History

On This Day: Michael Nunn makes a mockery of Frank Tate’s pre-fight taunting and wins the IBF middleweight title

Frank Tate v Michael Nunn
Michael Nunn gains revenge over Frank Tate with emphatic ninth-round beatdown

MICHAEL NUNN w rsf 9 FRANK TATE
July 28, 1988; Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion, Las Vegas
SLICK southpaw Michael Nunn missed out on a spot at the 1984 Olympics after losing to eventual gold medal winner, Frank Tate, for the second time in three amateur bouts. Four years later, the pair met again in the professional ranks in the post-Marvin Hagler middleweight era with Tate’s IBF middleweight title on the line. Tate taunted Nunn in the build-up, presenting his rival with some running shoes with a nod to his challenger’s fleet-footed style. It was clear in the opening round that Nunn planned to stand and fight. What followed was a masterful and one-sided beatdown that was eventually stopped in the ninth.

DID YOU KNOW? This was the last bout to be scheduled for 15 rounds in the middleweight division as the IBF announced that, from September 1, 1988, all their title bouts would be over 12.

WATCH OUT FOR: The confusion at the end of the eighth round when referee Mills Lane appeared to stop the count over the stricken Tate only for the fight to continue into the ninth.

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