Now retired, boxer Mike McCallum was a famous professional boxer nicknamed ‘the body snatcher’, he was born on the 7th f December 1956 in Kingston, Jamaica. McCallum is a former multi-weight world champion, and one of the finest boxers of the modern period.
His first prominent opponent was future two-weight world champion Julian Jackson, who McCallum fought in his third title defence. McCallum survived some punishment in the first round and came back to stop the undefeated Jackson in the second round. In 1989, McCallum defeated Herol Graham by a close decision to win the now-vacant WBA middleweight title (which had been stripped from Kalambay for signing to face IBF champion Michael Nunn).
McCallum fought IBF middleweight champion James Toney in 1991. McCallum was stripped of the WBA title before the bout. The fight ended in a draw, and McCallum lost the second fight by a controversial majority decision the following year.
He became a professional boxer in 1981, Jamaica’s most successful and decorated boxer,as an amateur he fought in the World Championships in Havana and the Pan-American Games in Puerto Rico. Following the 76 Olympics McCallum was faced with the decision of turning pro or trying for gold in Russia in four years.
Although Montreal had not made him a worldwide name, he clearly had proven himself to be an outstanding prospect; a prospect capable of making serious cash at the pro level. However, if he stayed an amateur and won Olympic gold he could name his own price for turning pro.
The caveat; there are no guarantees in life, and a gold medal would not just be handed to him for showing up in the former republic of the USSR. He finally opted to remain an amateur and shoot for a gold medal. McCallum faced Julian Jackson of St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands at the Miami Beach Convention Centre.
McCallum took some really big shots from Jackson during the first round of their title bout, but he was able to weather the storm, come on in the second round and stop Jackson with his own barrage of punches. McCallum’s fifth and sixth defences were against former welterweight champions Milton McCrory and Donald Curry.
He stopped McCrory in ten rounds and Curry in five. His knockout of Curry is one of the best one-punch kayos you will ever see. As McCallum slipped Curry’s right hand, he came back over top with a counter left hook that put Donald Curry flat on his back.
A thing of savage beauty it was! Curry, being the champion that he was, tried his best to beat Richard Steele’s count, but the punch he got caught with was just too crisp and too clean a punch to take from a guy like McCallum who knows all too well what he’s doing.
He would lose a 12 round unanimous decision to Kalambay, but would come back to win that same WBA championship belt a year later with a split decision victory over Britain’s Herol Graham. He would defend the title a total of three times with victories over Ireland’s Steve Collins, Englishman Michael Watson and Sumbu Kalambay, the same fighter who had denied him the crown three years earlier.