Nigel Benn knocked out Iran Barkley, Sims and Doug DeWitt, when Thomas Hearns – who had the longest, fastest, rangey hard shots pound-for-pound – and the world’s hardest punchers, couldn’t put a dent in these particular fighters.
He did with a variety of blows and hit me with everything, threw everything. My dentist told me that in 40 years of dentistry he never saw a jaw that dense on x-ray, and I held my gloves low. I won. Nothing on my record suggested I should win.
To do the seemingly impossible and beat the seemingly unbeatable, is something else, in boxing. Michael (Watson) in our second fight kept up the pace of a lightweight and felt stronger than a cruiserweight – you can’t beat that. I won, after being on the receiving end for nearly 12 one-sided rounds.
Graciano Rocchigiani had every advantage imaginable – home territory, the most hostile environment, southpaw, tallest and biggest man in the division with the most covered, awkward defensive guard. No losses, took out the concrete Mustafa Hamsho in a minute or so, almost hitting him out of the ring. I won over 12 one-sided rounds.
They said, the critics, the press, the public, the experts; ‘Chris, you can’t do this. No fighter can fight world title contests every six to seven weeks for a year.’ And I did it, and I kept winning.
Christopher had never fought in front of such a vast arena audience, so in hindsight he was going to be nervous and anxious. He had never fought the 12 rounds. In hindsight, he was going to be weary and unsure.
In hindsight, which is a wonderful thing, when a gentleman is displaying ability the likes of which you’ve never seen before in front of your very eyes in the gymnasium, it is maybe best to keep these opinions private or not rub your fighter up and oil him up and kind of complace him.
All of this is in hindsight. And a loss never hurt Nigel Benn in his legendary career. When I fought Benn, I already had the experience of fighting in front of 20,000 spectators when I fought in the Madison Square Gardens as a hyped amateur. Christopher, in hindsight, had never experienced that vast… that vastity.
When you’re on edge and weary, you’re going to be sloppy and you’re punches aren’t going to flow. That’s what happened. It’s as simple as that.
Even being at his worst and even giving away the first six rounds, he got a split decision with the British, Commonwealth and European champion and World number one! Truthfully, that’s absurd. He’s a very, very special prospect, and will come back with a vengeance because he has the DNA to.
Amir Khan has the longest, fastest punching in his division. He is using his feet more intelligently now, getting less involved, less wild… keeping his hands up, which he probably should with a reach and a speed like so. He’s close to unbeatable if he doesn’t open up wildly, that’s a fact.
But then so is Mayweather based on his record. The Pretty Boy. The Money Man. Floyd has an extremely long arm for his stature and size, and throws that lead right hand from the cocked position with a slight elbow flexion as he dips and no fighter has to yet to master it. No fighter has yet to master or time his unique defensive maneuvering in 47 fights.
It really is a close one to call, if it ever happens. But the wise money is on Mayweather, but that’s not to say Amir cannot do the job, I think he can if he plays his cards right and hooks off the jab a lot, if it ever happens of course; which it probably will not.
It is remindant of Roy Jones wanting to fight myself in the mid-90s, as Amir wants to fight Floyd.
I want Christopher to set up attacks with the right hook to the body as Mike Tyson in his prime did so. If you have a low centre of gravity and a natural punching leverage – which I myself never had – that is the punch you want to open with. And the proof of the pudding is Mike.
The right hook downstairs to an orthodox, right-handed stance is the least detectable punch because it stems beneath their jabbing hand and is closest to their body; Mike would follow with a left hook to the head or right uppercut to the head off the momentum of it and if they were still standing he’d follow further, because they’d be too hurt to defend, and just go.
Christopher has that ability that Mike Tyson had, and I want him to focus on working off the right hook to the body, and he’ll be very close to unbeatable when he masters it. And I am very, very rarely wrong!