NEARLY three decades later, when talking boxing with Simon Brown, the conversation always swings back to his 1991 welterweight unification bout with Maurice Blocker, an unforgettable war which turned best friends into heated rivals for nearly 30 minutes of fighting.
“Whenever anybody talks to me about boxing, they always ask me about that fight,” said Brown, 56. “They say, ‘How could you hit your best friend like that?’ I say, ‘Well, it was either him or me.’ And I wanted to be the man, so I had to do it.”
That night in Las Vegas, on the undercard of the first fight between Mike Tyson and Razor Ruddock, Brown was the man at 147 pounds, a relentless force who lifted his record from 33-1 to 34-1 with a tireless effort that saw him erase a late deficit on all three judges’ scorecards to stop Blocker in the 10th round and add the WBC title to the IBF belt he already held. And while some were shocked by the punishing nature of the contest, it was no surprise to Brown and Blocker.