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Julian Jackson vs. Herol Graham revisited

Julian JacksonBy Daniel Hughes: This article is not about eras, records or comparing fighters it is more a piece about those one punch knockouts that you remember really turning a fight around. There has been many great one punch KO artists over the years, capable of pulling out the equalizer when a fight was even or being behind on the cards.

This is about jogging your minds for those fights you have seen where a one punch KO was the only way a fighter was going to be able to win. Those great come from behind shots that become etched in your memory.

The fight that I always remember being turned on its head and really sitting there open mouthed at what unfolded before my eyes was the vacant WBC middleweight title fight back in November 1990, between Herol Graham and Julian Jackson. It was one of those fights that anyone who hasn’t seen it before, well worth revisiting. Julian Jackson the dangerous KO artist versus the elusive, slick Graham they matched up as the perfect pair.

The fight in a Spanish hotel in front of a small audience was Graham’s big opportunity to finally win a world title after failing to beat Mike McCallum, dropping a split decision in London actually only added to his reputation. He was a nightmare opponent for many, Graham the elusive southpaw and many thought better than to sign to fight him. Jackson was feared for his power, both hands carrying dynamite but a history of eye problems.

The fight only lasted four rounds .The first three totally one sided, Graham had closed Jackson’s right eye. The doctors inspecting Jackson between rounds were close to stopping the fight such was the seriousness of his handicap. The right eye of Jackson he had a history of problems with and had surgery on a detached retina, his corner agreed to give him one more round, so the story goes. The fourth round was it seems to be the last, anyway the scorecards, 30-26, 30-27, 30-27 highlighting how far Graham was ahead. Jackson would find out afterwards how far he was behind.

The fourth round followed the previous three, Graham elusive and Jackson lunging in either hand to try to stem the tide. Graham finding out himself what a harsh sport boxing can be and taking no comfort from how close he was to becoming a world champion. The fourth round, one punch changed everything, seconds it seems away from winning Graham had actually backed up Jackson in the corner with jabs. Julian Jackson on the road to certain defeat then unleashed a brutal right hand, textbook, clinical.

The right hand he detonated of such power, Graham was out before he hit the canvas the referee Joe Cortez, not needing to perform the mandatory count called it off. It will be interesting to hear in the comments what fights you the fans personally remember really being turned on their head in similar circumstances. Boxing at its most spectacular, the come from behind KO that leaves you wondering just what you have witnessed.


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