Michael Watson(born March 15, 1965) is a former boxer from England. Born in London, he is a resident of Islington. Although he did not become a world champion, many in England see him as a hero.
Watson debuted professionally as a boxer on October 16, 1984, beating Winston Wray by a knockout in round four in London. The great majority of his fights were fought in London, and only one of his fights was outside England.
Watson rose quickly though the WBO Middleweight ranks, building a record of 18 wins, 1 loss and one draw before venturing for the first and only time outside his native soil. During that 20 fight span, he beat such notables as Don Lee and Ricky Stackhouse. Then, he went to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, where he would fight to a two round technical draw (tie) with Israel Cole. Three wins followed, and then, Watson faced future world champion Nigel Benn for the British Commonwealth Middleweight title. In what would turn out to be his biggest career win, he defeated Benn by knockout in round six, on May 21, 1989.
After three more wins, he was given a second world title try, on June 22, 1991, against WBO world champion Chris Eubank. Watson lost a close bout by twelve round decision, and many fans and critics thought that he should have been crowned world champion that night, so the WBO ordered an immediate rematch.
Chris Eubank himself was affected after this: he went on to be defeated by Steve Collins a couple of years later, and he went through hard emotional times, as many boxers do after these types of boxing accidents, as reflected by his win-loss record after the second fight with Watson.
Watson woke up from his coma, but even then, his prognosis was not good. His neurosurgeon was afraid Watson would never speak or walk again. He spent many years at the hospital, slowly recovering some of his movements, and regaining the ability to eat regular food, read, and write simple notes. Still, in 1999, his neurosurgeon wrote that Watson would never be able to walk again.
On April 19, 2003, Michael Watson made headlines and became an instant national hero in England, when he was able to complete, after 6 days, the London Marathon. Finishing the race by his side were Chris Eubank and his neurosurgeon, who has become a personal friend of his.
Watson received, on February 4 of 2004, an MBE by HRH Queen Elizabeth II. She told him that she had heard of his achievements. Watson himself felt overjoyed and noted that this was the first visit to Buckingham Palace by him, his brother and his mother, although they had passed in front of the Palace many times before.
- Five-time London champion (at all levels).
- Stopped British #1 John Beckles in 1984 in under one minute (Beckles went on to win medals at European and World championships).