Nigel Benn vs Henry Wharton WBC super middleweight World title also featuring Michael Nunn vs Steve Little WBA super middleweight World title official on-site 34 page programme billed, "Strictly Business", 26th February 1994, Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, London.
Benn W unanimous decision
Little W split decision
* Nunn down in 1st round
Nigel Benn (born 22 January 1964), known as "The Dark Destroyer", who held World titles in the middleweight and super middleweight divisions.
Benn was also in the British Army, where he served in The Troubles for 18 months. He attended Loxford School of Science and Technology, Ilford, Greater London. Now he lives in Sydney, Australia with his family.
Barbadian British, Benn comes from a sporting family that includes a famous cousin in the football World, Paul Ince, who would often accompany Benn to the ring for his UK fights.
Benn had a record of 41 wins and 1 loss as an amateur boxer, with the loss being against Rod Douglas, who Benn later defeated.
Professional Boxing Career
Benn turned professional in 1987 and began a streak of consecutive knockout wins. During this time, Benn won the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title with a second round win over Abdul Umaru.
At 22-0 (22 KOs), Benn defended his Commonwealth title against Michael Watson in a heavily hyped bout in May 1989 at Finsbury Park, London. Throwing nothing but hooks, Benn repeatedly failed to get through Watson's tight guard, and gradually tired whilst being stunned numerous times himself.
In the sixth round, Watson knocked Benn down with a jab and Benn was counted out as he rose to his feet, albeit by a somewhat hasty referee's count.
His next fight, against Jorge Amparo in Atlantic City, U.S., was his first fight abroad and also the first to last the full distance, with Benn winning a 10 round decision.
WBO Middleweight Champion
After two more wins, against Sanderline Williams and Jose Quinones, Benn fought WBO middleweight title holder Doug DeWitt of the USA in Atlantic City. Benn was knocked down in round two, but came back to knock DeWitt down in round three, then score three knockdowns in round eight to win the title.
His first defence came in August 1990 against former WBC champion Iran Barkley, whom he floored three times and stopped on the three-knockdown rule at the end of the first round. Benn returned to the UK and met British rival Chris Eubank. They fought in Birmingham on 18 November 1990.
Benn lost his title to Eubank when the referee stopped the fight in the ninth round.
WBC Super Middleweight Champion
Benn then went on a winning streak of six fights leading up to another World title challenge. In 1991, he beat Marvin Hagler's half brother, Robbie Sims, by a knockout in round seven, followed by a close, disputed decision win against Thulani Malinga, and a one-punch KO victory against Dan Sherry.
On 10 October 1992, Benn challenged Mauro Galvano for the WBC super middleweight title in Palaghiaccio de Marino, Marino, Lazio, Italy. After a controversial dispute at ringside over the official result after Galvano was unable to continue due to a severe cut, Benn was declared the winner and won the title by a fourth-round TKO.
He defended it against fellow Britons Nicky Piper and Lou Gent, and a rematch victory over Mauro Galvano, before meeting rival Chris Eubank (who was now the WBO super middleweight champion) again on 9 October 1993. This time they fought to a disputed draw, both fighters retaining their respective titles. Benn successfully defended his title twice more in 1994 with unanimous decisions against fellow Briton Henry Wharton, and Juan Carlos Giminez
Benn vs McClellan
In February 1995, Benn defended his 168lb title against WBC middleweight champion Gerald McClellan in a highly anticipated bout billed as "Sudden Impact". Most American experts gave Benn little chance. In an exciting fight Benn was knocked through the ropes in the first round and was knocked down again in the eighth round, however Benn managed to twice work his way back into the fight and was able to stop McClellan in the tenth round. At the time of the stoppage, two judges had McClellan ahead and one had the fight even.
Unfortunately, however, McClellan was severely injured as a result of the fight. After collapsing in his corner after the fight had finished, McClellan was rushed to hospital where it was discovered he had developed a blood clot on the brain. To this day McClellan is almost completely blind, partially deaf, and uses a wheelchair, although he has regained some movement and can walk with a cane. In 2007, McClellan, his wife and children attended a benefit dinner organized and hosted by Benn to help McClellan with his ongoing medical expenses.
Two more defences followed against future WBC title-holder Vincenzo Nardiello and American Danny Perez, before Benn lost his title with an uncharacteristically lack lustre performance to old rival Malinga in 1996.
Benn twice attempted to take the WBO super middleweight title from Steve Collins but failed in both attempts: losing by TKO in four in the first fight after sustaining an ankle injury.
He retired following the second loss to Collins in 1996, retiring on his stool at the end of the sixth-round.
Nigel Benn retired from the sport of boxing and became a DJ, He later appeared in the first series of the ITV reality TV show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!.
Benn has since developed a strong faith and now lives with his family in Sydney, Australia, where he is a born again Christian. He also became an ordained minister.
Benn's autobiography, published in 2001, is called Dark Destroyer.
Benn is also featured in the documentary film "Fallen Soldier", directed by Bobby Razak, which examines his bout with McClellan.
Nigel is also a Patron of The Shannon Bradshaw Trust, a UK Children's Charity based in the North West, helping children with life threatening conditions and their families. www.shannonstrust.org.uk
* Amateur boxing: 41 wins 1 loss
* Undefeated Welterweight for the First Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers between 1982 and 1984 - won titles all the way up to heavyweight and trained others in his regiment's boxing team
*1986 ABA Middleweight Champion, avenging a previous loss to Rod Douglas.
Henry Wharton was a major player in the great super-middleweight scene of the 1990s -- fortunate (and unfortunate) enough to have had contested World Titles with British legends Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. Wharton, with his famed left-hook, was a tough night's work for anyone.
In his last swing at the top, Wharton was out-smarted by Robin Reid over the distance. Despite two subsequent wins, Wharton remains a warmly-remembered slugger who never quite scaled the mountain.
Michael Nunn (born April 14, 1963 in Davenport, Iowa). Nicknamed "Second to Nunn," he was a 6' 2" southpaw with great speed. Nunn was the IBF middleweight champion and the WBA super middleweight champion. In 2004, he was sentenced to 24 years in prison for drug trafficking.
Nunn, known as "2nd To Nunn," won three Iowa Golden Gloves titles and posted an amateur record of 168-8.
At the 1984 Olympic trials, U.S. boxing officials asked Nunn, who was boxing as a 156-pounder, to move up to the 165-pound division. They wanted to clear the way for Frank Tate, the eventual Olympic gold medalist, who was being heralded as America's next great middleweight. Tate's last loss was to Nunn.
After agreeing to move up in weight, Nunn boxed Virgil Hill at the Olympic trials in Fort Worth, Texas. Hill defeated Nunn by a 4-1 decision. Nunn and Hill boxed again at the Olympic box-offs in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nunn won the first box-off by a 5-0 decision. In the second box-off, Hill dropped Nunn and won by a 5-0 decision to make the Olympic team as the U.S. representative in the 165-pound division.
Nunn turned professional in 1984. After winning his first thirty fights, he fought IBF middleweight title holder Frank Tate, who was 23-0. The fight took place on July 28, 1988 at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas. Nunn won the title by a ninth-round knockout.
In his first title defence, he knocked out Juan Roldan in the eighth round. His second defence was a stunning first-round knockout of Sumbu Kalambay to capture the Lineal middleweight championship. Nunn's next two title defences were twelve-round majority decision wins over Iran Barkley and Marlon Starling. For his fifth defence, Nunn went to France and knocked out Donald Curry in ten rounds.
On May 10, 1991, in his hometown of Davenport, Iowa, Nunn lost his title in a big upset to James Toney. Nunn, well ahead on points after ten rounds, was knocked out after being dropped by a left hook in the eleventh round.
On September 12, 1992, Nunn won the WBA super middleweight title with a controversial twelve-round split decision over Victor Cordoba. The WBA ordered a rematch, which took place on January 30, 1993. Nunn fought much better in the rematch, winning by a one-sided twelve-round unanimous decision.
In his fifth title defence, Nunn lost the title to Steve Little by a twelve-round split decision on February 26, 1994, in another huge upset. On December 17, 1994, Nunn traveled to Ecuador to fight Frankie Liles in an attempt to regain the WBA super middleweight title. Liles, who had defeated Little in his previous fight to win the title, defeated Nunn by a twelve-round unanimous decision.
After nine consecutive wins, Nunn got another title shot. On March 21, 1998, he fought Graciano Rocchigiani for the vacant WBC light heavyweight title in Germany. Nunn lost by a twelve-round split decision.
On January 23, 2002, Nunn defeated Vinson Durhan by a ten-round unanimous decision at Caesar's Indiana in Bridgeport, Indiana. It would be his last fight. He finished with a record of 58-4 with 37 knockouts.
On August 6, 2002, at a hotel in his hometown of Davenport, Iowa, Nunn was arrested after paying an undercover agent $200 for one kilogram of cocaine, which had a street value of $24,000. In May 2003, He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. The following January, Nunn was sentenced to 292 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge William Gritzer, who agreed to a higher sentencing guideline after considering Nunn's long history in drug trafficking and the likelihood he used a firearm during drug deals.
During the three-day sentencing hearing, prosecutors called witnesses who testified about Nunn's drug activity dating back to 1993. Nunn, who accepted responsibility for buying drugs in August 2002, denied his involvement in drug trafficking. He pointed out that several of the witnesses were in prison and could have their sentences reduced for providing testimony.
Nunn, who was defiant throughout the hearing, accused government lawyers of lying and scheming against him. "You guys haven't shown me nothing," Nunn said in his statement to the judge. "Where are your facts, Mr. Prosecutor?"
Nunn is now inmate number 11772-030 at the United States Penitentiary (USP) in Leavenworth, Kansas. His scheduled release date is June 16, 2024.
* Recipient of The Ring magazine Progress of the Year award in 1988.
* KO magazine Fighter of the Year in 1988.
Steve Little (born June 19, 1965 in Philadelphia, PA, died 2002) was an American, super middleweight. He fought out of Reading, Pennsylvania.
Little won 228 of 265 amateur bouts and fought in eight amateur weight classes, ranging from 80 pounds (36 kg) to 156 pounds (71 kg).
Little turned professional in 1983 and while he won his first four bouts, he soon started compiling losses. Even with a mediocre record, he fought for the World Boxing Organization light middleweight title against John David Jackson in 1989. He lost by a technical knockout. He retired for a short time after that fight.
In 1994 he scored an upset victory over World Boxing Association super middleweight champion Michael Nunn by split decision. He lost the belt in his first defense to Frankie Liles, losing a decision. Although he later fought James Toney and Arthur Williams, he never fought for another major title.
Besides being a professional boxer, Little also sold used cars in Reading.
Little retired in 1998 and died from colon cancer in 2000.