A Look Back at Don Curry vs Milton McCrory
By Simon Graham
The 1980s were considered one of the golden eras of boxing, pick any year from that decade and it will be filled with some of the greatest of all-time boxers plying their trade at one time or another.
1985 was especially a standout year, in April ‘The War’ between Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns was voted Ring Magazine fight of the year, Michael Spinks made history by becoming the first boxer to go from world light-heavyweight champion to world heavyweight champion, defeating IBF ruler Larry Holmes.
During an extraordinary year, Héctor Camacho become a two-time world champion, Barry McGuigan defeated Eusebio Pedroza to win the WBA’s world featherweight title in London, oh and by the way, a certain Mike Tyson turned professional also.
As 1985 came to a close, a welterweight unification fight between WBA & IBF champion Don Curry and WBC champion Milton McCrory would end the year with a bang. Both were unbeaten going into the fight, which was held at the Hilton Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on 6th December.
McCrory and Curry had been good friends during their amateur careers, however, during the pre-fight press conference McCrory uncharacteristically accused his opponent of having no heart. Incensed by this Curry vowed to make his adversary pay, during the Hagler vs Hearns bout the two fighters entered the ring to face off against one another, Curry giving McCrory a steely stare.
On the night of their fight, it looked the perfect match up. McCrory seemed jovial and confident while Curry looked determined and eager for the sound of the first bell.
The opening round saw Curry go straight for his rival catching him early with a right-hand leads, Curry was all business from the off much to the surprise of McCrory who tried to establish his jab only to find himself continually countered and pushed onto the back foot, time and again McCrory was getting caught with a lead body shots followed by the right hand.
As the 1st round was ending, Curry caught McCrory with a swift left hook, wobbling the WBC champion, unaffected by any shots coming back his way Curry’s defence was solid and his offensive range of punching was sensational.
The overwhelming betting favourite was on top, it was just a matter of time of when and how he was going to the end the fight, such was his dominance.
Springing from his corner stool Curry carried on in round two where he left off from round one by attacking the body of McCrory setting up the right hand to great effect. A flashing left hook from Curry mid-way into the round landed perfectly onto McCrory’s chin sending him to the canvas, as he tried to lift himself up he slumped to his knee taking an 8 count, eventually and gamely rising to his feet.
The fight, in all honesty was over, however, referee Mills Lane allowed McCrory to compose himself and continue only to be met by a venomous right hand from the Lone Star Cobra, a devastating punch rendering the Kronk Gym boxer flat on his back and out for the count.
The new unified champion Curry was almost flawless, his defence was sublime, his accuracy and power punching was perfection.
At his peak he was considered pound for pound the best in the world, during 1985 he shared Ring Magazines fighter of the year award with Marvin Hagler and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame earlier this year.