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Boxing – WBA Welterweight Title – Champ Donald Curry vs Colin Jones

DOG COMMENTARY:

Colin Jones was a Welsh boxer….who became the British, Commonwealth and European welterweight champion….who before turning professional had represented Great Britain at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada as the youngest British boxer to qualify for the Olympics….that is until Amir Khan appeared at the 2004 Summer Olympics.

Jones was one of the hardest punching welterweights of his generation….as his ability to knock fighters out with a single shot with either hand allowed him the luxury of being a notoriously slow starter. A second round stoppage of Danish fighter Hans Henrik Palm (in Copenhagen) won him the European crown and confirmed his arrival as a world class fighter.  He lost only three times in his career….one by disqualification against Curtis Ramsey….one by split decision to Milton McCrory….and once when he was stopped in four rounds by cuts against Donald Curry….as seen in this video herewith….with the latter two losses coming in challenges for the world title….after he had fought to a draw with McCrory in his first attempt to claim a world title. Despite these setbacks at the world level….he was dominant at domestic level with his two “come from behind” knockout victories against the gifted Kirkland Laing as particular highlights.

A modest and well-respected fighter….Jones is still regarded as boxing royalty in his native Wales….having won the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 1983…..ending his career with a record of 26 wins 3 losses with 23 KO’s…..establishing himself as a really good welterweight boxer during the golden age of boxing.

Donald Curry is an American former professional boxer…who held the WBA, WBC and IBF world welterweight title….and the WBC light middleweight title. Curry won his professional debut with a first-round knocked of Mario Tineo at age 19 years old. With a record of 11-0, Curry knocked out former world title challenger Bruce Finch in three rounds to win the NABF welterweight title on May 5, 1982….then Curry fought future WBA/WBC welterweight champion Marlon Starling for the USBA welterweight championship on October 24, 1982….winning by a twelve-round split decision to unify the USBA and NABF welterweight titles and hand Starling his first pro loss.…a win that earned Curry the unified #2 spot in the rankings behind Milton McCrory for the welterweight title.

On February 13, 1983, Curry fought Jun-Suk Hwang for the WBA welterweight championship which had become vacanted after the retirement of Sugar Ray Leonard….in which Curry suffered a flash knockdown in the seventh round….but otherwise dominated the fight and won by a lopsided fifteen-round unanimous decision. Three months later, Curry’s older brother, Bruce, won the WBC light welterweight title…as the Curry brothers became the first pair of brothers to hold world titles simultaneously. After making his first title defense a first-round knockout of Roger Stafford….he had a rematch with Starling….where in mixed-up punches to the body and head….staying on top of Starling in winning a fifteen-round unanimous decision to retain the titles of the WBA and the newly formed IBF….which had recognized Curry as their champion before the fight. Curry’s next three fights were successful title defenses in stopping Elio Diaz in eight rounds….Nino LaRocca in six….and Colin Jones in four. His next two fights were non-title fights at junior middleweight…..where he stopped James “Hard Rock” Green in two and Pablo Baez in six. On December 6, 1985, Curry fought Milton McCrory….the undefeated WBC welterweight champion….to unify the welterweight titles.  Curry’s first defense of the undisputed championship was in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas against Eduardo Rodriguez….whom he knocked out in the second round with a left-right combination to the head. Curry was 25-0 with 20 knockouts at this points…..as many of the boxing experts at the time considered him to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

Curry’s next defense of the title was against 27 – 0 #1 ranked contender Lloyd Honeyghan of the United Kingdom on September 27, 1986 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Curry’s training was disrupted by managerial issues….as his managerial contract with David Gorman was to expire on September 30, 1986….when Curry announced that Akbar Muhammad would become his new manager…..but shortly before the fight, Curry asked him to work in his corner for the fight and Gorman agreed. In the fight, Honeyghan easily won the opening two rounds by pressuring Curry and rocking him badly in the second round….but Curry came back to win the next two rounds….but he had little left after that as a result of having to lose 11 pounds three days before the fight. Akbar Muhammad said Curry weighed 168 pounds six and a half weeks prior to the fight….before he went to New Orleans to train. Honeyghan manhandled Curry in rounds five and six. Late in the sixth, an accidental headbutt opened a bad cut over Curry’s left eye. Returning to his corner after the sixth with blood flowing down his face….Curry shook his head and was heard to tell his corner, “I’m through”….as ringside physicians Frank Doggett and Paul Williams examined the cut after the sixth round and told referee Octavio Meyran to stop the fight….thus giving Honeyghan a TKO victory….as The Ring magazine named the fight “Upset of the Year”

After losing to Honeyghan….Curry moved up to the light middleweight division….defeating Tony Montgomery to win the USBA light middleweight title on February 7, 1987….followed by a fight with former IBF light middleweight champion Carlos Santos….who was also disqualified in the fifth round for intentional headbutts. Curry fought Mike McCallum on July 18, 1987 for the WBA light middleweight championship. The fight was televised live on HBO.  McCallum, 31-0 with 28 knockouts, was boxing’s longest reigning champion….but Curry was a 2-1 betting favorite and boxed well and was leading on all three scorecards after four rounds. In the fifth, McCallum caught Curry on the chin with a left hook that KO’d Curry.  After outpointing former WBC champion Lupe Aquino….Curry got another title shot against Gianfranco Rosi for the WBC light middleweight title on July 8, 1988….when Curry put him down five times….thus retiring Rosi on his stool after the ninth round.

Curry was once again a champion, but his reign didn’t last very long….as he lost the title in his first defense by dropping a twelve-round unanimous decision to the lightly regarded Rene Jacquot on February 11, 1989 in France….after Curry built an early lead….but Jacquot came on in the second half of the fight.to win what The Ring magazine called the “Upset of the Year”.  Curry ended his career with 34 wins 6 losses and 25 KO’s…..while holding a total of four world championship titles…..as Donald “The Cobra” Curry was a really great boxer…..and Colin Jones was a really good boxer…..who both have the regrettable distinction of fighting during the golden age of boxing (1964 – 1995)…..who had they fought in any other era…..might be more highly regarded for their skills and mastery in the ring…..but instead, are being forgotten in the annals of boxing history.

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