Nigel Benn

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Nigel Benn
Statistics
Real name Nigel Gregory Benn
Nickname(s) The Dark Destroyer
Rated at
Height 5 ft 9 12 in (177 cm)
Reach 73 in (185 cm)
Nationality British
Born (1964-01-22) 22 January 1964 (age 52)
Ilford, Greater London,
England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 48
Wins 42
Wins by KO 35
Losses 5
Draws 1

Nigel Gregory Benn (born 22 January 1964) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1987 to 1996. Nicknamed "The Dark Destroyer" for his formidable punching power and aggressive fighting style, Benn won the WBO middleweight title in 1990; the WBC super-middleweight title in 1992; and the Commonwealth middleweight title in 1988. He is ranked by BoxRec as the fourth best British super-middleweight boxer of all time.

Background[edit]

Barbadian British,[1] he attended Loxford School of Science and Technology, Ilford, Greater London. Benn served for four and a half years in the British Army as an infantryman in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers[2] and was stationed in Germany for three years, then Northern Ireland during the Troubles for 18 months. 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, whom Benn later defeated.

Professional boxing career[edit]

Benn turned professional in 1987 and began a streak of consecutive knockout wins. This ensured a rapid rise through the professional ranks and 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. The fight even appeared on national television in the US. Throwing virtually 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[edit]

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.

See also Benn vs Eubank

WBC super-middleweight champion[edit]

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.

While still a dangerous, and damaging puncher, Benn's move to the higher weight limit saw him refine his fight strategy and adopt a more considered approach. The aggression remained but he relied less on one punch knockout power and became a more effective, and adaptable fighter. He defended his title against fellow Britons Nicky Piper and Lou Gent, and a rematch victory over Mauro Galvano, before again boxing great rival Chris Eubank, who was now WBO super-middleweight champion, in a unification bout on 9 October 1993. In a closely fought contest they boxed to a disputed draw, with 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[edit]

In February 1995, Benn defended his 168 lb title against WBC middleweight champion Gerald McClellan in a highly anticipated bout billed as "Sudden Impact". Most American experts gave Benn little chance against the hard punching challenger. In an epic, thrilling fight Benn was knocked through the ropes in the first round but fought his way back into the contest which developed into a brutal war. Benn was knocked down again in the eighth round, but an exhausted and drained McClellan was unable to follow up and Benn rallied to stop McClellan in the tenth round. At the time of the stoppage, two judges had McClellan ahead and one had the fight even.

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 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 organised 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 lacklustre 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.

Life after retirement[edit]

After his professional boxing career, Benn became an internationally recognised 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 is a born again Christian. Benn now lives with his family in Sydney, Australia, where he has been studying theology, sports coaching and sports development. He is still active in the international boxing scene mentoring, developing and training both amateur and professional boxers in Australia.

Benn was entered into the World Boxing Council (WBC) Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013 and was honoured alongside fellow Brit Joe Calzaghe as the WBC's greatest super middleweight champion in history. His image is now enshrined upon the sixth generation WBC super middleweight belt.[3][4]

Benn works with youth at risk in Blacktown, NSW[5] and is dedicated to his charity work. He is an ambassador to the New South Wales Police Citizens Youth Club's (PCYC)[6] and is an advocate for healthy living.[7]

Benn ran the 2013 City to Surf to raise funds for the most underfunded PCYC gym in Redfern, Sydney[8] and has undertaken many fund raisers for the charity since improving the boxing facilities in the most impoverished areas of Sydney. Benn regularly assists Christian groups, counselling individuals suffering from addiction[9] and along with wife Carolyne counsel couples who are facing marriage issues.

Benn is also a Patron of the Shannon Bradshaw Trust, a UK children's charity based in the North West of England, helping children with life-threatening conditions and their families.

Benn's autobiography, published in 2001, is called Dark Destroyer.

Professional boxing record[edit]

No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
48 Loss 42–5–1 Republic of Ireland Steve Collins RTD 6 (12), 3:00 9 Nov 1996 United Kingdom NYNEX Arena, Manchester For WBO super-middleweight title
47 Loss 42–4–1 Republic of Ireland Steve Collins TKO 4 (12), 2:44 6 Jul 1996 United Kingdom NYNEX Arena, Manchester For WBO super-middleweight title
46 Loss 42–3–1 South Africa Thulani Malinga SD 12 2 Mar 1996 United Kingdom Telewest Arena, Newcastle Lost WBC super-middleweight title
45 Win 42–2–1 United States Danny Perez TKO 7 (12), 2:33 2 Sep 1995 United Kingdom Wembley Stadium, London Retained WBC super-middleweight title
44 Win 41–2–1 Italy Vincenzo Nardiello TKO 8 (12), 1:43 22 Jul 1995 United Kingdom London Arena, London Retained WBC super-middleweight title
43 Win 40–2–1 United States Gerald McClellan KO 10 (12), 1:46 25 Feb 1995 United Kingdom London Arena, London Retained WBC super-middleweight title
42 Win 39–2–1 Paraguay Juan Carlos Giménez Ferreyra UD 12 10 Sep 1994 United Kingdom National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Retained WBC super-middleweight title
41 Win 38–2–1 United Kingdom Henry Wharton UD 12 26 Feb 1994 United Kingdom Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London Retained WBC super-middleweight title
40 Draw 37–2–1 United Kingdom Chris Eubank SD 12 9 Oct 1993 United Kingdom Old Trafford, Manchester Retained WBC super-middleweight title;
For WBO super-middleweight title
39 Win 37–2 United Kingdom Lou Gent TKO 4 (12), 0:35 26 Jun 1993 United Kingdom Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London Retained WBC super-middleweight title
38 win 36–2 Italy Mauro Galvano UD 12 6 Mar 1993 United Kingdom SECC, Glasgow Retained WBC super-middleweight title
37 Win 35–2 United Kingdom Nicky Piper TKO 11 (12), 1:44 12 Dec 1992 United Kingdom Alexandra Pavilion, London Retained WBC super-middleweight title
36 Win 34–2 Italy Mauro Galvano TKO 4 (12) 3 Oct 1992 Italy Palaghiaccio, Marino Won WBC super-middleweight title
35 Win 33–2 South Africa Thulani Malinga PTS 10 23 May 1992 United Kingdom National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
34 Win 32–2 Canada Dan Sherry KO 3 (10), 2:34 19 Feb 1992 United Kingdom Alexandra Pavilion, London
33 win 31–2 Argentina Hector Abel Lescano KO 3 (10), 2:35 7 Dec 1991 United Kingdom G-Mex Centre, Manchester
32 Win 30–2 United States Lenzie Morgan UD 10 26 Oct 1991 United Kingdom Leisure Centre, Brentwood
31 Win 29–2 United Kingdom Kid Milo TKO 4 (10) 3 Jul 1991 United Kingdom International Centre, Brentwood
30 Win 28–2 United States Robbie Sims TKO 7 (10) 3 Apr 1991 United Kingdom York Hall, London
29 Loss 27–2 United Kingdom Chris Eubank TKO 9 (12), 2:56 18 Nov 1990 United Kingdom National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Lost WBO middleweight title
28 Win 27–1 United States Iran Barkley TKO 1 (12), 2:57 18 Aug 1990 United States Bally's Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada Retained WBO middleweight title
27 Win 26–1 United States Doug DeWitt TKO 8 (12), 0:44 29 Apr 1990 United States Caesar's Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey Won WBO middleweight title
26 Win 25–1 United States Sanderline Williams SD 10 14 Jan 1990 United States Caesar's Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey
25 Win 24–1 Puerto Rico Jose Quinones TKO 1 (10), 2:51 1 Dec 1989 United States Hacienda Resort Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
24 Win 23–1 Dominican Republic Jorge Amparo UD 10 20 Oct 1989 United States Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey
23 Loss 22–1 United Kingdom Michael Watson TKO 6 (12), 1:34 21 May 1989 United Kingdom Majestic Ballroom, London Lost Commonwealth middleweight title
22 Win 22–0 France Mbayo Wa Mbayo KO 2 (10), 2:20 28 Mar 1989 United Kingdom Kelvin Hall, Glasgow
21 Win 21–0 Zambia Michael Chilambe KO 1 (12), 1:07 8 Feb 1989 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London Retained Commonwealth middleweight title
20 Win 20–0 Trinidad and Tobago David Noel TKO 1 (12), 2:04 10 Dec 1988 United Kingdom Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, London Retained Commonwealth middleweight title
19 Win 19–0 Jamaica Anthony Logan KO 2 (12), 1:15 26 Oct 1988 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London Retained Commonwealth middleweight title
18 win 18–0 United States Tim Williams TKO 2 (10), 0:59 28 May 1988 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London
17 Win 17–0 Ghana Abdul Umaru Sanda TKO 2 (12) 20 Apr 1988 United Kingdom Alexandra Pavilion, London Won vacant Commonwealth middleweight title
16 Win 16–0 United Kingdom Darren Hobson KO 1 (8), 1:49 13 Apr 1988 United Kingdom Norwich Lads Boxing Club, Norwich
15 Win 15–0 United States Greg Taylor TKO 2 (8) 24 Feb 1988 United Kingdom Afan Lido F.C., Port Talbot
14 Win 14–0 Canada Byron Prince TKO 2 (8) 7 Feb 1988 United Kingdom Bingley Hall, Stafford
13 Win 13–0 Venezuela Fermin Chirino KO 2 (8) 27 Jan 1988 United Kingdom York Hall, London
12 Win 12–0 United States Reggie Miller TKO 7 (10), 1:08 2 Dec 1987 United Kingdom Wembley Stadium Grand Hall, London
11 Win 11–0 United Kingdom Ian Chantler KO 1 (8), 0:16 24 Nov 1987 United Kingdom The Hudson, Wisbech
10 Win 10–0 United States Ronnie Yoe TKO 1 (8) 3 Nov 1987 United Kingdom Crowtree Leisure Centre, Sunderland
9 Win 9–0 United Kingdom Russell Barker TKO 1 (6), 1:15 13 Oct 1987 United Kingdom Blazers Nightclub, Windsor
8 Win 8–0 United Kingdom Winston Burnett KO 3 (6), 1:55 16 Sep 1987 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London
7 Win 7–0 United Kingdom Eddie Smith KO 2 (8), 1:08 8 Sep 1987 United Kingdom Blazers Nightclub, Windsor
6 Win 6–0 United States Leon Morris KO 1 (6), 0:25 1 Jul 1987 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London
5 Win 5–0 United States Reginald Marks TKO 1 (6) 7 Jun 1987 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London
4 Win 4–0 United Kingdom Winston Burnett TKO 4 (8) 9 May 1987 United Kingdom Latchmere Leisure Centre, London
3 Win 3–0 Netherlands Rob Nieuwenhuizen TKO 1 (6), 2:03 22 Apr 1987 United Kingdom Royal Albert Hall, London
2 Win 2–0 United Kingdom Kevin Roper TKO 1 (6) 4 Mar 1987 United Kingdom Festival Hall Super Tent, Basildon
1 Win 1–0 United Kingdom Graeme Ahmed TKO 2 (8), 1:10 28 Jan 1987 United Kingdom Fairfield Halls, London Professional debut

Titles in boxing[edit]

Regional titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Tony Sibson
Commonwealth middleweight champion
20 April 1988 – 21 June 1989
Succeeded by
Michael Watson
World titles
Preceded by
Doug DeWitt
WBO middleweight champion
29 April 1990 – 18 Nov 1990
Succeeded by
Chris Eubank
Preceded by
Mauro Galvano
WBC super-middleweight champion
3 October 1992 – 2 March 1996
Succeeded by
Thulani Malinga

Amateur accomplishments[edit]

  • Amateur boxing: 41 wins 4 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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The best rum houses in Barbados". Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  2. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bendirs/2011/11/dark_destroyer_sees_the_light.html
  3. ^ "Nigel Benn". Nigel Benn. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  4. ^ "World Boxing Council". Wbcboxing.com. 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  5. ^ Daniel Lane. "'When you think he is in darkness, that's a scary thought ... the darkness'". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  6. ^ "Gold Charity Ambassadors". City2Surf. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  7. ^ "Nigel Benn". Nigel Benn. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Media & Events". Pcycnsw.org. 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  9. ^ "Life Community :August 2014 News" (PDF). Salvos.org.au. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 

External links[edit]