Donald Curry vs. Milton McCrory

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1985-12-06 : Donald Curry 146¾ lbs beat Milton McCrory 146¾ lbs by KO at 1:53 in round 2 of 15

  • WBC Welterweight Title (5th defense by McCrory)
  • WBA Welterweight Title (6th defense by Curry)
  • IBF Welterweight Title (5th defense by Curry)

Notes

  • Curry was a 4-1 favorite.
  • Each fighter earned $750,000.
  • The fight was televised by HBO.
  • Named the 1985 Knockout of the Year by KO Magazine.
  • Curry became the first Undisputed World Welterweight Champion since Sugar Ray Leonard retired in 1982.



From Sports Illustrated:

McCrory got in the first punch, a hard jab, the traditional opening gambit of Kronk fighters. "They all fight like Tommy Hearns," Curry scoffed. "All Kronk fighters hold their left hands too low."

Curry responded to McCrory's jab with three flashing rights. Hardly had the battle been joined when Curry became convinced he couldn't lose. "I knew I was stronger, but I didn't know I was that much stronger," Curry said. "I don't think he knew, either. After the first 20 seconds I could see the confusion in his eyes. I knew he was mine."

Two minutes into the round, Curry snapped McCrory's head back with a left hook. He fired two more punches, then drove his quarry into a corner with a straight left. McCrory grabbed and held. When he tried to fight his way out of trouble, it was clear that his punches had no snap. "I couldn't believe how slow he was," Curry said.

For all his quickness and power, Curry is also a brilliant defensive fighter. Instead of slipping punches, he intercepts them with his open gloves, reacting and neutralizing while the blow is still on its way. And he can catch a punch and then counter. Most fighters, in order to counter, have to slip the punches.

At the end of the round, after hurting McCrory again with an overhand right, Curry nodded as his cornermen advised patience. He was angry with himself for having been overeager in Round 1. Discipline has been one of his trademarks. No movement is wasted, neither of fist nor foot.

Across the way Steward was telling McCrory: "I believe he's gonna burn himself out....Keep the left out there. He's fighting a lot more tighter than he normally does."

McCrory tried dutifully to hold off Curry with the left as the second round started, but to little avail. At 1:24 Curry fired the left hook, and McCrory tumbled. He was rising when the count from referee Mills Lane reached five; McCrory slipped down to his left knee and rose at seven. Lane asked him if he was O.K.

"His vision was clear and his eyes were focusing," Lane said later. After getting a coherent response from McCrory, Lane let the fight continue. Curry walked straight in, fired the right hand, and turned and walked away. McCrory went over on his back. He struggled to lift his head; twice it fell back. His eyes rolled to the left, away from his corner. Then, straining to focus on Lane, McCrory saw the referee's fingers flash eight, nine and 10 over him.

"Curry Was A Man In A Hurry" by Pat Putnam, Sports Illustrated, December 16, 1985