RCM Historical Boxing: Lloyd Honeyghan vs. Donald “Cobra” Curry
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
Real Combat Media historical boxing often looks at great fights and crossroads fights. When Lloyd Honeyghan met Donald Curry on September 26, 1986, at Caesars Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Showtime, Donald held the World Boxing Council, World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and Ring Magazine Welterweight titles. Curry had won the vacant from Jun-Son Hwang by 15 round decision in 1983 in his native Fort Worth, Texas. This was the lineage title vacated by Ray Leonard when he moved up in weight.
Curry defended his titles seven times before running into the British Commonwealth and European champion Honeyghan. Curry was 25-0, London’s Honeyghan was 27-0 when they fought. The fight did not go well from the start for Curry, who went 400-4 as an amateur Golden Gloves champion and 1980 Olympian (the United States boycotted the Olympics in 1980).
Honeyghan fought Curry in a telephone booth, and Curry, the “Lone Star Cobra”, got gummed on the inside. He was unable to find distance range to Honeyghan, who worked combinations consistently on the inside and broke Curry down. Curry, who had managerial issues (between David Gorman and Akbar Muhammad before the bout) and weight issues before the bout, was the recipient of an accidental butt in round six which ripped a bad gash on Curry’s left eyebrow. The bout should have been stopped and gone to the scorecards. However, Curry knew he was behind. Two known scorecards had Honeyghan ahead 59-56 and 58-56. Referee Octavio Meyran let the bout run.
Gorman did not allow Curry off his stool for round seven, Curry’s left eyebrow gash took 20 stitches, his lower lip took one stitch, and Curry also had a broken nose. Curry, who lost 21 pounds in six weeks to make weight, was clearly not himself. Honeyghan would later relinquish the WBA Welterweight title portion to protest apartheid in South Africa. Honeyghan finished his career 43-5 with 30 knockouts, with a third round stoppage loss to Adrian Dodson in London Arena in February 1995. Curry, a 2019 inductee into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, finished his career at 34-6 with 35 knockouts, losing by seventh round stoppage to Emmett Linton at The Aladdin in Las Vegas in April 1997 for the International Boxing Federation World Super Welterweight title, suffering from acute pancreatitis. Curry formerly trained and managed Linton, so the bout was a feud farewell. A four part 2019 interview with Jesse Holley appears on YouTube. Curry, after getting kayoed by Mike McCallum due to sloppy footwork in a 1995 title bout, was never the same.