Michael Nunn is another one of those great boxers who simply got lost in the cornucopia of super great and legendary boxers of the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995)…..who held the IBF and lineal middleweight titles….as well as the WBA and lineal super middleweight titles….for the fact of the matter is that had Nunn fought in any other era….he probably would have received much more notoriety and acclaim for his talents in the ring….as he was a great boxer. Nunn’s opponent in this fight, Charles Campbell, was a good club fighter…..who gave a pretty darn good showing against Nunn in this bout….with Nunn winning by a 9th round knockout in a fight that is worth the watch.
As an amateur….Nunn won three Iowa Golden Gloves titles and posted an amateur record of 168-8…..when at the 1984 Olympic trials, was asked U.S. Olympic boxing officials to move up a weight division from 156 lbs to the 165 lbs division….cuz they wanted to clear the way for Frank Tate….the eventual Olympic gold medalist….who was being heralded as America’s next great middleweight….which makes Tate’s last career loss Nunn….and interesting tidbit. After agreeing to move up in weight….Nunn boxed Virgil Hill at the Olympic trials in Fort Worth, Texas…..defeating Nunn by a 4-1 decision….then Nunn and Hill boxed again at the Olympic box-offs in Las Vegas, Nevada….as Nunn won the first box-off by a 5-0 decision….but 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….then after winning his first thirty fights….he fought IBF middleweight champion Frank Tate….who was 23 – 0 at the fight on July 28, 1988 at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas….where Nunn won the title by a ninth-round knockout. In his first title defense, he knocked out Juan Roldan in the eighth round….followed by a stunning first-round knockout of Sumbu Kalambay to capture the vacant lineal middleweight championship. Nunn’s next two title defenses were twelve-round majority decision wins over Iran Barkley and Marlon Starling. For his fifth defense, 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….as Nunn was well ahead on points after ten rounds…but was knocked out after being dropped by a left hook in the eleventh round.
After the loss, Nunn moved up a weight division to super middleweight and won the NABF title with a tenth-round stoppage against Randall Yonker….then on September 12, 1992….Nunn won the lineal and WBA super middleweight titles with a controversial twelve-round split decision over Victor Cordoba. The WBA ordered a rematch….which took place on January 30, 1993….as Nunn fought much better in the rematch….winning by a one-sided twelve-round unanimous decision. In his fifth title defense, Nunn lost the title to Steve Little by a twelve-round split decision on February 26, 1994….which was another huge upset. On December 17, 1994, Nunn traveled to Ecuador to fight Frankie Liles in an attempt to regain the lineal and WBA super middleweight titles….only to lose a 12 round unanimous decision in a very close fight….then after nine consecutive wins….Nunn got another title shot on March 21, 1998….against Graciano Rocchigiani for the vacant WBC light heavyweight title in Germany….which he lost by a twelve-round split decision….with the judges favoring Rocchigiani’s fewer, more solid punches over Nunn’s much higher volume of lighter shots. 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…..providing evidence of my opinion that he was one of the great boxers during the golden age of boxing who got overlooked for his greatness…..cuz there were just so many super great to legendary boxers during this awesome era of boxing in the world.