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Nigel Benn

Nigel Benn
Real name Nigel Gregory Benn
Nickname(s) Dark Destroyer
Rated at Middleweight
Super middleweight
Height 5 ft 9 12 in (1.77 m)
Reach 73 in (190 cm)
Born (1964-01-22) 22 January 1964
Ilford, Greater London,
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 48
Wins 42
Wins by KO 35
Losses 5
Draws 1

Nigel Gregory Benn (born 22 January 1964), known as the "Dark Destroyer", is a British former professional boxer who held the WBO middleweight and WBC super middleweight titles.

Benn was also in the British Army, where he served in Germany for three years, then Northern Ireland during the Troubles for 18 months. He attended Loxford School of Science and Technology, Ilford, Greater London. Now he lives in Sydney, Australia with his family.


  • Background 1
  • Professional boxing career 2
    • WBO middleweight champion 2.1
    • WBC super-middleweight champion 2.2
      • Benn vs McClellan 2.2.1
  • Life after retirement 3
  • Professional boxing record 4
  • Professional titles 5
  • Amateur accomplishments 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Barbadian British,[1] Benn comes from a sporting family that includes a famous cousin in the football world, Paul Ince, who would often accompany Benn to the ring for his UK fights. Benn had a record of 41 wins and 1 loss as an amateur boxer, with the loss being against Rod Douglas, whom Benn later defeated.

Professional boxing career

Benn turned professional in 1987 and began a streak of consecutive knockout wins. During this time, Benn won the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title with a second round win over Abdul Umaru.

At 22-0 (22 KOs), Benn defended his Commonwealth title against Michael Watson in a heavily hyped bout in May 1989 at Finsbury Park, London. Throwing nothing but hooks, Benn repeatedly failed to get through Watson's tight guard, and gradually tired whilst being stunned numerous times himself.

In the sixth round, Watson knocked Benn down with a jab and Benn was counted out as he rose to his feet, albeit by a somewhat hasty referee's count.

His next fight, against Jorge Amparo in Atlantic City, U.S., was his first fight abroad and also the first to last the full distance, with Benn winning a 10 round decision.

WBO middleweight champion

After two more wins, against Sanderline Williams and Jose Quinones, Benn fought WBO middleweight title holder Doug DeWitt of the USA in Atlantic City. Benn was knocked down in round two, but came back to knock DeWitt down in round three, then score three knockdowns in round eight to win the title.

His first defence came in August 1990 against former WBC champion Iran Barkley, whom he floored three times and stopped on the three-knockdown rule at the end of the first round. Benn returned to the UK and met British rival Chris Eubank. They fought in Birmingham on 18 November 1990. Benn lost his title to Eubank when the referee stopped the fight in the ninth round.

See also Benn vs Eubank

WBC super-middleweight champion

Benn then went on a winning streak of six fights leading up to another world title challenge. In 1991, he beat Marvin Hagler's half brother, Robbie Sims, by a knockout in round seven, followed by a close, disputed decision win against Thulani Malinga, and a one-punch KO victory against Dan Sherry.

On 10 October 1992, Benn challenged Mauro Galvano for the WBC super-middleweight title in Palaghiaccio de Marino, Marino, Lazio, Italy. After a controversial dispute at ringside over the official result after Galvano was unable to continue due to a severe cut, Benn was declared the winner and won the title by a fourth-round TKO.

He defended it against fellow Britons Nicky Piper and Lou Gent, and a rematch victory over Mauro Galvano, before again boxing great rival Chris Eubank, who was now WBO super-middleweight champion, in a unification bout on 9 October 1993. This time they boxed to a disputed draw, with both fighters retaining their respective titles. Benn successfully defended his title twice more in 1994 with unanimous decisions against fellow Briton Henry Wharton and Juan Carlos Giminez

Benn vs McClellan

In February 1995, Benn defended his 168 lb title against WBC middleweight champion Gerald McClellan in a highly anticipated bout billed as "Sudden Impact". Most American experts gave Benn little chance. In an exciting fight Benn was knocked through the ropes in the first round and was knocked down again in the eighth round, however Benn managed to twice work his way back into the fight and was able to stop McClellan in the tenth round. At the time of the stoppage, two judges had McClellan ahead and one had the fight even.

McClellan was severely injured as a result of the fight. After collapsing in his corner after the fight had finished, McClellan was rushed to hospital where it was discovered he had developed a blood clot on the brain. To this day McClellan is almost completely blind and uses a wheelchair, although he has regained some movement and can walk with a cane. In 2007, McClellan, his wife and children attended a benefit dinner organised and hosted by Benn to help McClellan with his ongoing medical expenses.

Two more defences followed against future WBC title-holder Vincenzo Nardiello and American Danny Perez, before Benn lost his title with an uncharacteristically lacklustre performance to old rival Malinga in 1996.

Benn twice attempted to take the WBO super-middleweight title from Steve Collins but failed in both attempts: losing by TKO in four in the first fight after sustaining an ankle injury. He retired following the second loss to Collins in 1996, retiring on his stool at the end of the sixth-round.

Life after retirement

After his professional boxing career, Benn became an internationally recognised DJ. He later appeared in the first series of the ITV reality TV show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!.

Benn has since developed a strong faith and is a born again Christian. Benn now lives with his family in Sydney, Australia, where he has been studying theology, sports coaching and sports development. He is still active in the international boxing scene mentoring, developing and training both amateur and professional boxers in Australia.

Benn was entered into the World Boxing Council (WBC) Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013 and was honoured alongside fellow Brit Joe Calzaghe as the WBC's greatest super middleweight champion in history. His image is now enshrined upon the sixth generation WBC super middleweight belt.[2][3]

Benn works with youth at risk in Blacktown, NSW[4] and is dedicated to his charity work. He is an ambassador to the New South Wales Police Citizens Youth Club's (PCYC)[5] and is an advocate for healthy living.[6]

Benn ran the 2013 City to Surf to raise funds for the most underfunded PCYC gym in Redfern, Sydney[7] and has undertaken many fund raisers for the charity since improving the boxing facilities in the most impoverished areas of Sydney. Benn regularly assists Christian groups, counselling individuals suffering from addiction[8] and along with wife Carolyne counsel couples who are facing marriage issues.

Benn is also a Patron of the Shannon Bradshaw Trust, a UK children's charity based in the North West of England, helping children with life-threatening conditions and their families.

Benn's autobiography, published in 2001, is called Dark Destroyer.

Professional boxing record

42 Wins, (35 KOs), 5 Losses, 1 Draw[9]
Res. Record Opponent Type Round,
Date Location Notes
Loss 42-5-1 Steve Collins RTD 6 (12),
1996-11-09 Nynex Arena, Manchester. For WBO super-middleweight title.
Loss 42-4-1 Steve Collins TKO 4 (12),
1996-07-06 Nynex Arena, Manchester. For WBO super-middleweight title.
Loss 42-3-1 Thulani Malinga SD 12 1996-03-02 Telewest Arena, Newcastle. Lost WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 42-2-1 Danny Perez TKO 7 (12),
1995-09-02 Wembley Stadium, Wembley, London. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 41-2-1 Vincenzo Nardiello TKO 8 (12),
1995-07-22 New London Arena, Millwall, London. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 40-2-1 Gerald McClellan KO 10 (12),
1995-02-25 New London Arena, Millwall, London. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 39-2-1 Juan Carlos Gimenez UD 12 1994-09-10 National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 38-2-1 Henry Wharton UD 12 1994-02-26 Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, London. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
Draw 37-2-1 Chris Eubank SD 12 1993-10-09 Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
For WBO super-middleweight title.
Win 37-2 Lou Gent TKO 4 (12),
1993-06-26 Earls Court Exhibition Hall, Kensington, London. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
win 36-2 Mauro Galvano UD 12 1993-03-06 Scottish Exhibition Centre, Glasgow, Scotland. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 35-2 Nicky Piper TKO 11 (12),
1992-12-12 Alexandra Pavilion, Muswell Hill, London. Retained WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 34-2 Mauro Galvano TKO 4 (12),
1992-10-03 Palaghiaccio de Marino, Marino, Lazio, Italy. Won WBC super-middleweight title.
Win 33-2 Thulani Malinga PTS 10 1992-05-23 National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham.
Win 32-2 Dan Sherry KO 3 (10),
1992-02-19 Alexandra Pavilion, Muswell Hill, London.
win 31-2 Hector Abel Lescano KO 3 (10),
1991-12-07 G-Mex Leisure Centre, Manchester.
Win 30-2 Lenzie Morgan UD 10 1991-10-26 Leisure Centre, Brentwood, Essex.
Win 29-2 Kid Milo TKO 4 (10),
1991-07-03 International Centre, Brentwood, Essex.
Win 28-2 Robbie Sims TKO 7 (10),
1991-04-03 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London.
Loss 27-2 Chris Eubank TKO 9 (12),
1990-11-18 National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Lost WBO middleweight title.
Win 27-1 Iran Barkley TKO 1 (12),
1990-08-18 Bally's Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada. Retained WBO middleweight title.
Win 26-1 Doug DeWitt TKO 8 (12),
1990-04-29 Caesar's Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Won WBO middleweight title.
Win 25-1 Sanderline Williams SD 10 1990-01-14 Caesar's Hotel & Casino, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Win 24-1 Jose Quinones TKO 1 (10),
1989-12-01 Hacienda Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Win 23-1 Jorge Amparo UD 10 1989-10-20 Resorts International, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Loss 22-1 Michael Watson TKO 6 (12),
1989-05-21 Majestic Ballroom, Finsbury Park, London. Lost Commonwealth middleweight title.
Win 22-0 Mbayo Wa Mbayo KO 2 (10),
1989-03-28 Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland.
Win 21-0 Michael Chilambe KO 1 (12),
1989-02-08 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London. Retained Commonwealth middleweight title.
Win 20-0 David Noel TKO 1 (12),
1988-12-10 National Sports Centre, Crystal Palace, London. Retained Commonwealth middleweight title.
Win 19-0 Anthony Logan KO 2 (12),
1988-10-26 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London. Retained Commonwealth middleweight title.
win 18-0 Tim Williams TKO 2 (10),
1988-05-28 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London.
Win 17-0 Abdul Umaru Sanda TKO 2 (12),
1988-04-20 Alexandra Pavilion, Muswell Hill, London. Won vacant Commonwealth middleweight title.
Win 16-0 Darren Hobson KO 1 (8),
1988-04-13 Norwich Lads Boxing Club, Norwich, Norfolk.
Win 15-0 Greg Taylor TKO 2 (8),
1988-02-24 Afan Lido, Port Talbot, Wales.
Win 14-0 Byron Prince TKO 2 (8),
1988-02-07 Bingley Hall, Stafford, Staffordshire.
Win 13-0 Fermin Chirino KO 2 (8),
1988-01-27 York Hall, Bethnal Green, London.
Win 12-0 Reggie Miller TKO 7 (10),
1987-12-02 Grand Hall, Wembley, London.
Win 11-0 Ian Chantler KO 1 (8),
1987-11-24 Hudsons Sports Centre, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.
Win 10-0 Ronnie Yoe TKO 1 (8),
1987-11-03 Crowtree Leisure Centre, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.
Win 9-0 Russell Barker TKO 1 (6),
1987-10-13 Blazers Night Club, Windsor, Berkshire.
Win 8-0 Winston Burnett KO 3 (6),
1987-09-16 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London.
Win 7-0 Eddie Smith KO 2 (8),
1987-09-08 Blazers Night Club, Windsor, Berkshire.
Win 6-0 Leon Morris KO 1 (6),
1987-07-01 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London.
Win 5-0 Reginald Marks TKO 1 (6),
1987-06-07 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London.
Win 4-0 Winston Burnett TKO 4 (8),
1987-05-09 Latchmere Leisure Centre, Wandsworth, London.
Win 3-0 Rob Nieuwenhuizen TKO 1 (6),
1987-04-22 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London.
Win 2-0 Kevin Roper TKO 1 (6),
1987-03-04 Festival Hall Super Tent, Basildon, Essex.
Win 1-0 Graeme Ahmed TKO 2 (8),
1987-01-28 Fairfield Hall, Croydon, London. Professional debut.

Professional titles

Preceded by
Tony Sibson
Commonwealth Middleweight Champion
20 April 1988 – 21 June 1989
Succeeded by
Michael Watson
Preceded by
Doug DeWitt
WBO Middleweight Champion
29 Apr 1990 – 18 Nov 1990
Succeeded by
Chris Eubank
Preceded by
Mauro Galvano
WBC Super Middleweight Champion
3 Oct 1992 – 2 Mar 1996
Succeeded by
Thulani Malinga

Amateur accomplishments

  • Amateur boxing: 41 wins 4 loss
  • Undefeated Welterweight for the First Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers between 1982 and 1984 - won titles all the way up to heavyweight and trained others in his regiment's boxing team
  • 1986 ABA Middleweight Champion, avenging a previous loss to Rod Douglas.


  1. ^ "The best rum houses in Barbados". Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  2. ^ "Nigel Benn". Nigel Benn. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  3. ^ "World Boxing Council". 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  4. ^ Daniel Lane. "'When you think he is in darkness, that's a scary thought ... the darkness'". Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  5. ^ "Gold Charity Ambassadors". City2Surf. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  6. ^ "Nigel Benn". Nigel Benn. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  7. ^ "Media & Events". 2012-08-10. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Life Community :August 2014 News" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  9. ^ "Nigel Benn". BoxRec. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 

External links

  • Professional boxing record for Nigel Benn from BoxRec
  • House Collection Series
  • Recent interview with Nigel Benn (audio)
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