On this day 26 years ago, inside a packed Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, New Jersey, two bitter middleweight rivals went to war over 12 absolutely thrilling rounds.
Outside, snow covered the ground thanks to a blizzard, yet inside the arena the heat was scorching. WBC middleweight ruler Iran Barkley fought a thought to be faded legend in Roberto Duran and the fans in attendance witnessed both a modern day classic and a renaissance.
For all 12 ‘don’t-blink’ rounds, the 28-year-old and the 37-year-old went to war, with a number of unforgettable highlights and a ton of terrific action on display through the 36-minutes. In the end, old “Hands of Stone” prevailed via a somewhat controversial upset split decision, relieving “The Blade” of his green belt. Continue reading
Just over 25-years ago, Iran “The Blade” Barkley, he of the mean streets of The Bronx, met Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns, he of the equally tough neighbourhoods of Detroit – and a sensational middleweight title fight was witnessed.
Hearns, by 1988 already a living legend, has just made history by becoming the first ever four-time “world” champion in boxing (welterweight, light-middle, light-heavy and then middleweight). Barkley, who had been handily out-pointed by the talented Sumbu Kalambay in his only other world title challenge, was a pretty big underdog entering the ring at The Las Vegas Hilton that summer’s evening. Still, sage boxing people knew Barkley was as tough as he was dangerous. To the shock of millions, Barkley showed just how tough and dangerous he was, after taking a most ferocious beating at the hands of the champion. Continue reading