulling away fro Gerald. He'd come home from Seoul a martyr, the victim of outrageous judging, and signed a big contract to turn professional. Where Gerald was quiet, sometimes sullen, Jones had a mouthy edge - but the TV liked him, and even used him in ads to promote their boxing programmes. He was being groomed while Gerald was being ignored.

Gerald couldn't wait. he was chasing Jones. That would make his career. To get to Jones, he'd have to go through Benn first. But he didn't think that would be a problem. For Gerald, nothing was a problem.
McClellan, meanwhile, was eager for a challenge. He told King,***8221; I***8217;m ready now for Julian Jackson, anyone out there - James Toney, Roy Jones, all the big name guys - coz my names big too"

Part 2:The Benn fight:
When Gerald returned to his corner at the end of the sixth round, he was through with lying. He had known since the second round that something was not right. He was labouring of breath, his right hand, which he'd hurt in bagging out Julian Jackson, throbbed. There was, he would say a short time afterwards in the few coherent moments left to him,' water rushing in my head'. and he was blinking, blinking. Like a man with a nervous tic.
"I wanna quit, Stan."
Lisa says she has the words on tape. she gave the tape to an FBI investigator who was on Don King's case for a variety of alleged, ultimately unproven, crimes. Frank Warren told me in the week after the fight that he'd heard a rumour that Gerald said he'd had enough after six rounds. Brendan Ingle, who was in the corner but down by the stool on which McClellan sat, says he couldn***8217;t hear clearly what was being said

Johnson at first told me he didn't remember Gerald saying he wanted to quit. Then he said flatly, it didn't happen. These are words he says Gerald would never say. In fact, Gerald had said to him before the fight that he would kill Stan if he pulled him out. Donnie confirms this. And they both say Gerald meant what he said

Lisa acknowledges that Gerald might well have 'threatened' Stan and Donnie before the fight. She also says her brother was wrong to have them there in the first place. The last people Gerald needed in his corner were two guys afraid to disagree with him. The man he needed was Manny Steward. That's the way Lisa sees it
Lisa, going on the tape she sent to the FBI, says Stan sounded like he was in charge. "Gerald said at the end of the sixth round that he wanted to quit and Stan said, ***8220;You get your ass back out there, you fight, and you gonna fight until you die, you gonna fight, you gonna finish this fight if it kills you"
Johnson admits he had strong words with Gerald, roughly along the lines of Lisa's account, but that was regulation boxing speak. He is more puzzled as to how she knew, because neither the British nor American tapes of the between-round conversation pick up on the exchange.

Ingle was the only impartial witness to what happened in Gerald***8217;s corner at the end of the sixth round I think McClellan made a terrible mistake sacking his trainer and getting this fell in, the fella with the sailor's cap
I thought Gerald looked pretty distressed. His mouthpiece was sticking out. What happened to him was he got sick of hitting Benn in the early rounds. And that's a fact. It just completely done his head in. Because when he come back to the corner at the end of the first round, he was shaking his head, and he said,***8221; I***8217;ve hit him with everything." None of us could believe that Benn was still standing".

Gerald was never afforded the sanctuary of being a bum. He was always a star, and that carries its special pressures. McClellan, in short was too good to quit. Winners don't have that option normally, because they are carrying the show not just for themselves, but for the promoters and managers as well. They also have their pride

As a feared and distinguished champion, not to mention a money-maker of significant reputation, McClellan had none of those options. He knew beforehand he was expected to be in this fight until there was nothing left to give. Stan and Donnie knew that too. Besides, they were being paid meagre wages and across the ring from them sat King, who would be distinctly upset if they pulled McClellan out of the fight. Those were the pressures, real or perceived, bearing down on the occupants of that corner at the end of round six.

Excerpts taken from:
War, Baby: The Glamour of Violence: Kevin Mitchel
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#2
Old 09-28-2010, 08:48 AM
sonnyboyx2
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Denis Andries told the best tale of McClellan and its the one i believe most, Andries said that when he went out to Detroit to train at the Kronk gym he moved out there and lived at his friends home Gerald McClellan's for 2yrs, they was the best of friends and would train together under the guidence of Emmanuel Stewart, Andries moved back to London when he lost his 3rd fight against Jeff Harding and he and Gerald would keep in touch with eachother although they never seen one another for 18 months until Gerald arrived here to fight Nigel Benn, Andries said he knew that something was wrong with Gerald within minutes of him arriving at his home to stay while here for the Benn fight, he said Gerald seemed lathargic and was not the Gerald he knew and had lived with for 2yrs over in Detroit, Gerald told Denis that he had been sparring with Heavyweights in the build-up to the Benn fight.. The rest is history, Gerald was `Damaged Goods`before the opening bell with Nigel Benn

Last edited by sonnyboyx2; 09-28-2010 at 08:51 AM.
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#3
Old 09-28-2010, 08:56 AM
Toney616
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Originally Posted by sonnyboyx2 View Post
Gerald told Denis that he had been sparring with Heavyweights in the build-up to the Benn fight.. The rest is history, Gerald was `Damaged Goods`before the opening bell with Nigel Benn
I read about that as well. I also believe he was damaged goods before he stepped into the ring. I wish he would of just quit, he didn't have to risk his life just to win a boxing fight
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#4
Old 09-28-2010, 01:44 PM
mickey malone
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I hadn't watched Benn McClellan since it happened, but oddly enough only 2 days ago i visited a friend and fellow boxing fan who i couldn't help but notice, had the fight in is collection so i asked him to play it for me. I wanted to see where it all went wrong because i always had McClellan down as the eventual nemesis to Roy Jones.
I'm also a big admirer of Benn and would much rather praise his win than discredit it, but my conclusion is that McClellan had something missing as early as the 2nd.
It definitely wasn't the same fighter who'd brutally walloped Jackson and Mugabe which imo strongly suggests he'd sustained some kind of neurological damage before facing Benn.

Who, how and why becomes a mystery but it appears the whole McClellan team failed to do their job which isn't just training and preparing your fighter, it's knowing and connecting with your fighter and if something wasn't right with him, they should have known and acted instinctively.
However you have to take into account, this was a King/Warren promotion so it wouldn't have been conjusive with common practice to put any fighters welfare as a priority issue..
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#5
Old 09-28-2010, 02:13 PM
Toney616
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Originally Posted by mickey malone View Post
I hadn't watched Benn McClellan since it happened, but oddly enough only 2 days ago i visited a friend and fellow boxing fan who i couldn't help but notice, had the fight in is collection so i asked him to play it for me. I wanted to see where it all went wrong because i always had McClellan down as the eventual nemesis to Roy Jones.
I'm also a big admirer of Benn and would much rather praise his win than discredit it, but my conclusion is that McClellan had something missing as early as the 2nd.
It definitely wasn't the same fighter who'd brutally walloped Jackson and Mugabe which imo strongly suggests he'd sustained some kind of neurological damage before facing Benn.

Who, how and why becomes a mystery but it appears the whole McClellan team failed to do their job which isn't just training and preparing your fighter, it's knowing and connecting with your fighter and if something wasn't right with him, they should have known and acted instinctively.
However you have to take into account, this was a King/Warren promotion so it wouldn't have been conjusive with common practice to put any fighters welfare as a priority issue..
Welcome back, Malone
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#6
Old 09-28-2010, 03:21 PM
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Gerald had regressed badly by the time he fought Benn. And it showed - he was out of answers by round two.
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:24 PM
Toney616
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Gerald had regressed badly by the time he fought Benn. And it showed - he was out of answers by round two.
From my understanding of it, he had a fallout with Steward. I think he was unhappy with the little time Steward was dedicating to him.
You should check out that vid link I posted above as well
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Old 09-28-2010, 03:39 PM
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From my understanding of it, he had a fallout with Steward. I think he was unhappy with the little time Steward was dedicating to him.
You should check out that vid link I posted above as well
Yeah, that hurt him. Cuz he wasn't the same. Steward was managing both him and Jones at the time. But the version of Gerald that fought Benn would've got knocked into the third row by Jones.
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#9
Old 09-28-2010, 04:39 PM
Toney616
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Yeah, that hurt him. Cuz he wasn't the same. Steward was managing both him and Jones at the time. But the version of Gerald that fought Benn would've got knocked into the third row by Jones.
Fighters are only as good as the people in their corner, shame so few of them seem to understand that
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:19 PM
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Mccelllan walked through Jackson's punches like some sort of freaking sentry! He was super human. No way Benn would have gotten out of the 1st round with a normal referee, and no way he would have survived past the 4th or 5th if Mccellan didn't have that clot. The clot was most likely first developed in the first Jackson fight, and busted open again in the Benn fight, by illegal blows, devastating punches, and the accidental headbutt...

Anyone that doesn't complain about the ref that night is a damn fool, period! That was the worst refereeing job I have ever seen in my entire ****ing life! Benn is a great fighter, but Mccelllan was utterly unreal. One of the/if not THE hardest punch in middleweight history, as solid a chin as any fighter in middleweight history, fast hands, straight punches, and overall technically sound. IMO the most able bodied fighter in history.

Benn hit hard, but nothing like Jackson hard. And he did hit Mccellan, but not nearly as cleanly as Jackson did it, and not as much either. Mcclellan was fading before the fight even started
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