If you are reading this article you may be passionate of sport events. Perhaps your hobby is boxing or you feel a mysterious attraction for fighting and blood.
You may love to have fun following a sport competition: it’s thrilling, involving and dynamic. It sometimes stimulates deep feelings. But do you also know how sad, ugly and tragic a boxing match can turn? On this article we will discover 10 of the most shocking and unfortunate incidents in the boxing history.
#1. Kim Duk-Koo
From South Korea, Kim Duk-Koo was fighting against the champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini. It was November 13, 1982 and after resisting 13 rounds, Kim was knocked down twice. The second one was fatal and after 4 days in a coma, Kim died for brain complications. Three months later, his mother committed suicide.
#2. Panama Lewis
Although he was a famous talented boxing coach, he didn’t refuse to play a dirty game to win the match. The most famous case was Luis Resto versus Billy Collins Jr. Since Lewis knew there was no chance, for his fighter Resto, to win the match, he decided to remove part of the filling from the gloves. The results? Collins Jr suffered serious injures throughout the match and couldn’t continue his boxing career. He died 10 months later in a car crash (rumours said he was depressed and committed suicide).
#3. Mike Tyson
Holyfield versus Tyson I was the match that took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas (Nevada) on Saturday, June 28, 1997.
Infamously referred to as “The Bite Fight”, it achieved notoriety as one of the most bizarre fights in boxing history, after Tyson bit off part of Holyfield’s ear. Tyson was disqualified from the match and lost his boxing license, though it was later reinstated.
#4. Jim Norris
When the corruption becomes the protagonist. Very Wealthy and extremely powerful man in the mid 20th century, Norris owned many companies and was involved in the sports world. Beyond that, he was also an unsavoury person and known to be associated with criminals.
He was personally responsible for fixing numerous bouts including: Harry Thomas versus Max Schmeling in 1937 and Jake Lamotta versus Billy Fox in 1946. It’s told that his corruption knew no limits, unofficially managing many boxers (usually against their will) and persuading them to hire his associates and advisers.
#5. IBF President Bob Lee Sr.
He was indicted, along with three of his top executives, accused of taking brides to fix rankings.
#6. Referee Richard Steele
In March 17, 1990 the two champions Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor fought in a match for the W.B.C./I.B.F. Super Lightweight Championship World in Las Vegas. The bout was billed as “Thunder meets Lightining”.
The referee was Richard Steele. Despite the fact that Taylor was dominant most of the match, the referee still decided to end the match 2 seconds earlier and proclaimed Chavez the winner. A decision that remains controversial and debated to this day: for someone, Steele was trying to save Taylor’s life, refusing to let him continue the fight, but on others’ opinion, it was a kind of corruption, even though it’s never been proved.
Here you can read the full story.
#7 Sonny Liston
A story of corrupted fights in 1960s? That was the rumour. The most famous incident was perhaps the fight against Muhammad Ali. Although Liston was minimally injured, the judge stopped the fight. Some people suspected that Liston was part of Mafia family.
#8 Don King
Known as a star in the boxing community for 3 decades (mostly thanks to the public relations), Don King is an American boxing promoter. Become famous for his extravagant personality and hairstyle, he has promoted more than 500 world championship fights, but he has also a “dark” side: he was sued by many famous boxers (included Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson) for multiple fraud cases, stealing, and more.
You can even read a paperback book about the Life and Crimes of Don King: The Shame of Boxing in America by Jack Newfield.
#9 Andrew Golota
On 11 July, 1996 Golota fought against Riddick Bowe and was disqualified because of repeated blatant low punches, directly to the genitals of his opponent.
#10 James Butler
He had a great potential but a very big defect: he couldn’t accept defeats. After losing a fight in 2001, he pretended to come back to the ring to congratulate his opponent, but he has something else in mind: he punched him in the face … and then was sent to prison. Was it enough? Unfortunately not: after that, he killed and burned the body of sports writer Sam Kellerman (brother of boxing analyst Max Kellerman). Butler (33) suffered from bipolar disorder and was sentenced to 29 years in state prison.
Are you interested on the full story? Read here.
Do you still like boxing? Do you think it’s just violence or something to worship and emulate? Is it all for entertainment of just a matter of money?