Donald Curry (born Donald Sample: September
7, 1961) is an American former professional boxer. He held the undisputed
welterweight title as well as the WBC light middleweight title.
Curry's amateur record is usually listed as 400-4, but it is
sometimes listed as 396-4 and 400-6. Curry thinks he might have had
more than 404 bouts, but he is sure he had only four losses.
Curry, at age 19, won his professional debut with
a first round knockout of Mario Tineo on December 26, 1980. "I didn't
start thinking about turning pro until I was about 18," Curry said.
"I didn't pay attention to the pro game. I couldn't have told you
the names of more than two world champions, and they were Ray Leonard
and Muhammad Ali."
With a record of 11-0, Curry knocked out
former world title challenger Bruce Finch in three rounds to win the
NABF welterweight title on May 5, 1982.
Curry fought future
WBA/WBC welterweight champion Marlon starling for the USBA welterweight
championship on October 24, 1982. Curry bruised his ribs during training
and also had a lot of trouble making weight. He reportedly was nine
pounds over the 147 pound welterweight limit less than a week before
the fight. Despite these problems, Curry won by a twelve round split
decision to unify the USBA and NABF welerweight titles and hand Starling
his first pro loss. The win earned Curry the unified #2 spot in the
rankings behind Milton McCrory for the welterweight title.
On February 13, 1983, Curry fought Jun-Suk Hwang
for the WBA welterweight championship, which had become vacant after
the retirement of Sugar Ray Leonard. Curry suffered a flash knockdown
in the seventh round but otherwise dominated the fight and won by
a lopsided fifteen round unanimous decision. Threee months later,
Curry's older brother, Bruce, won the WBC light welterweight title.
they were the first pair of brothers to hold world titles simultaneously.
After making his first title defense, a first round knockout
of Roger Stafford, Curry had a rematch with Starling. Curry, mixing
up punches to the body and head, stayed on top of Starling and pounded
out a fifteen round unanimous decision to retain the titles of the
WBA and the newly formed IBF, which elected to recognize Curry as
their champion before the fight.
On December 6, 1985, Curry fought
Milton McCrory, the undefeated WBC welterweight champion, to unify
the welterweight titles. In the second round, Curry slipped a McCrory
left jab and countered with a left hook to the chin that sent McCrory
down. McCrory struggled to rise. When he did, Curry dropped him again
with a solid right cross. Referee Mills Lane counted him out. Curry
became the first undisputed welterweight champion since sugar Ray
Leonard retired in 1982.
Curry's first defense of the undisputed
championship was in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas. His opponent
was Eduardo Rodriguez, whom he knocked out in the second round with
a left-right combination to the head. Curry was 25-0 with 20 knockouts,
and many boxing experts considered him to be the best pound for pound
boxer in the world.
Curry's next defense of the title
was against Lloyd Honeyghan of the United Kingdom on September 27,
1986 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Honeyghan was 27-0 and ranked #1
by the WBC.
Curry's training was disrupted by managerial issues.
His managerial contract with David Gorman was to expire on September
30, 1986, and Curry announced tha Akbar Muhammad would become his