Gerald "G-Man" McClellan Biography
enjoying a stellar amateur career, which included
a resounding win over Roy Jones, Jr. en route to
second place in the 1988 National Golden Gloves
competition, Gerald turned pro in the same year.
His debut took place in Milwaukee, which became
the start of a recurring theme in his career - a
win by first round knockout, this over Roy Hundley.
In fact, Gerald won the first four fights of his
professional career without ever having to see the
scoring ten straight knockouts to start his career, Gerald
ran into a slight bump in the road, dropping a pair of decisions
in Atlantic City, NJ in mid 1989. Even in losing, the awesome
power that Gerald possessed throughout his career was still
on display, having dropped Ralph Ward in the second round
before losing for the second time inside of three months.
would be the last time that Gerald would have to place a checkmark
in the "L" column. Gerald made his way to Motown
and Kronk gym, and under the tutelage of legendary Hall of
Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, went about his winning ways
once again. As the 80's turned into the 90's, Gerald developed
into an awesome puncher-boxer, scoring five straight KO's
and running his record to 15-2, with 15 KO's, all within three
rounds or less.
Williams and Charles Hollis somehow managed to end Gerald's
KO streak, but not the winning streak, as Gerald scored back-to-back
8 round decisions in the middle of a very busy 1990. Jose
Carlos Da Silva had the unfortunate luck of being the first
of 14 straight fighters that the G-Man would not allow to
make it to the final bell. In fact, his five fights following
the two decision wins all ended as his previous knockout wins
did -- inside of three rounds or less.
Riding a twelve fight wining streak, McClellan traveled outside
of America for the first time in his pro career to face fellow
power puncher and former world champion John "The Beast"
Mugabi. By November 1991, Mugabi was nowhere near the level
he was at when he faced Marvelous Marvin Hagler back in the
mid 80's, but was still renowned for his brutal punching power,
having scored 13 knockouts in 14 fights. However, it would
be no match for McClellan's own power, as the G-Man took him
out in less than a round to win the vacant WBO 160 lb. title.
He vacated the title shortly thereafter, setting his sights
on the bigger guns in the red hot middleweight division.
After returning stateside to score three more knockouts, Gerald
became the #1 mandatory challenger for the WBC 160 lb. crown.
It's owner at the time was Julian "The Hawk" Jackson,
who was then regarded as the hardest puncher in boxing. Rightfully
so, as he provided some of the most brutal knockouts in boxing
history during his run as champion through two weight classes.
The two middleweight bombers were set to do battle in Mexico
on the Julio Cesar Chavez-Greg Haugen PPV telecast in February
1993. However, an injury forced the champion to postpone the
bout, and McClellan had to settle on one last tune-up, whom
he blasted out in two rounds, thus ending a streak of five
straight first round KO's.
months later in Las Vegas, the inevitable could no longer
be denied. On the undercard of the Lennox Lewis-Tony
Tucker telecast in May of 1993, the boxing world was
in for a treat, as Gerald and Julian entered the contest
with a combined 68 KOs in 73 wins, and only three losses
between them. Going in, Jackson was a 3-1 favorite,
which was as much of a testament to his awesome power
as it was a question mark as to just how good Gerald
questions were answered in the fifth round. Hanging
with Jackson punch for punch through four rounds, Gerald
was forced to deal with a moment of adversity, absorbing
two brutal low blows only seconds apart. The second
forced G-Man to a knee, and referee Mills Lane warned
Jackson that the next time would cost him a point on
Mills would talk to Jackson again, but it would be while Julian
was flat on his back just seconds later. A straight right hand
left Julian out on his feet, unable to defend himself as Gerald
slammed home another right, and a left hook that drove the champion
through the ropes and nearly into press row. Jackson beat Mills'
count, but was in no condition to deny Gerald his dream -- a
world title. Two devastating right hands later, Jackson crumbled
to the canvas in his own corner. He once again beat the count,
but did so with blood streaming down his face as he staggered
along the ropes. Mills Lane waved the contest off, and with
the force of a straight right hand, the torch was passed. Gerald
was now a world champion, and pound for pound the hardest hitter
in the sport. In addition to winning the title, the bout also
earned universal recognition as the Knockout of the Year.
months later, Gerald traveled to Puerto Rico for his
first title defense, which came against Jay Bell. Thirty
seconds after the opening bell, McClellan added another
feat to his already impressive resume -- the quickest
knockout in middleweight championship history. The feat
comes with a footnote however, as Bell twisted his ankle
upon crashing to the canvas, and was unable to continue.
months later, Gerald was to face top rated challenger
Lamar Parks. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated showdown
would never come about, as Parks tested HIV-positive
and was forced to retire. Instead, McClellan had to
settle for substitute Gilbert Baptiste, who promptly
became the 19th fighter never to make it to the second
round against the G-Man.
day short of exactly one year after winning the WBC
title, Gerald made his third defense in a rematch with
Julian Jackson. The bout was the co-feature of what
many consider to be the greatest Pay-Per-View telecast
in boxing history: "Revenge: The Rematches."
Many figured the bout to be the best of the four world
title rematches on the telecast, but Gerald had other
plans. Seconds into the bout, a right hand drove Jackson
to the ropes, where McClellan unmercifully pounded away
on the former champion.
beating spilled over into a neutral corner, where Jackson
finally went down, though almost seemingly voluntarily, just
to, as Gerald would later describe it, "get the heat
up off him." The plan failed, as seconds later, McClellan
once again floored The Hawk. A digging hook to the body buckled
Julian's knees, and an overhand right drove Jackson to the
canvas, where he failed to beat Joe Cortez' count. Just 1:23
into the opening round, McClellan had scored his third title
defense -- all by first round knockout. More importantly,
he joined boxing's elite, having been ranked as high as #5
pound for pound by many writers and publications.
Poised for a future showdown with old amateur rival -- though
now good friend -- Roy Jones, Jr., Gerald decided to move
up 8 lb. north to the Super Middleweight division. Jones had
just soundly defeated James Toney in November 1994 to take
the IBF 168 lb. title, and stake his claim as Pound for Pound,
best fighter in the world. McClellan wanted to state his own
case, and traveled to England to do so, to challenge long
reigning WBC champion Nigel Benn.
So feared was McClellan's punching power, that he entered
the ring as a 4-1 favorite, despite having to travel to the
other side of the Atlantic, not to mention having to move
up for the first time in his career.
Gerald immediately attacked Nigel, and a mere thirty-seven
seconds into the fight, a devastating flurry punctuated by
two brutal blows to the head drove Nigel threw the ropes and
out of the ring. He barely beat referee Alfred Asaro's count,
but took a brutal beating in the process. However, Gerald's
undoing - aside from many other issues discussed in the "Where
Are They Now" article concerning the G-Man
- was that he became too eager to make Benn his fourth straight
1st round KO victim. Instead, Benn managed to survive the
onslaught, as well as an 8th round knockdown, and come back
through his own power and questionable tactics to end Gerald's
career, midway through the tenth round. Collapsing in his
own corner as a result of a blood clot in his brain, Gerald
ended his boxing career in a British hospital, fighting for
Despite being forced to leave the sport, his legacy is well
reflected in his impressive ring record of 31-3, with 29 KO's.
All but his title winning KO of Julian Jackson came within
three rounds or less, with an eye-popping 20 coming in round
one. He is still regarded by many as one of the hardest punchers
in boxing history. In his quest to regain normalcy into his
life, he remains a hero to us all.