|Real name||Donald Drew Lalonde|
March 12, 1960 |
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
|Wins by KO||33|
Donny Lalonde (born March 12, 1960 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) is a retired professional boxer. His nickname is "Golden Boy," after the Golden Boy statue atop the Manitoba Legislative Building in his boxing home town of Winnipeg. Lalonde held the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship from 1987 to 1988.
Lalonde got into boxing "to try to reestablish self-esteem, respect, pride," he said. "Boxing is a way of doing that." Lalonde had an amateur record of 11-4 and turned professional in 1980.
Early professional career
Lalonde won his first four fights and then lost a six-round decision to Wilbert "Vampire" Johnson in March 1981. They had a rematch seven months later, which Lalonde won by a second-round knockout.
In 1983, Lalonde won the Canadian Light Heavyweight Championship, knocking out Roddie McDonald in ten rounds. He defeated McDonald even though he had a smashed middle knuckle on his right hand and was recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, which he first separated when he crashed into the boards while playing hockey in 1977.
Over the years, the shoulder had separated some thirty times and had become so loose that he was able to pop it back into socket himself. To prepare for his fight with McDonald, he underwent an operation in which doctors inserted a pin to bind the joint, which severely restricted his ability to raise his left arm. It affected Lalonde's style: He would paw with his left, looking to set up his powerful right.
In 1985, with a record of 19-1, Lalonde fought Willie Edwards for the NABF Light Heavyweight Championship. Edwards stopped Lalonde in nine rounds.
Rise to the top
At the end of 1985, Lalonde hired Dave Wolf as his manager and Teddy Atlas as his trainer. Lalonde went 8-0 with Atlas as his trainer, but they clashed in temperament and style. He and Atlas parted ways, and Lalonde hired Tommy Gallagher and Bobby Cassidy as his new trainers.
In his first fight with Gallagher and Cassidy, he outpointed Mustafa Hamsho on May 7, 1987. His next fight was for a world title. On November 27, 1987, Lalonde knocked out Eddie Davis in two rounds to win the vacant WBC Light Heavyweight Championship in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. His first title defense was also in Port of Spain. On May 29, 1988, he knocked out former WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Leslie Stewart in five rounds.
On November 7, 1988, Lalonde fought Sugar Ray Leonard at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was by far the biggest fight of his career. Lalonde's purse was six million dollars. They fought for Lalonde's WBC Light Heavyweight Championship and the newly created WBC Super Middleweight Championship, which meant that Lalonde had to make 168 lbs. Some were concerned that moving down from the light heavyweight limit of 175 lbs would weaken Lalonde, but he told HBO's Larry Merchant after the fight that he had no trouble making weight, and he felt great on the night of the fight.
Lalonde's size and awkwardness troubled Leonard. In the fourth round, a right hand to the top of Leonard's head dropped him for just the second time in his career. Early in the ninth, Lalonde hurt Leonard with a right to the chin. Leonard fired back and hurt Lalonde with a right. He drove him to the ropes and unleashed a furious assault. Lalonde tried to tie up Leonard, but got dropped with a powerful left hook. He rose but was soon down again, and the fight was stopped. Leonard won his fourth and fifth world titles.
Retirement and return
After Leonard vacated the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship, Lalonde was scheduled to fight Dennis Andries for the vacant title on June 24, 1989 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shortly before the fight, Lalonde shocked many by retiring. "I just don't have the desire to hit people anymore," Lalonde said.
Lalonde returned to boxing in 1991. After four straight wins, he fought Bobby Czyz for the WBA Cruiserweight Championship on May 9, 1992 in Las Vegas. Czyz dropped Lalonde in the first round with a left hook. Lalonde got up and survived the round, but for the rest of the fight, Czyz continued to come forward and land effectively with left jabs and hooks. Czyz retained his title with a twelve-round unanimous decision.
After losing to Czyz, Lalonde was inactive for four years. He returned to the ring and won three straight fights, then fought a six-round draw with Kevin Pompey in 1998. Lalonde stayed out of the ring again until 2002. After three consecutive wins, Lalonde fought former two-division champion Virgil Hill in Winnipeg on July 7, 2003.
In the first round, Lalonde fell into the ropes after getting hit by a left hook. The referee ruled it a knockdown, but Lalonde said the fall was due more to bad footwork. Lalonde spent most of the fight backpedaling and looking to land his right hand. Hill controlled the fight, landing frequently with jabs and hooks while avoiding Lalonde's powerful right. Hill won by a ten-round unanimous decision. It was Lalonde's last fight. He finished with a record of 41-5-1 with 33 knockouts.
Teddy Atlas' book revelation
In 2006, Teddy Atlas published his autobiography, Atlas: From the Streets to the Ring: A Son's Struggle to Become a Man. In the book, he revealed that he came close to murdering Lalonde. "When he made six million for Leonard, it tore me up," Atlas wrote. "It made me murderous." If Atlas had not been fired by Lalonde and he had trained him for the Leonard fight, he would've gotten 10% of his purse, $600,000.
Atlas described getting a gun and going to Lalonde's apartment building in New York City. After getting buzzed into the building by another tenant, Atlas went to Lalonde's apartment and knocked on the door. "If he had opened the door, he was dead," Atlas wrote. "I would have pulled the trigger, turned around, and walked away." However, there was no answer.
Atlas waited through the night for Lalonde to return, periodically phoning the apartment. When he finally got through, Lalonde's girlfriend answered. When asked if Lalonde was home, she said yes. Atlas hung up and started making his way over to the apartment. Somewhere along the way, for whatever reason, Atlas changed his mind.
Lalonde knew nothing about it until the book came out and a friend told him about it. "It actually didn't surprise me when I heard it," he said. "Teddy got into fights with trainers and fighters quite a bit when I was with him. He may not be the most stable person walking around."
Lalonde was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1990.
Lalonde is now aiming to help boxers live a healthier life in their golden years through his initiative "TKOOO" (Taking "K"are Of Our Own). Its mission is to educate fighters on the benefits of natural and preventative medicine, including the reduction or elimination of the trauma induced effects of combat sport.
Professional boxing record
|41 Wins (33 knockouts, 8 decisions), 5 Losses (2 knockouts, 3 decisions), 1 Draw |
|Loss||48-4||Virgil "Quicksilver" Hill||UD||10||05/07/2003||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Win||17-6-2||Willard "Red Thunder Rock" Lewis||UD||10||14/03/2003||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||98-92, 98-92, 99-92|
|Win||29-29-2||Stacy "Goodnight" Goodson||KO||1||06/12/2002||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Goodson knocked out at 2:40 of the first round.|
|Win||75-14-1||Tony Menefee||UD||8||02/10/2002||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||80-70, 80-70, 80-71.|
|Draw||32-14-2||"Mr. Excitement" Kevin Pompey||PTS||6||28/05/1998||White Plains, New York, United States||59-57, 57-57, 56-58.|
|Win||14-3-1||Joe Stevenson||TKO||7||09/04/1997||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:28 of the seventh round.|
|Win||16-3-3||George Sponagle||KO||3||12/12/1996||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Win||12-2-2||"Irish" Ed Dalton||UD||8||02/11/1996||Victoria, British Columbia, Canada|
|Loss||39-5||Bobby "Matinee Idol" Czyz||UD||12||08/05/1992||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||WBA World Cruiserweight Title. 111-117, 110-116, 113-116.|
|Win||13-9-1||Dave Fiddler||TKO||3||17/12/1991||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Referee stopped the bout at 1:28 of the third round.|
|Win||5-11||David Bates||KO||4||03/12/1991||Memphis, Tennessee, United States||Bates knocked out at 1:47 of the fourth round.|
|Win||18-9||Bert Gravley||TKO||7||20/09/1991||Tampa, Florida, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 2:04 of the seventh round.|
|Win||17-6||Darryl Fromm||TKO||3||05/09/1991||Kitchener, Ontario, Canada|
|Loss||34-1||Sugar Ray Leonard||TKO||9||07/11/1988||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||WBC World Light Heavyweight/Super Middleweight Titles. Referee stopped the bout at 2:30 of the ninth round.|
|Win||26-2||Leslie "Laventille Tiger" Stewart||TKO||5||29/05/1988||Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the fifth round.|
|Win||34-5-1||Eddie Davis||TKO||2||27/11/1987||Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago||WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:22 of the second round.|
|Win||42-3-2||Mustafa Hamsho||UD||12||07/05/1987||New York City, United States||WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Title. 117-110, 116-110, 118-108.|
|Win||17-3||Benito Fernandez||TKO||9||06/11/1986||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Win||17-6||Charles "Hollywood" Henderson||TKO||8||30/09/1986||Sterling Heights, Michigan, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 1:04 of the eighth round.|
|Win||7-4-1||Terrence "Top Cat" Walker||TKO||6||28/08/1986||New York City, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 2:28 of the sixth round.|
|Win||--||Frank "Candy Man" Walters||KO||1||12/08/1986||Ashland, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||7-8||Lenny Edwards||TKO||3||30/04/1986||Mentor, Ohio, United States|
|Win||0-2-1||Joe Brewer||TKO||3||06/04/1986||West Orange, New Jersey, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 0:34 of the third round.|
|Win||0-3||Roberto Rodriguez||TKO||2||08/02/1986||Enid, Oklahoma, United States|
|Win||0-1||Ronnie Crawford||TKO||2||21/01/1986||Oklahoma City, United States|
|Win||12-4||Jamie "Featherman" Howe||PTS||10||28/08/1985||Wheeling, West Virginia, United States|
|Loss||19-2-1||Willie "Sandman" Edwards||TKO||9||16/05/1985||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:49 of the ninth round.|
|Win||0-1||John Jones||TKO||3||26/04/1985||Hammond, Indiana, United States|
|Win||9-1||Don Hurtle||TKO||6||08/09/1984||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Canada Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:40 of the sixth round.|
|Win||23-1||Carlos "The Force" Tite||TKO||2||28/06/1984||Merrillville, Indiana, United States||Referee stopped the bout at 2:06 of the second round.|
|Win||23-4-1||Jimmy Gradson||KO||1||11/02/1984||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Canada Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:30 of the first round.|
|Win||9-6||Nathaniel "Gator" Akbar||KO||3||25/11/1983||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Win||24-2||Roddy MacDonald||TKO||10||04/07/1983||Waterloo, Ontario, Canada||Canada Light Heavyweight Title.|
|Win||4-0||Don Hurtle||UD||8||15/11/1982||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Win||--||Frank Lux||KO||2||07/10/1982||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Lux knocked out at 0:26 of the second round.|
|Win||9-5-1||Jimmy "Schoolboy" Baker||TKO||8||30/09/1982||Kitchener, Ontario, Canada||Referee stopped the bout at 2:29 of the eighth round.|
|Win||0-4||Akbar Abdullah||TKO||2||23/08/1982||Ramsey, Minnesota, United States|
|Win||0-8||Ken Johnson||KO||2||29/06/1982||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Johnson knocked out at 0:29 of the second round.|
|Win||2-5||Randy Jackson||KO||2||12/02/1982||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Jackson knocked out at 2:40 of the second round.|
|Win||0-1||Akbar Abdullah||UD||6||10/12/1981||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Win||37-8-1||Jean Claude LeClair||TKO||2||03/11/1981||Montreal, Quebec, Canada||Referee stopped the bout at 1:05 of the second round.|
|Win||13-1||Wilbert "Vampire" Johnson||TKO||2||10/10/1981||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Loss||6-1||Wilbert "Vampire" Johnson||UD||6||06/03/1981||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Win||--||Jimmy Green||TKO||3||20/01/1981||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Referee stopped the bout at 1:47 of the third round.|
|Win||2-18||Muhammed "Ali" Smith||KO||1||12/11/1980||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Win||--||Edmond Esquirol||UD||4||16/09/1980||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada|
|Win||0-1||Ken "Boilermaker" Nichols||TKO||2||24/04/1980||Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada||Referee stopped the bout at 2:05 of the second round.|
- Sports Illustrated October 31, 1988
- Sports Illustrated November 21, 1988
- The Milwaukee Journal May 28, 1989
- New York Times May 10, 1992
- Lodi News-Sentinel July 7, 2003
- Donny Lalonde Responds To Atlas
- Boxing 101,"Golden Boy Donny Lalonde Is Taking Care Of His Own", September 26, 2012
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Donny Lalonde|
- Professional boxing record for Donny Lalonde from BoxRec
- Donny Lalonde’s biography at Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum
Title last held byVirgil Hill
|WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Champion
7 May 1987 - 27 November 1987
Won world title
Title next held byMike Peak
|WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
27 Nov 1987–7 Nov 1988
Sugar Ray Leonard