Bunce Diaries | Issue | Premium | Jan 27 2020

Bunce Diaries: A macabre series of events

The fate of Johnny Nelson opponents is truly bizarre, writes Steve Bunce
Johnny Nelson
Action Images/Brandon Malone

LAST week I sat with Ron Gray – fighter, promoter, gentleman and matchmaker – talking about his three fights on two Muhammad Ali undercards. We agreed it was a fun oddity.

He mentioned that most of the men on the two bills were now dead, and that reminded me of the bizarre number of men that met Johnny Nelson, a pro for 19-years and veteran of 59 fights, who have since died.

The deaths have been natural, odd, suspicious and bloody. I have checked and no contemporary fighter has a record of dead opponents to compare with Nelson – he is untouchable.