Michael Watson vs Nigel Benn – Highlights (JAB KNOCKOUT)


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May 21st, 1989. In a highly hyped bout, the power punching Nigel Benn aka “Dark Destroyer” takes on “The Force” Michael Watson in the 4th defense of his Commonwealth (British Empire) Middleweight Title. This fight was also aired on national television in the United States.

Watson and Benn were ranked No. 3 and No. 4 by the WBC respectively.

Prefight records; Watson 21(17)-1-1, Benn 22(22)-0.

For 5 rounds, Benn applied incessant pressure with his renown seek and destroy style to break down Watson’s tight guard and had some success, but the challenger as a whole maintained an intact defense and counter punched accurately at close range as well as on the ropes.

The 4th and 5th stanzas were the most action packed as both fighters took turns to rock one another which lifted the crowd off their seats in several occasions.

Overall, The Force was doing the more efficient work as he was able to block the majority of The Dark Destroyer’s punches and often return the favor with interests.

In the 6th frame, Watson connected with a 2 punch combo that made Benn turned his back and held his right eye as it was apparently hurt. Referee John Coyle examined the defending champion for a moment, and asked if he wanted to continue to which Benn nodded.

But the end was impending as Watson smelt blood and went for the kill and knocked Benn down with a razor sharp jab off the ropes. Severely exhausted by the furious pace earlier coupled with a damaged right eye, the Dark Destroyer rose to his feet a little too late thus Coyle waved off the bout.

With that, Michael Watson became the force to be reckoned with as he was crowned the new Commonwealth (British Empire) Middleweight Champion before an ecstatic crowd in Finsbury Park, London.

The victory also earned him a world title shot against the supremely skilled WBA World Middleweight Champion Mike McCallum on April 14th 1990, where he put up a tremendous effort but was stopped in the 11th round.

In a 2011 interview with The Ring, McCallum stated that Michael Watson was the strongest fighter he had faced in his 16 year pro career;

“Oh my God, he was so strong. That’s why that fight was so hard. It was a gruesome fight, 11 rounds of back-and-forth hell.”
– Mike McCallum

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