On today: Marlon Starling blasts out Mark Breland in 11 rounds, lifts WBA 147-pound title

Lastly, “The Magic Man” pulled a rabbit out of his hat.

On Aug. 22, 1987, Marlon Starling scored a dramatic come-from-behind 11th-round stoppage of the beforehand unbeaten Mark Breland to win the WBA welterweight title on the Township Auditorium in Columbia, South Carolina. The official time was 1:38.

Starling had been an expert since 1979 and had labored laborious to succeed in the highest. Defensively sound with terrific approach, the Connecticut-born slickster had the misfortune of operating into a primary Donald Curry on two events. And whereas he’d been aggressive in resolution losses (SD 12, UD 15), subsequent setbacks to Pedro Vilella (MD 12) and Johnny Bumphus (TD 6) had been bitter capsules to swallow.

Breland was the antithesis of Starling. An Olympic gold medalist from the 1984 Los Angeles video games – and nonetheless thought-about one of many best beginner fighters ever – the skids had been greased for the personable New York-based technician. Six months earlier, he’d received the WBA 147-pound title from Harold Volbrecht (TKO 7) and the sky was the restrict. Starling changed Rollin Williams for his maiden title protection.

Whereas the 6-foot-2 Breland banked a lot of the rounds along with his rangy boxing, he regularly discovered himself on the canvas amid weird scenes. There weren’t any official knockdowns over the primary 10 rounds, however the champion’s legs appeared to offer out every time issues bought tough at shut quarters.

Within the 11th spherical there was an official knockdown.

Starling began quick within the session and landed laborious physique blows. Breland, who had by no means been previous the tenth, retreated and his return punches lacked snap. Immediately, the challenger exploded with a livid mixture at mid-range and Breland was in bother. Starling went after him like a person possessed and, following just a few extra damaging photographs, ended the battle with a ferocious left hook to the jaw. Referee Tony Perez accomplished the depend a second or two earlier than an unsteady Breland discovered his ft.

“I knew I used to be going to get him within the later rounds,” Starling advised ABC sports activities afterwards. “I imagine I used to be behind on all of the scorecards, however he was respiratory [hard] from the sixth spherical on.

“And as soon as once more, Marlon Starling fights the perfect undefeated fighters on the market. And you already know what? I’m the champ of the complete extensive world.

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