According to various reports (I read the news on 3kingsboxing) former world middleweight champion Michael Nunn has this week been released from prison and is a free man again, at home in Davenport. For those fans who don’t know the Nunn story: “Second To” was a superb fighter back in the 1980s and 1990s. A amateur standout, the tall and gifted southpaw who was for a time trained by the legendary Angelo Dundee, enjoyed two runs as world champ in the pros – from 1988 to 1991 as IBF middleweight king, and from 1992 to 1994 as WBA super-middleweight ruler.
Seemingly set for greatness until running into James Toney in ’91, Nunn’s world fell apart in 2004, when he was sentenced to an incredibly long (many say unjust) 24 years in prison for drug trafficking. Nunn made a mistake getting involved in drugs, yes, but 24 years? Murderers have been handed far lesser sentences.
But now, having served 15 long years, Nunn has been released “early” due to good behaviour. Now aged 55, it is to be hoped Nunn can make up for lost time and get on with his life. A special fighter in his day, Nunn – who faced the likes of Frank Tate, Sumbu Kalambay, Iran Barkley, Marlon Starling, Don Curry, Frankie Liles and Toney – has some story to tell. And now a free man, Nunn has every right in the world to tell it. Was Nunn treated fairly and with respect whilst he was in prison? Did any fellow fighters pay him a visit? Did he receive fan mail?
Nunn is of course far from the only big-name fighter to have been sent to prison, but his story is quite unique as far as the sheer length of the sentence he was given. Whether or not Nunn can bet back into boxing in some capacity, trainer, advisor, etc, remains to be seen. But for now, Nunn, who retired with a fine 58-4(37) record in 2002, will be as relieved as can possibly be imagined due to his having been set free. At last.