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10 fights to remind us of when Nigel Benn was at his best

benn mcclellan
Action Images/Nick Potts
Nigel Benn is returning to the ring at 55 years of age and going by the nickname ‘Benjamin Button’. But here’s the best of the ‘Dark Destroyer’

1. Gerald McClellan

Though it was marred by tragedy, Benn’s thrilling 10th round stoppage of Gerald McClellan in February 1995 remains one of the truly great wins recorded by a British boxer. It was even more astonishing given Benn was a pre-fight underdog and floored in the first round.

2. Iran Barkley

In one of the most exciting one-round world title fights of all time, Benn and Barkley wasted no time getting down to business in August 1990. Both were hurt and rocked before Benn’s superior firepower helped him retain his title in Las Vegas.

3. Doug DeWitt

After losing his first pro fight to Michael Watson in 1989, Benn uprooted to the USA and earned a WBO middleweight title shot against DeWitt the following year in Atlantic City. It was a fight Benn won inside eight rounds.

4. Chris Eubank

It ended in defeat but Benn’s scintillating 1990 war against Chris Eubank heralded the start of a legendary rivalry between the pair which culminated in a drawn fight at Old Trafford three years later. Benn was stopped inside nine rounds the first time they met.

Nigel Benn
Benn and Eubank go to war

5. Henry Wharton

Benn battled fellow Brit Wharton, undefeated at the time, in a February 1994 defence of his WBC super-middleweight title. The all-action pair locked horns and it was Benn who came out on top via a unanimous decision.

6. Mauro Galvano

Shortly after losing his middleweight title to Chris Eubank, Benn decided to move on up to super-middleweight. In October 1992, he landed the WBC version of the 168lb title with a third-round retirement stoppage (due to a cut) of Italy’s Galvano. 

7. Anthony Logan

Known as one of the best short fights to ever take place in Britain, Benn and Logan went to war in October 1988 for the Commonwealth middleweight title. Benn, floored in round one, was on the receiving end of a 22-punch pummelling in the second before uncorking a fight-ending left hook on Logan.

8. Vincenzo Nardiello

Awkward Italian Nardiello was the first challenger Benn faced after his tragic fight against Gerald McClellan. He had no answer to Benn’s punch power and was eventually stopped in the eighth round.  

9. Juan Carlos Gimenez

Benn successfully defended his WBC super-middleweight title against Gimenez, an experienced Paraguayan, in September 1994, winning a comfortable unanimous decision. Eubank had registered the same result against Gimeneztwo years earlier.

10. Nicky Piper

Benn’s first defence of his WBC super-middleweight title came against Welshman Nicky Piper in December 1992. That night Benn highlighted the difference in levels with an 11th-round stoppage of a challenger still finding his way in the sport.

Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank
Benn and Eubank at super-middleweight (Action Images)

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