Mike McCallum was known as “The Body Snatcher” because of his commitment to ruining livers and never letting up with his body attacks. For someone with a high KO percentage and whose overall boxing skills were otherwise outstanding, he was not exactly known as a devastating one-shot knockout puncher. On July 18th, 1987 in Las Vegas, he had everyone’s attention.
McCallum entered that evening as the WBA junior middleweight (154 lbs) champion against Donald Curry, a former welterweight champion whom at his peak was considered to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. It was for that reason that Curry entered the fight as a 2-to-1 favorite, and through four rounds he was up on the scorecards against the Jamaican.
Then round five happened.
Curry threw and missed a left hook, then on the exit he had his hands down. Big mistake. McCallum stepped to his left, put everything into his left hook and put Curry flat on his back. Curry did not beat the count and that was a wrap. Watch the video at the top of the page for highlights and the KO itself.
McCallum would lose his next fight against Sumbu Kalambay in what was a masterful showing by Kalambay. He’d later avenge his loss in a rematch in 1991. McCallum retired in 1997 with a record of 49-5-1 (36 KOs) and the distinction of never being knocked out. Six years after his retirement, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Curry (34-6, 25 KOs) was inducted into the HOF in 2019, 22 years after he retired for good. He did become champion at junior middleweight once more in 1988 against Gianfranco Rosi, but lost his belt to Rene Jacquot the following year.