Over the weekend, a very big name made his pro debut. Gerald McClellan Jr may not be a big name in his own right yet of course, but the McClellan name is instantly recognizable to any fight fan. Son of the great “G-Man,” who ruled the world at middleweight before his tragic 1995 fight with Nigel Benn, McClellan Jr stopped Tahlik Taylor, 3-20-1(1) in the third round of a cruiserweight bout in Wisconsin on December 18th.
33-year-old McClellan Jr is actually a light-heavyweight, yet he was unable to get an opponent at 175 so he faced Taylor. McClellan Jr spoke with Robert Brizel of Real Combat Media soon after his first paid win, and the southpaw said he is looking forward to the challenges that lay ahead in the light-heavyweight division.
McClellan Jr has big, big shoes to fill and the pressure figures to be equally big once McClellan Jr’s career really gets going. The pro debut was scarcely covered yet as McClellan Jr said to Brizel, “when the tape gets out of my win, people will be knocking at my door.”
There are as we know, many ‘Boxing Juniors’ out there currently, and there have been many sons of great champions attempting to carry on the family legacy over the years. Yet McClellan Jr may find himself under more pressure than most due to the way his father’s great career was cut short due to those tragic circumstances in February of 1995. There has always been a sense of ‘what if?’ in Gerald McClellan’s case and maybe fans will soon be looking at McClellan Jr to fulfill the family legacy. Talk about pressure if this turns out to be the case!
But Gerald Jr says he is not only fighting for his dad, but he is fighting “for me, for the division, for my whole career.”
To repeat, McClellan Jr’s pro debut flew largely under the radar, but the media attention and with it the size of the magnifying glass will surely grow as McClellan Jr racks up the wins. It really will be interesting seeing how far McClellan Jr can go. We wish him nothing but the best.