Nigel Benn talking about mid-late 80's middle's - Boxing Forum
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#1
Old 01-14-2006, 04:59 AM
Gregster
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Default Nigel Benn talking about mid-late 80's middle's

By this time I was itching for a title fight, I just wanted to fight every night and knock everybody out, impatient for a place on the world ratings list which only my idols, Mike Tyson, who was number one heavyweight and WBC, WBA and IBF champion, and Marvin Hagler, number one middleweight, appeared. The middleweight list gave me most of my targets. At that time, the 15 top fighters were were Marvin Hagler (USA), Thomas Hearns (USA), Sumbu Kalambay (Italy), Frank Tate (USA), Mike Nunn (USA), Mike McCallum (Jamaica), Michael Olajide (Canada), Herol Graham (England), Chong Pal Park (Korea), Lindell Holmes (USA), Robbie Sims (USA), Donald Lee (USA), Tony Sibson (England) and Roberto Duran (Panama). I wanted to see the name Nigel Benn in the number one slot. I just knew I could live with them all, including Hagler and Hearns, but I was still a novice pro.
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#2
Old 01-14-2006, 04:59 AM
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Thomas Hearns was a legend, one of the all- time greats. I said I loved to watch him fight when I was a kid but I reckoned he would be about the easiest to beat because you can't go on forever, no matter how good you are.

Sumbu Kalambay - I said he was the best of the three world champions although he'd been around a long time without anybody taking much notice. I knew of him. I sparred him and Donald Curry in France back in the Army, and watched them spar eachother, it was on the same night Marvin Hagler fought Mustafa Hamsho. He beat me and he beat Curry, who at the time was one of the best pro fighters in the world. He beat Herol Graham by a mile when he 30 and gave boxing lessons to top fighters in Iran Barkley, Mike McCallum, Robbie Sims and Doug DeWitt. I said if anyone wanted to call themselves a true world champion, he's the man they had to beat.

Iran Barkley - I fought him in America but, before then, I thought he was probably the strongest middleweight in the world. However, even though he was the WBC champion, I believed he was the weakest of the world's leading fighters in the division. He had knocked Tommy Hearns spark out, but the way his chin was then, so could anybody. Barkley's weakness was that he wasn't much of a technician. I think the Hearns fight lowered my rating of Barkley, because he got battered from pillar to post.

Roberto Duran I rated for his achievements. He was an idol to so many young fighters and was still going for another world title at the age of 37. He was still one of the most feared opponents in the world.

Michael Nunn was to be a future opponent and was then possibly one of the best middleweight fighters. I said at the time that he deserved to be IBF champion because he was such a good all-round fighter and the fittest middleweight in the world.


(all from Benn's book)
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Old 01-14-2006, 05:18 AM
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(more from Benn's book)

One of the best things to happen to me was meeting my idols Marvin Hagler and Mike Tyson, as well as all the other top international boxers. This was at an awards ceremony in Las Vegas in 1988 where I'd picked up an award as best overseas boxer. Sugar Ray Leonard and Tommy Hearns were also there.
Marvin wanted me to meet his girlfriend and he came over and introduced her. I couldn't believe this was happening. It was great. He told her that I was the next great middleweight.
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Old 01-14-2006, 06:58 AM
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(from an interview)

At 24 years of age, I had the world at my feet. I had everything a young man could ever wish for - fame, fast cars, a beautiful woman, two children, property and thousands of adoring fans. I had knockout power in both hands, and was rated as a top-five contender in all three sanctioning bodies. And to think, I could of turned pro a couple of years earlier when I came out of the Army and if I did that might of been an all-time great by the time I was 25. Michael Watson was a fellow Londoner who had turned pro a few years earlier than me but never held any titles and had no big names on his record. As undefeated Commonwealth middleweight champion, I had 22 wins under my belt and Michael Nunn had made an offer of 3 million to fight me. Nunn had just knocked out Sumbu Kalambay in 88 seconds in Las Vegas. Now, knocking Michael Watson clean out live on American TV was a full-gone conclusion to me and would of made the Nunn fight huge. You have to put yourself in the position I was in, I had beaten every man I'd ever shared a ring with, amateur or pro, and had a 100% knockout ratio. Then you tend to realise how I became complacent and under-estimated Watson.
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Old 01-14-2006, 07:02 AM
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Yes, I think he could have won that fight had he trained harder and fought better, but the point is he didn't.
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Old 01-14-2006, 07:52 AM
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boxing history forum.
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Old 01-14-2006, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by supaduck
Yes, I think he could have won that fight had he trained harder and fought better, but the point is he didn't.
Good point.
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Old 01-14-2006, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anorak
boxing history forum.
Good point.
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#9
Old 01-14-2006, 12:23 PM
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wasnt jujuy banned?
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Old 01-14-2006, 12:25 PM
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wasnt jujuy banned?
Yes. Unfortunately he has a bunch of other accounts now.
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