Nigel Gregory Benn (born 22 January 1964) is a former professional boxer from the United Kingdom who competed from 1987 to 1996.
Benn was born on January 22, 1964, in Ilford, East London. Benn joined the Army at the age of 18 and spent three years in West Germany before moving to Northern Ireland for eighteen months (Royal Fusiliers) Benn joined West Ham Amateur Boxing Club after leaving the service.
Nigel’s first competitive fight teaches Benn a valuable life lesson. At the age of 18, the ‘Dark Destroyer’ faced his oddest opponent outside KIKO’s nightclub in Pontefract. Karl ‘The Equalizer’ Smith, a local bare-knuckle champion, offered Benn outside and murmured something about pummeling Benn into submission.
Benn turned professional in 1987 and went on to win 22 consecutive knockouts. This resulted in Benn’s quick climb through the professional ranks, and on 20 April 1988, he won the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title with a second-round win over Abdul Umaru at Alexandra Pavilion.
Benn, who was 22-0 (22 KOs), defended his Commonwealth Championship against Michael Watson in a high-profile fight in Finsbury Park, London, in May 1989. The fight was even broadcast on national television in the United States. Benn, who threw almost nothing but hooks, continually struggled to break through Watson’s tight defence and progressively exhausted while getting surprised several times himself.
Watson put Benn down with a shot in the sixth round, and Benn was called out as he rose to his feet.
His second fight was against Jorge Amparo at Atlantic City, New Jersey, and it was also his first fight outside of the United States. Benn won a 10-round decision.
WBO middleweight champion
Benn challenged WBO middleweight championship holder Doug DeWitt of the United States in Atlantic City after two more victories over Sanderline Williams and Jose Quinones. Benn was knocked down in round two, but fought back to knock DeWitt down in round three and win the title with three knockdowns in round eight.
His first defence came in August 1990 against former WBC champion Iran Barkley, whom he knocked down three times and stopped at the end of the first round on the three-knockdown rule. Benn returned to the United Kingdom and met with British rival Chris Eubank. On November 18, 1990, they battled in Birmingham. Benn lost his title to Eubank when the bout was stopped in the ninth round due to a technical knockout.
WBC super-middleweight champion
Benn subsequently went on a six-fight winning streak building up to another world title challenge. In 1991, he knocked out Marvin Hagler’s half brother, Robbie Sims, in round seven, then won a close, disputed decision over Thulani Malinga and a one-punch KO over Dan Sherry.
Benn challenged Mauro Galvano for the WBC super-middleweight title on October 10, 1992, in Palaghiaccio de Marino, Marino, Lazio, Italy. Benn was declared the winner and won the title by technical decision RTD in the third round, following a contentious ringside disagreement about the official result when Galvano was unable to continue due to a nasty cut.
While Benn remained a dangerous and devastating puncher, his switch to the heavier weight limit allowed him to polish his battle strategy and take a more calculated approach. The aggression remained, but he became a more effective and versatile fighter by relying less on one blow knockout power.
He retained his title against fellow Britons Nicky Piper and Lou Gent, and won a rematch against Mauro Galvano, before facing Chris Eubank, the WBO super-middleweight champion at the time, in a unification bout on October 9, 1993. The battle finished in a tie, with both competitors keeping their championships. In 1994, Benn successfully defended his title twice more, with unanimous victories over Henry Wharton and Juan Carlos Giminez.
Benn tried twice in 1996 to steal the WBO super-middleweight championship from Steve Collins but failed both times, losing by TKO in Round 4 in the first fight. Following his second loss to Collins in November, Benn suffered an ankle injury and retired from boxing, with his corner retiring Benn on his stool at the end of Round 6.
Return from retirement
On September 24, 2019, Benn announced his return to boxing at the age of 55, 23 years after his last bout, stating that he desired “closure” following an unhappy end to his fighting career in 1996. On November 23, 2019, Benn was scheduled to face former WBC super-middleweight world champion Sakio Bika (34-7-3).
The British and Irish Boxing Authority was to authorise the fight after the British Boxing Board of Control refused to sanction it. After Benn suffered a shoulder injury during sparring, the fight was called off. Benn, who was devastated, also confirmed that he was cancelling his scheduled boxing comeback.
He held two world titles, including the WBO middleweight belt in 1990 and the WBC super-middleweight title from 1992 to 1996. From 1988 through 1989, he held the Commonwealth middleweight title. He was dubbed “The Dark Destroyer” because of his powerful punching power and aggressive fighting style, and he retired with an 83.3 per cent knockout-to-win ratio.
|48 fights||42 wins||5 losses|
Caroline Jackson, Nigel Benn’s wife, with whom he married in 1997 and is still married to this day. He previously married Sharon Crowley in 1991, but the couple split soon after.
|Rеаl Nаmе/Full Nаmе||Nigel Gregory Benn|
|Nісk Nаmе/Сеlеbrаtеd Nаmе||Nigel Benn, The Dark Destroyer|
|Віrth Рlасе||Ilford, East London, England|
|Dаtе оf Віrth/Віrthdау||22 January 1964|
|Аgе/Ноw Оld||57 уеаrѕ оld|
|Неіght/Ноw Таll||1.77 m|
|Раrеntѕ Nаmе||Fаthеr –Dixon Benn|
|Gіrlfrіеnd||Caroline Jackson (m. 1996)|
|Кіdѕ/Сhіldrеn Nаmе||Conor Benn, Dominic Benn, India Benn, |
Rene Benn, Sade Benn, Layla Benn
|Nеt Wоrth||$20 Million|
|Lаѕt Uрdаtеd||Јuly 2021|