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Old 11-14-2011, 07:35 AM   #1
general zod
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Lightbulb Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

The G-man did not go out of his way for the TV cameras and, looking back at it over his early years as a paid fighter, he came across as almost dull when he wasn't crushing brain cells. Never said ten words words when none would do. Gerald was just short of rude and he didn't much worry about that. As long as he got his check.
This attitude would perplex the television promoters. They want a knockout artist, but they also want a 'bit of personality' to go with the product. Still, what they suspected was that there was steel in his sullen mien. The G-man would not let them down in the ring. Gerald was what his sister Lisa called a piece of work.

Gerald McClellan: In the beginning 2-2
The super-middleweights
A series of threads about Toney, Jones, Eubank, Benn and McClellan


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'Nobody can beat me'
-Gerald McClellan


Chapter I

Winning ways

The start of Gerald's career should of been that of a favoured and groomed prospect. After all, despite missing the Olympics in 1998, he was an exceptional amateur and by now he was hooked up with Manny Steward at the Kronk, the most famous gym in the world. His career didn't so much as fly at first, however, as glide into a swamp. He had a couple of tune-ups,in Milwaukee and Glen Burnie. A round a piece against fighters their mother's wouldn't remember. Then came the call to boxings capital - Las Vegas. This, thought Gerald, was what it was all about. Someone called Danny Lowry went over in a round. Three weeks later, Gerald was entertaining the high rollers again, putting Ezquiel Obando away in the first. He liked Vegas. He could smell the wealth, and glamour. Lot of good-looking women in Vegas, too.

The deal with Manny is this: he's the boss. Lennox Lewis and Naseem Hamed would learn that. As Evander Holyfield had. There are not two ways of doing things just Manny's. Gerald wanted to go with Sugar Ray Leonard in the first instance, but when he saw Leonard leaning towards Roy Jones and when Jones went to Seoul instead of him, Gerald got mad. He knew then he wouldn't be taking Stan wih him on this journey into the pros, because he needed a fresh start after his amateur career had stalled near the hilltop. And that's how Gerald made it to Detroit, and Stan stayed on the other side of those tracks.

After Steward had given him a taste of Vegas, he took McClellan off to Auburn Hills, near Detroit, for another cakewalk. And Cleveland Ditto. And Biloxi (KO 2), Waukesha (KO 1), Monessen (TKO 2), Milwaukee (TKO 1). He was getting $300 for some of those fights. He was losing motivation. The kid who had to be bullied to spar his brother under the street lights in Freeport was starting to kick at the system. As, at the same time, was Nigel Benn, who was working his way through what he called 'Mexican roadsweepers' (none of them whom was Mexican, for the record). Nigel was feeding on the likes of Darren Hobson and Mbayo Wa Mbayo, Gerald meanwhile had Joe Goodman, Jerome Kelly and John Gordon.

Defeat

Ten fights. Ten wins. Easy. Too easy. And then...defeat. On 24 June 1989, in Atlantic City, Dennis Milton beat McClellan on points over six rounds. The G-man could not believe it.How could this be? Maybe there was a flaw. Losing to an outsider was not a crime, but it didn't look good, for his credibility or confidence. Until that blip, McClellan had had it his own way, in common with all big hitters with a pedigree. In his first ten contests, he'd scored four clean knockouts, the first round. He had six wins that forced the referee to save his pummelled opponents, four of the four in the first round and two in the second. So, between his debut in Milwaukee on the 12 August 1988, when he iced Roy Huntley in the first, until he stopped Terrance Wright in round one eight months later in Atlantic City, Gerlad had barely had a workout. Gerald had always told Todd smarts would beat power. Now he was finding out what a good boxing analyst he was.They used to call Milton 'the Magician.' Born in the Bronx, he'd boxed in good company up and down the eastern seaboard, turning pro in '85 after being rated the best amateur light-middleweight in the country. By the time he got served up to McClellan, he was still had a respectble sheet, eleven wins against two losses and a draw, but he shouldnt of presented a problem. That summer of '89 though, Milton was too sparky for Gerald over six rounds.


In the boxing scheme of things, Gerald was entitled to repair his career against undemanding opposition. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong guy, Ralph Ward of Ohio was twenty-six, with no ring name, but he could fight a bit and was still ambitious. He came to fight that September with a record not unlike Milton's eleven wins and three losses - in the fight before the McClellan fixture, Ralph had been beated over ten rounds by Terry Norris, a considerable ring presence.Again, a lacklustere McClellan got slicked out of it, decisioned over eight rounds. Like the Magiacian, Ralph would go on to a losing spree after getting by McClellan.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

Third strike?


Before Christmas of '89, Gerlad went home to Freeport to think about his future. He told his local paper, 'I had a bad attitude. I wasn't doing anything and I couldn't get along with anybody. So I said, 'let me give it onemore try - three strikes and your out.
Another trainelr load of opponents came and went in 1990.
They lined them up and Gerlad knocked them down Gerald injured his knee in FEbruary 1991, but he kept going. He didn't want the third strike. TV still wanted a piece of him and he knew he'd get his chance sooner or later. Meanwhile the G-man was starting to ask hard questions of Steward, Davimos and King.

He was running out of patience

World Champion


In November, McClellan came to London for the first time and put a shadow of the once- awesome John Mugabi away in a round to win the World Boxing Organisations's version of the middleweight championship. He impressed his London audience with the ruthlessness of his finishing, even if the title was more cardboard than Gold and the opponent was shot.
MClellan looked his usual awesome selfnin knocking Mugabi down three times and the title was OK, but not enough. He hungered for the genuine big time. The WBO meant nothing to him. Where were the big fights, he wanted to know, the big money?

Why wasn't he fighting Jones?


Roy Jones, meanwhile, was pulling away from Gerald. He'd come home from Seoul a martyr, the victum of outrageous judging, and signed a big contract to turn professional. Where Gerald was quiet, sometimes sullen, Jones had a mouthy edge - but TV liked him, and even used him in ads to promote their boxing programmes. He was being groomed while Gerald was being ignored.

It stings a bit....?


ON 15 May 1992, he got another low-key TV gig.. back on the boardwalk.
Having given up his own WBO title Gerald was marking time in a non-title ten rounder, unusual in itself. His opponent was Carl Sullivan 'the Irish Asassin' Sullivan. This ws where Gerald's career had become becalmed. A win over Sullivan would do litle for his career, even if it topped up his credit cards.

Gerald jabbed with speed and power this night. Bolts. Liston-Like. Sullivan threw one jab, into McClellan gloves. Another range finding right winged the air. McClellan followed his left with a right to the side of Carl's chops, and Sullivans's legs bid his brain adios. A few more swipes through and over the guard, with a finishing left hook - as Al Moreland had taught him - and the Irish assasin was going nowhere but home to Momma's stew. It took forty five seconds, a TVKO record, Gerald's twenty third knockout.

Gerald had thrown fifteen punches, eleven landing; Carl threw two, both appeared to miss.Although the winner was gracious enough later to credit Sullivan with maybe brushing his left eye. 'Nothin', Gerald says. 'He might caught me with a right hand across the top of left eye, a hook or something. it stings a little. But it wasn't much.'

Stings a little.

Odd.

I've looked at the tape several times, and the only blow Sullivan came even close to landing was a reluctant dab with his right hand that might have brushed Gerald's left eye. But it was a gnat nipping a tiger, if that. Yet Gerald reckoned it 'stings a little'. Superfically at least,something might not have been right. His expression looked drained, his eyes those of a man whose concerns were elsewhere. He may have known, even then, that inside his head, the parts werent working properly. It's impossible to ask him know.


Killing Time


Since winning his world title the previous November, Gerald had jumped on Lester Yarbrough in a round, at Auburn Hills in February; after Sullivan, he'd jump on poor Steve Harvey at Lake Tahoe in a round the next November, then he'd go to Mexico City in the February of 93 to jump on the unfortunate Tyrone Moore (TKO 2). More no-names.
These were dustbin fights. If a good fighter has too many of them, he loses his sharpness. He becomes complacent. If he is being fed what the industry unkindly calls tomatoe cans, he might cheat on his training. If unstretched in the ring, he will be unsure of how to handle pressure when it comes. If he has knockout power, he might consider it a waste of time training for a fight longer than a few rounds. It happened to Tyson. And, in a different way, it would happen to Hamed. Back in 91 and 92 the danger was it was happening to Gerald.

Gerald was almost certainly having hard fights in the gym. Already a world champion once, he was learning litle. His attitude was getting mean. He'd go missing a lot, demanding that King and Steward and Davimos get him some serious money or he'd walk, do it all himself. Gerald had no time for the grind of boxing politics. It was the way he was, all day. all night.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:38 AM   #3
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

McClellan-Jackson I


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But finally the waiting would be over. On May 8 1993, after all those nothing fights, after too long in the sandpit with his toys, it was time to go to work. and Julian Jackson under the big lights in Las Vegas was what any fighter would call work. This was the sort of fight Gerakd wanted. And the venue. He had not been back to Vegas since 22 November 1988, and an abscene from the genuine big time of twenty five fights and nearly five years. He was back from the boardwalk. While it had taken him a few minutes work in the ring along the way to get there, there was a lot of spare time packed in a round the ring time.

The fourth round was eventful. then came the fifth, one of the best rounds of boxing in 1993. Jackson hit McClellan low, Gerald took a knee but declined the offer of a long rest by the referree Mills Lane. 'I coulda taken five minutes to recover,' Gerald told Showtime, 'and Jackson was lookin' at me, getting stronger and stronger, so I figured the sooner I get up the better. When I got up he came right at me, stood right in front of me. That's when I caught him with the right hand and two left hooks.'
Beautiful boxing skills, perfectly applied pressure in a big championship bout at a venue where it mattered. This exchange should have informed the unknowing that McClellan was an elite fighter, a genuine world class champion, in any era.
Gerald hit Juilan with a sickening right, he went down, it was over.

This was a pivotal fight in the boxing entertainment business that year. Gerald had a stoppage rate of 91.8 per cent. unmatched in the upper echelons of marketable boxing. He could not be denied from here on. And he liked the way it felt to be the gruesome hitter his middleweight peers wanted to avoid.

It felt good to have a belt again, a proper belt. Now he wanted the money. But, as with any deal involving King, there would be drama.The King clan didn't like Gerald, they thought he was getting ****y, getting up in the ring and wanting to keep all that money to himself. Gerald didn't want no one to steal from him. He wanted to make all the money. He wanted to be like Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali. Stan said to Gerald,'Gerald, you can't have it like that, you need to pay some kinda dues first.'
Gerald couldn't wait. He was chasing Jones. That would make his career. To get to Jones he'd have to go through Benn first. But he didn't think that would be a problem.

For Gerald, nothing was a problem

McClellan-Baptist


Gerlad was so confident, he reckoned he should do the job in three rounds, regardless of the opponent. 'I don't see the fight going no more than three rounds,' he told the promoters of the engagement against Baptist. 'Three rounds gives me enough time to box, to feel him out, through the guard. You know, three rounds is enough for any fight to go.' By now nobody doubtd his ability to knock people out quickly. The only question was what would happen should he come across someone who could take him past hree rounds, take him the distance again, like Milton and Ward? I wonder if that thought worried McClellan even then?
Right now that didn't matter. Geralds biggest fight was not with his opponent but with his trainer. His local newspaper, the Standard-Journal, reported that Gerald wanted no more of Manny Steward after this one. I looked like the old Kronk dilemma: too many fighters for one star trainer.
Manny would dress up his non-appearence for the Baptist fight, saying he wanted Willie Brown to get TV exposure, that he didn't think Baptist was much of a threat anyway. Gerald figured, though, that Steward was not paying him enough attention. Or respect. He was not the first fighter to feel that way. Or the last.

Gerald's didn't see it so amicably when interviewed in center ring. King wrapped an arm around the G-Man, like a farmer petting his prize bull. 'I trained the hardest I ever trained,' said McClellan, 'seven and a half weeks. Everybody thought I had a problem makin' weight, but I got it off, like, two weeks ago, real easy. I felt good out there, strong. And thanks to my man right here, Willie Brown, for stickin with me, puttin up with my attitude for the whole time.'
Asked about Steward

- OR RATHER INFORMED BY PACHECO THAT MANNY SAYS THEY'RE STILL MANAGER AND FIGHTER, STILL FRIENDS - GERLAD HELD IT TOGETHER. ''wELL, I'M NOT GONNA CRITICISE nobody on national television, you know, coz I'm a better man than that. But, you know, if it's up to Emmanuel, we work something out, and I keep doin' what I did tonight.'

Gilbert Baptist, a nice man by everyones account, went back to being a probation offer in San Diego.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

McClellan-Jackson II

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McClellan, meanwhile, was eager for a challenge. He told king, 'I'm ready now for Julian Jackson, anyone out there - Roy Jones, all the big-name guys.'Which brings us on to Jackson-McClellan II. Live pay-per-view in Las Vegas, 7 May 1994, almost a year to the day after thier first fight

The G-man staggered Jackson with an overhand right twenty seconds into the fight. Jackson, so confident beforehand retreated. McClellan unleashed a hail of unanswered punches and knocked Jackson down. After taking an eight count Jackson only had time to move across the ring before McClellan was on him again. He finished him with his trademark punch, the left hook to the body, and the ex-champ was bent double on the floor.
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Old 11-14-2011, 07:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

Chapter II

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Old 11-14-2011, 07:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

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'This is my last fight a middleweight,' McClellan said. 'I'm moving up to super-middleweight. Nobody can beat me'


Only one fighter would get the opportunity.



Next:
The Benn-McClellan fight

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Related threads:


The Man called James Toney
The Toney-Thornton fight
Toney goes to Hollywood
James Toney: in the beginning
Chris Eubank:The road to Watson II
The man called Roy Jones
James Toney goes to war
James Toney goes to war: The aftermath
Jones, Toney and McClellan
Gerald McClellan: in the beginning

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Old 11-14-2011, 07:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

Good work, will read later on.....
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Old 11-14-2011, 08:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

Nice read. Where do you get all of this from?
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #9
general zod
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

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Originally Posted by Tar Baby View Post
Nice read. Where do you get all of this from?
thanks
War, Baby: The glamour of violence by Kevin Mitchell
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:07 AM   #10
general zod
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

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Originally Posted by BENNY BLANCO View Post
Good work, will read later on.....
thanks
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

Thanks for posting
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:50 AM   #12
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

More!
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:55 AM   #13
general zod
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

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More!
lol
I should have the Benn-McClellan fight up in a week or so
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #14
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Default Re: Gerald McClellan: in the beginning 2-2

Look forward to the next installment
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:05 AM   #15
general zod
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Look forward to the next installment
thanks
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