QUOTE (JLUVBABY @ Nov 21 2010, 03:05 PM)
I remember as a youngster watching benns first fight with michael watson on abc's wide world of sports.. id never heard of either guy back then but i set the vcr and set back and watched one of the best fights id ever seen... i became a fan of both of them instantly and a fan of british boxing.... made me wonder what kind of fighters where hiding over there that we didnt see over here... then came eubanks and the other guys and i was in awe... this was well before the internet is what it is today... dude was a beast...
Top man JLuv. The atmosphere for that fight with Watson was up there with the best I have ever seen for any fight ever. Amazing. Benn was 22-0 with 22 knockouts. Watson was smart though. He covered up on the ropes brilliantly, taking hard shots on the arms, getting caught occasionally but his plan worked a treat. By the 6th round Benn was completely spent and Watson stopped him. Benn was a sure bet to win that fight but when it became obvious he wasn't going to get Michael out of there the writing was on the wall. Benn did slightly change his reckless style after that defeat but at the end of the day he was always the sort of guy who wanted a tear up. His defeat to Eubank, although not executed in the same fashion, bore the hallmarks of that Watson fight. Eubank, despite being the unfashionable underdog, managed to take huge Benn shots and eventually stopped Nigel in the 9th round, winning me a packet I must add, haha.
My first knowledge of Nigel came about when he posted a full page advert in the British trade paper boxing news
around 1987 challenging Rod Douglas to a fight. Douglas was the only man to beat Benn as an amateur and Nigel wanted to set the record straight. They never boxed as pro's with Douglas suffering a life threatening brain injury during his bout with Herol Graham in 1989.
Benn was excellent entertainment. The British Mike Tyson some might say, with his black shorts and his all action coming for the KO style. He proved to have a bigger heart than Mike in the end and was a great representative of English boxing. A proper character. There isn't anyone in England, or anywhere else for that matter, like him at the moment. The McClellan fight was controversial but epic and it defined what Nigel Benn was all about. A tragedy that it ended up the way it did, rather than just being a magnificent fight with no repercussions. Benn was never the same man after that fight either.
Benn was also colorful outside the ring. His association with the notorious Essex Boys (check out Rise of the Foot soldier for their story) adds to the mans personality. He wasn't mentioned in that film but one of them accompanied him into the ring for one of his fights at least.
Back then I regularly went to Eubank and Benn fights. They were polar opposites but I loved them both and we don't make em like that no more!