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Watch > Episode > Nigel Benn - The Dark Destroyer

Nigel Benn - The Dark Destroyer

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Nigel Benn is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1987 to 1996. Nicknamed “The Dark Destroyer” for his formidable punching power and aggressive fighting style, Benn won the WBO middleweight title in 1990; the WBC super-middleweight title in 1992; and the Commonwealth middleweight title in 1988.

Nigel Gregory Benn was born on January 22, 1964, in Ilford, London. Raised in a family of Caribbean descent, Benn’s early life was marked by challenges and a sense of defiance. His entry into the world of boxing was not a conventional one; initially, he joined the army and later discovered his passion for the sport during his service.

Benn’s raw power and relentless fighting style quickly set him apart in the boxing scene. Under the guidance of trainer Jimmy Tibbs, he honed his skills, transforming from a novice to a formidable force in the ring. Benn’s professional boxing career officially began in 1987.

Nigel Benn’s rise to prominence was meteoric, and he soon gained a reputation for his explosive knockouts and unwavering determination. In 1990, Benn secured the WBO middleweight title with a victory over Doug DeWitt. This marked the beginning of a championship-filled career, as he later went on to capture the WBC super-middleweight title.

Benn’s most famous rivalry was with fellow British boxer Chris Eubank. The two engaged in two memorable bouts that captivated audiences, with their second encounter ending in a dramatic draw. The intensity and skill displayed in these matches solidified Benn’s status as one of the most thrilling fighters of his era.

While Nigel Benn’s boxing career reached great heights, his personal life was marred by struggles and challenges. The fame and success that came with being a world champion boxer took a toll on his mental well-being. Benn faced personal demons, including battles with addiction and a tumultuous relationship with his father.

In the early 2000s, Benn experienced a profound spiritual awakening that led him to reevaluate his life. He embraced Christianity and began a journey of redemption and self-discovery. Benn’s newfound faith played a pivotal role in helping him overcome his personal struggles and forge a path towards healing.

Nigel Benn’s story took an unexpected turn when, at the age of 55, he announced his intention to make a comeback to professional boxing in 2019. This decision raised eyebrows and sparked debates about the risks and motivations behind such a comeback. Despite facing criticism, Benn was determined to prove that age should not limit one’s pursuit of personal challenges and goals.

While the proposed comeback fight did not materialise due to medical concerns, Benn’s willingness to step back into the ring showcased his indomitable spirit and a continued commitment to personal growth and self-belief.

Nigel Benn’s legacy extends beyond his accomplishments in the boxing ring. His story serves as a testament to the transformative power of personal redemption and the resilience of the human spirit. Benn’s openness about his struggles has inspired others facing similar challenges, emphasising that it is never too late to confront one’s demons and seek a path towards healing.

As “The Dark Destroyer,” Nigel Benn’s impact on the boxing world is immortalised in his explosive fights and memorable rivalries. Beyond the ring, his journey of redemption exemplifies the capacity for individuals to confront adversity, find purpose, and emerge stronger from personal struggles.

Nigel Benn’s life is a narrative of triumph over adversity, from the heights of championship glory to the depths of personal struggles and back. His legacy as “The Dark Destroyer” echoes in the annals of boxing history, while his journey towards personal redemption resonates with those who find strength in the face of challenges. Nigel Benn’s story reminds us that, no matter how dark the path may seem, there is always the potential for redemption, growth, and a renewed sense of purpose.

Chapters

00:00 | Trailer
02:50 | Brian’s thoughts on the episode
06:45 | Brian’s Introduction
08:03 | Boxing in its heyday
09:29 | Barry McGuigan says Nigel’s a fighter not a boxer
11:04 | Kickboxing prior to boxing
11:52 | Weigh in tactic
14:52 | The state of boxing today
15:43 | The beginning of Nigel’s boxing career and how he’s still looking good
18:35 | Nigel’s fears for his professional boxer son Conor
23:29 | Nigel speaks frankly about drugs, partying and the death of his brother
28:51 | The National Front and racism scene in 1980s London,33:34 How Chris Eubank winds up Nigel
38:06 | What the Army taught Nigel
40:04 | Training, fighting, partying, womanising and being in a dark place
52:10 | Losing the Ben Watson fight
58:57 | Building up stamina in Miami
1:06:03 | Winning first WBO belt against Doug DeWitt
1:08:50 | Fight against Iran Barkley
1:11:19 | Returning to England to fight Chris Eubank with no game plan
1:16:24 | Dealing with losing the fight
1:17:03 | Winning the WBO Super Middleweight Title
1:18:56 | Financial confidence and a savvy investor wife
1:20:49 | The rematch with Chris Eubank
1:24:59 | Likelihood of another Benn v Eubank fight
1:28:48 | What Nigel thinks of Chris Eubank jnr
1:31:36 | How Nigel’s life has completely changed
1:35:35 | Nigel responds to Eubanks question for him
1:38:53 | Looking back on the Gerald McClellan fight and the aftermath
1:48:25 | Traumatic meeting with Gerald McClellan after 10 years
1:53:54 | How Nigel reacted to the aftermath of the Eubank v Michael Watson fight
1:56:04 | Does seeing the injury to Michael Watson put Nigel off fighting again
1:57:34 | Nigel’s life spirals out of control and he confesses to his wife
2:12:39 | Nigel in tears
2:17:46 | Living a changed life in Australia
2:23:27 | No comparison to his life now with former boxing life
2:28:54 | How Nigel views his future
2:31:24 | What Nigel believes that other people believe is crazy
2:37:05 | Now He’s behind him it is so powerful
2:38:19 | Phone call to the 20 year old Nigel
2:42:03 | Best advice ever received
2:42:52 | Advice to the 20 year old who wants to become a boxer2:44:15 Brian’s summing up.

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