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One Real Honey Of a Dandy
Clive Gammon
May 04, 1987
Welterweight champ Lloyd Honeyghan is hungry, proud, stylish and, unlike many another British fighter, able
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May 04, 1987

One Real Honey Of A Dandy

Welterweight champ Lloyd Honeyghan is hungry, proud, stylish and, unlike many another British fighter, able

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Okay. But was it necessary to dump the WBA belt in a London trash can? Thundered Boxing News, the 78-year-old voice of the sport in Britain, "Championship belts may not, in themselves, be either valuable or beautiful (the WBA's is certainly neither) but what they symbolize is...beyond measure. Duk Koo Kim died trying to win a WBA belt against Ray Mancini."

Honeyghan is a little shamefaced about the incident now. "I didn't really mean to do that belt thing," he says. "Like, that was the press. They say, 'Come here, Lloyd. Hold this, hold that.' I realized what they done too late."

Cynics, however, point out that the chances of Honeyghan meeting Volbrecht were slim, that the South African was scheduled to fight Mark Breland; in fact, because the title had been vacated, Breland became WBA champion on Feb. 6 with a seventh-round knockout of Volbrecht. Honeyghan's critics further assert that dumping the WBA belt was an easy way for the Ragamuffin Man to avoid meeting Breland, at least for the moment. And in the whole affair, they implied, they saw the fine handiwork of his manager, Mickey Duff. Later, much later maybe, there would be big money in a Honeyghan-Breland unification fight.

The Ragamuffin Man, of course, is scornful of any suggestion he is dodging Breland. "Sure, I'll be a three-way champ again," he says. "Sure, I'll take Breland. I see him hanging 'round in the Bumphus fight, but I didn't pay him no attention." In the meantime. Duff is careful to point out that because Breland is currently under a two-year WBC suspension for fighting Volbrecht, no unification fight is possible.

Yet, true to form, Honeyghan is thinking much bigger than Breland and a tripartite crown. Nine days before defeating Blocker, the Ragamuffin Man, in unusually somber attire, called a press conference to announce that the fight would be the last of his career—unless he was matched with middleweight champion Leonard or WBC junior middleweight champ Duane Thomas. Duff was genuinely taken by surprise at this demand, and shortly thereafter Honeyghan recanted.

So the boxing game goes. And in time England may find in her lost generation of West Indian kids the country's first seriously hungry fighters in many years. Honeyghan, meantime, has already made a kind of special nonsense of the London-Bridge-is-falling-down baiting he had to take before the Curry fight.

London has suffered the fate of many once-great port cities—container ships now discharge their cargoes far down the Thames, and the city's wharves are deserted. Today, huge waterfront warehouses, luxuriously converted, have become the ultimately chic London address. A one-bedroom apartment can go for $400,000.

After he had beaten Curry, Honeyghan bought himself a five-bedroom waterfront home. From any one of three balconies you can look upriver to the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, which most Americans think, mistakenly, is London Bridge.

"Man," Honeyghan says, "my nearest neighbors is them sea gulls. I love to lie on my bed and watch them sea gulls."

And for the future?

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