In the spring of 1989, Michael “The Force” Watson won the British Commonwealth Middleweight belt from “The Dark Destroyer” Nigel Benn, a boxer known for his devastating punching power. The belt positioned him not only as a national champion, but it also put him in the sights of some world-caliber talent. His first bout after defeating Benn would be against the double tough, multi-division champion Mike McCallum—alias “The Bodysnatcher.”
The bout would be for the WBA Middleweight belt in his second defense.
The Force Vs. The Bodysnatcher: Michael Watson vs. Mike McCallum
Any fighter who lost to Mike McCallum would tell you that he earned his nickname in convincing fashion. A tough fighter, he was a ring general in every sense of the word. He could duke it out for points in longer bouts or put opponents away early. In each case, few punches were wasted.
Entering the bout, McCallum was heading into match six of his second win streak. Boasting an impressive 37-1 record, he was the favorite to retain the WBA Middleweight title.
Michael Watson seemed like the perfect opponent for McCallum being a technical-type able to go long matches. Entering the fight 22-1-1, a World title win would only see his star rise higher. Not only that, but a win over McCallum would make him a legend just six years into his career.
Sure enough, the April 1990 bout from Royal Albert Hall was an evenly matched contest that almost went the full twelve rounds. Showing he was a big fight player, Watson managed to hang in there with McCallum, but in the end, the Bodysnatcher would snatch victory via KO in the 11th.
The judges’ scores showed the match to be pretty close. It was the kind of contest that Mike McCallum excelled at with his long game approach.
This loss didn’t keep Watson out of contention as he would get a shot at the WBO Middleweight title the following year. This time, he fought fellow technician and another long game boxer in “Simply the Best” Chris Eubank.
-Technique Breakdown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w58KO09kfWs
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