Gerald McClellan

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Gerald McClellan
Statistics
Real name Gerald McClellan
Nickname(s) The G-Man
Rated at
Nationality American
Born (1967-10-23) October 23, 1967 (age 48)
Freeport, Illinois, U.S.
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 34
Wins 31
Wins by KO 29
Losses 3

Gerald McClellan (born October 23, 1967) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 1995. He is a two-time middleweight world champion, having won the vacant WBO title against John Mugabi in 1991, and the WBC title against Julian Jackson in 1993. McClellan was forced to retire from boxing after a severe brain injury suffered during his final fight in 1995, a loss to WBC super middleweight champion Nigel Benn.

Known for his punching power, The Ring magazine rated McClellan at number 27 on their list of "100 Greatest Punchers".[1]

Professional career[edit]

Middleweight[edit]

McClellan turned professional in 1988. Trained by hall of fame trainer Emanuel Steward, he captured the vacant WBO middleweight title by knocking out John Mugabi in one round in 1991, and the WBC middleweight title by knocking out Julian Jackson in five rounds in May 1993. He defended the WBC title three times, all first round stoppages, including a rematch with Jackson.

Benn vs McClellan[edit]

McClellan moved up in weight to challenge WBC super middleweight champion Nigel Benn in London on February 25, 1995. The fight was watched by an estimated 17 million people on television and 10,300 paying spectators.[2]

In a savage bout, McClellan knocked Benn out of the ring in round one and scored another knockdown in round eight, but each time Benn was able to work his way back into the fight and kept landing hard power punches to the challenger. Referee Alfred Azaro was also roundly criticized for his officiating mistakes, which included impeding the challenger's progress when McClellan was trying to finish off the champion. McClellan was noticeably blinking repeatedly early in round ten, during which, after receiving a single hard blow from Benn, he voluntarily went down, taking a knee.[3] McClellan took the mandatory eight count and the fight was resumed, but he did not throw another punch and moments later he dropped to his knee for a second time and allowed Alzaro to count him out. The fight over, McClellan immediately stood and walked to his corner under his own power. He sat on the canvas leaning against the ring apron, but while being attended to by ring physicians he slumped onto his back and lost consciousness. McClellan was strapped to a stretcher and rushed to the hospital.

Aftermath[edit]

McClellan had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. He spent eleven days in a coma and he was found to have suffered extensive brain damage. He lost his eyesight, the ability to walk unassisted and was reported as being 80 percent deaf. Sports Illustrated ran an article about the fight and its outcome one week after the fight. McClellan's family flew to be by his side, and later he was flown back to his home country. He has recently recovered some ability to walk, being helped by a cane, but he has not recovered his eyesight. In addition to being blind, his short-term memory was also profoundly affected. His three sisters, particularly Lisa McClellan, are responsible for his care. In a 2011 documentary broadcast by ITV (who originally screened the fight live in the UK), Lisa stated that Gerald is in fact not deaf, but that he has trouble with comprehension when spoken to.

Tarick Salmaci, a Kronk Gym fighter claimed later in an interview that he sparred with McClellan some time before the Benn fight, and after being hit with a jab, McClellan started to blink hard and the session had to be stopped. McClellan initially claimed that he was thumbed but later admitted in the locker room that he was in fact seriously hurt. Salmaci said that he found strange that a fighter with McClellan's chin, wearing a headgear is being hurt by a jab, and that when he noticed McClellan blinking during the Benn fight the same way, he was immediately aware that he was in serious trouble.[4]

Fundraising[edit]

McClellan has been the honoree at numerous banquets and award ceremonies, and fellow boxing world champion Roy Jones Jr., often pointed out as a rival middleweight champion during 1993-94 (indeed, McClellan actually beat Jones as an amateur), set up a foundation to help McClellan.[citation needed]

Nigel Benn himself has also helped to raise funds for McClellan's treatment, and the two men would meet again for the first time since their bout at a fundraiser held in London on February 24, 2007. Several items were auctioned off at the event and a total of £200,000 was raised.[5] In December 2011, McClellan's family announced they were putting McClellan's world title belts up for auction to pay for his continuing round-the-clock care, adapt his house for his changing medical needs and avoid having to place him in a nursing home. Told by his sister Lisa about what she needed to do to maintain his quality of life and keep him at home, McClellan, who remains 80% deaf, was surprisingly able to hear and understand his sister and gave his approval. Gerald told his sister, "Sister, just do what you've gotta do."[6]

In May 2012, the World Boxing Council publicly appealed for donations to a trust fund set up in McClellan's name in order to help his sisters maintain his 24-hour care.[7] In July 2012, McClellan took a turn for the worse, and underwent surgery to remove his colon.[8] Former world light middleweight champion Terry Norris, whose Final Fight Foundation acts to protect boxers, made an appeal for the Gerald McClellan Trust, noting, "McClellan's organs are starting to shut down because of his brain injury."[9] Ring 10, a nonprofit organization that helps impoverished former fighters, provides McClellan with a monthly food credit and raises funds to assist in payment of other necessities.[10]

Dog fighting controversy[edit]

According to an article in The Observer, McClellan participated in dog fighting.[11][12] McClellan's trainer and family admitted that McClellan was involved with fighting pitbulls, and on one occasion had used tape to bind the jaws of a Labrador shut before allowing his pet pitbull "Deuce" to kill it.[13]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
34 fights 31 wins 3 losses
By knockout 29 1
By decision 2 2
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
34 Loss 31–3 United Kingdom Nigel Benn KO 10 (12), 1:46 Feb 25, 1995 United Kingdom London Arena, London, England For WBC super middleweight title
33 Win 31–2 United States Virgin Islands Julian Jackson KO 1 (12), 1:23 May 7, 1994 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC middleweight title
32 Win 30–2 United States Gilbert Baptist TKO 1 (12), 1:37 Mar 4, 1994 United States MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Retained WBC middleweight title
31 Win 29–2 United States Jay Bell KO 1 (12), 0:20 Aug 6, 1993 Puerto Rico Coliseo Rubén Rodríguez, Bayamón, Puerto Rico Retained WBC middleweight title
30 Win 28–2 United States Virgin Islands Julian Jackson TKO 5 (12), 2:09 May 8, 1993 United States Thomas & Mack Center, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBC middleweight title
29 Win 27–2 United States Tyrone Moore TKO 2 (10) Feb 20, 1993 Mexico Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico
28 Win 26–2 United States Steve Harvey TKO 1 (8), 1:51 Nov 7, 1992 United States Caesars Tahoe, Stateline, Nevada, U.S.
27 Win 25–2 United States Carl Sullivan TKO 1 (10), 0:45 May 15, 1992 United States Trump Taj Mahal, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
26 Win 24–2 United States Lester Yarbrough TKO 1 (10), 2:02 Feb 24, 1992 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
25 Win 23–2 Uganda John Mugabi TKO 1 (12), 2:51 Nov 20, 1991 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London, England Won vacant WBO middleweight title
24 Win 22–2 United States Sammy Brooks TKO 1 (8), 2:07 Aug 13, 1991 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
23 Win 21–2 United States Ivory Teague TKO 3 (10) Jul 27, 1991 United States Scope, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.
22 Win 20–2 United States Ken Hulsey KO 1 (10) Mar 1, 1991 United States Pioneer Hall, Duluth, Minnesota, U.S.
21 Win 19–2 United States Danny Mitchell KO 1 (10), 2:37 Dec 15, 1990 United States Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
20 Win 18–2 Brazil José Carlos da Silva TKO 3 (8) Nov 14, 1990 United States Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
19 Win 17–2 United States Charles Hollis PTS 8 Sep 14, 1990 United States Beloit, Wisconsin, U.S.
18 Win 16–2 United States Sanderline Williams UD 8 Aug 21, 1990 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
17 Win 15–2 United States James Fernandez TKO 2 (8) Jun 12, 1990 United States Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.
16 Win 14–2 Colombia Brinatty Maquilon TKO 3 (8), 1:42 Apr 26, 1990 United States Resorts International Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
15 Win 13–2 United States Ron Martin TKO 1 (8) Mar 10, 1990 United States Bristol, Tennessee, U.S.
14 Win 12–2 United States James Williamson KO 1 (8), 1:55 Jan 20, 1990 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
13 Win 11–2 United States Rick Caldwell KO 1 (8) Dec 14, 1989 United States Civic Center, Saginaw, Michigan, U.S.
12 Loss 10–2 United States Ralph Ward UD 8 Sep 21, 1989 United States Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
11 Loss 10–1 United States Dennis Milton PTS 6 Jun 24, 1989 United States Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
10 Win 10–0 United States Terrence Wright TKO 1 (8), 2:00 Apr 14, 1989 United States Auditorium, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
9 Win 9–0 United States Tyrone McKnight TKO 2 (8) Feb 19, 1989 United States High School Gym, Monessen, Pennsylvania, U.S.
8 Win 8–0 United States Anthony Jackson KO 1 (6), 1:30 Feb 10, 1989 United States Cedar Creek Ice & Expo Center, Wausau, Wisconsin, U.S.
7 Win 7–0 United States Joe Goodman KO 2 (6) Feb 4, 1989 United States Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.
6 Win 6–0 United States Jerome Kelly TKO 1 (6), 1:52 Dec 3, 1988 United States Brook Park, Ohio, U.S.
5 Win 5–0 United States John Gordon TKO 2 (6), 1:45 Nov 25, 1988 United States The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, U.S.
4 Win 4–0 United States Roberto Abondo TKO 1 (4), 0:36 Nov 22, 1988 United States Bally's, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
3 Win 3–0 United States Danny Lowry TKO 1 (6), 2:00 Nov 3, 1988 United States Showboat Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
2 Win 2–0 United States Bill Davis TKO 1 (4) Sep 15, 1988 United States La Fontaine Bleue, Glen Burnie, Maryland, U.S.
1 Win 1–0 United States Roy Hundley KO 1 (4) Aug 12, 1988 United States The Eagles Club, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S. Professional debut

Titles in boxing[edit]

World titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Chris Eubank
WBO middleweight champion
November 20, 1991 – February 1992
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Chris Pyatt
Preceded by
Julian Jackson
WBC middleweight champion
May 8, 1993 – 1995
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Julian Jackson

References[edit]

External links[edit]