Don Curry vs Lloyd Honeyghan: The Cobra and the Ragamuffin
By Simon Graham
The date was Sept. 27, 1986, the venue Atlantic city USA , through the ropes at Caesars hotel stepped a handsome gladiator ready to do battle, with a fantastic record of 25-0 and highly regarded as the best pound for pound boxer of his time ‘The Cobra’ Donald Curry bounced around the ring ready to devour his next victim.
Before the bell had even rung for this his next title defence Curry was already in talks with the Marvin Hagler camp for what would be billed as a ‘superfight’, attributed with sublime skill and tremendous ability Curry was so highly regarded that he was deemed unbeatable, this fight would be an easy stepping stone just another fight before the big one.
In the opposite corner was the unbeaten British Commonwealth welterweight champion Lloyd Honeyghan. Gven little to no chance by all those attending the fight, what he did have was the confidence in his ability to fulfill his dream. From the moment the two boxers stared each other down in the centre of the ring Honeyghan like a man possessed began the impossible task.
From the opening bell the challenger went straight for the champion, easily moving out of range of the Cobras Jab instantly countering with jabs of his own followed by combination punching that were at times wild but effective.
As round 2 started Curry appeared more alert, realising this English man had come to fight and clearly not in awe of the occasion. He looked more assertive throwing out more meaningful jabs.
However, midway through the round Honeyghan threw a right hand cross flush onto the jaw of the Cobra who momentarily seem to buckle under the blow but managed to compose himself throughout the remainder of the round. Both boxers took to the centre of ring to exchange punches, Honeyghan getting the better of the exchanges snapping the head of the Cobra back on many occasions.
Late in the 3rd round the Cobra stung his opponent with a clean shot stunning him slightly but not to be denied Honeyghan came firing back, during rounds 4 and 5 both boxers would stick to firing in jabs, one twos and the occasional flurries. To be fair the Cobra looked the more dangerous fighter clearly the classier boxer out of the two but the challenger kept pushing forward bullying the champion and catching him with hurtful body punches.
Round 6 would be the defining moment in the career of Lloyd Honeyghan from the onset he pursued the Cobra around the ring seemingly walking through Curry’s attempts to keep him at bay. Big over hand rights kept catching the champion opening up a cut above the left eye, visibly tiring Curry headed back to his corner shaking his head as the bell sounded to end the round.
It would prove to be the final bell as the ring side Dr deemed the cut to deep for Curry to continue, the watching crowed looked on in shock as the new WBA, WBC and IBF world welterweight champion celebrated his win.
For all the glitz and glamor and the superlatives heaped upon the champion Curry, this fight is living proof that no matter how scrappy your style, if it is your destiny to succeed then the will and desire to win will see you through to victory.
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