By Rick Murray – Doesn’t time fly. It was early October 1992, and Nigel Benn -long-time labelled on both sides of the Atlantic as boxing’s most exciting fighter- is preparing to face awkward, cagey Italian spoiler and WBC 168lb. ruler Mauro ‘Rocky’ Galvano. Known for his smothering, ring movement, clinching and countering, as well as being a former light-heavyweight (Benn was a former middleweight), Galvano started as the betting favourite and pre-fight tip by all pundits.
Benn, known for his aggressive power-punching and bob-and-weave style, ripped up the odds sheets and tore into the Champ relentlessly for four rounds, cutting off the ring and landing body shots and right hands. Tough man Mauro was breathing heavily and bleeding profusely and the fight was halted. New WBC King, Nigel Benn -who would hold the crown for a further 10 (often-exhilarating) defenses.
Benn switched over in January 1987 after beating every man he faced in the amateur ranks as an Army boxer and ABA competitor. This included future pro prospect Rod Douglas -ranked in the top-five in the World amateurs- and other very good amateur stand-outs in Mark Edwards, Roy Andre and Johnny Melfah. He had 24 knockouts in 28 fights for the West Ham ABC in 1985 and 1986, and in the early eighties won every tournament he entered in the Army ranks.