Herol Graham – Greatest British Boxer Never To Win A World Title?


Great Britain has produced many World Champions over the last 50 years with great fighters throughout the decades such as Ken Buchanan, John Conteh, Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe and currently Tyson Fury to name just a few.

Herol “Bomber” Graham  could and should have joined the illustrious list of British World Champions and surely will  be looked upon as perhaps the best Boxer from the British Isles to not have won a world title.

Born in Nottingham in 1959, Graham’s era throughout the 80’s coincided with the dominant reign of the Undisputed Middleweight World Champion “Marvellous” Marvin Hagler who reigned supreme from 1980 until 1987.

Under the tutelage of Brendan Ingle who later trained four fighters to world titles which included Prince Naseem Hamed,  Graham won the British, Commonweath and European light-middleweight titles along with the British and European middleweight titles.

In his first attempt for the vacant WBA middleweight title in 1989, Graham lost on a split-decision to Mike “The Bodysnatcher” McCullum in which points deducted for low blows proved in the end to cost Graham the decision.

Graham was given another opportunity the following year against the hard-hitting Julian “The Hawk” Jackson for the vacant WBC title.

In the days when major world title fights were still shown on Network TV and not exclusively on a subscription Channel such as Sky Sports, the British public witnessed arguably the greatest one punch knockout of the decade in which Graham was brutally knocked out before his head had hit the canvas and needed a further 5 minutes to recover consciousness.

What made this so dramatic and heartbreaking for followers of Graham, was that Jackson was told by the Ringside Doctor after the 3rd round that he would only be given one more round due to the damage to his left eye which he couldn’t see out of.

The thunderous right-cross counter punch from Jackson shattered the dreams of Graham who was was less than one minute away from fulfilling his dream against a man who he was favoured to win against.

Graham was not given the opportunity to fight either Chris Eubank or Nigel Benn who both side-stepped Graham due to his elusive fighting style in which he once had his hands tied behind his back to challenge members of the public to hit him which they failed to do.

Graham had a late renaissance at the age of 39 when he fought Charles Brewer for the IBF Super Middleweight title in 1998. However the fight was stopped in the 10th round to end once and for all the dream of arguably the best Boxer from the United Kingdom who never won a world title.

In a fight career spanning 20 years from 1978, Graham had 54 fights with 48 wins and 6 losses.

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