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"We Were Young Together Once": Top 20 Favorite Fighters of the 1980s, A Personal Reminiscence

Top 20 Fighters

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#20 LLOYD HONEYGHAN

Lloyd Honeyghan was a brash, wild-eyed slugger who shaved his head “Ragamuffin” style before each fight in a pre-war ritual to psych himself up. Not that he needed any psyching up. Because Honeyghan was angry. Boy, was he angry. Honeyghan, despised by the U.K. press for his freewheeling lifestyle and his outspokenness, had a snarl for everyone, and until things fell apart for him—as they do for all boxers eventually—he was supercharged action in the ring.

First, he destroyed one of my heroes, the unassuming accountant-like Donald Curry, in a fight that was considered the biggest upset of its day—until Buster Douglas took Mike Tyson behind the bamboo shed in Tokyo a few years later. Then, oblivious to menacing nicknames, he brutalized “Mad Dog” Gene Hatcher and Johnny “Bump City” Bumphus in less than five minutes combined. He suffered a ruinous beating at the hands of Marlon Starling–a man he once spat at–in 1989, however, and was never the same again. During his short prime, though, Honeyghan was something to see, a two-fisted commotion with a permanent sneer and sequined trunks.

Here is Honeyghan, at his rampaging best, battering former junior welterweight champion and amateur standout Johnny Bumphus, who was practically still on his stool when Honeyghan ambushed him in his own corner to start the second round. Listen for the hysterical lady shrieking at ringside, the air-horns blaring, and the announcer using the word “bum.” Just the right amount of chaos for the “Ragamuffin Man.”

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Tags: Boxing Favorite Fighters Lloyd Honeyghan Sports

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