At 62 years old, Lloyd Honeyghan has this physical status:
Lloyd Honeyghan (born 22 April 1960) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1980 to 1995.
He reigned as the undisputed welterweight champion from 1986 to 1987; and held the WBC, Ring magazine and lineal welterweight titles twice between 1986 and 1989.
At regional level he held the European, British, and Commonwealth welterweight titles between 1983 and 1985, as well as the Commonwealth light-middleweight title from 1993 to 1994.
Early life and amateur career
Honeyghan was born in Jamaica and spent his early years there. He came to England at the age of nine to join his parents who had settled in Bermondsey. He took up boxing at the age of 11 with the Fisher Amateur Boxing club. He was a good, rather than an outstanding amateur boxer. He boxed for England but never won an ABA title, being beaten in the English semi-finals by Joey Frost in 1979. In the 1980 ABA championships he was beaten early in the competition on points by Gunther Roomes, at the South East Division of the London championships and decided to turn professional.
Honeyghan turned professional with Terry Lawless in 1980. He debuted with a six-round points decision victory over fellow novice Mike Sullivan. He won his first 13 fights, including a victory over the tough Kostas Petrou. Before positioning himself for an eliminator against the capable Lloyd Hibbert for the British welterweight title on 18 January 1983. Honeyghan outpointed the future British super-welterweight champion over ten rounds. He followed this by capturing the Southern Area welterweight title with a fourth-round knockout over the dangerous Sid Smith in March 1983.
Honeyghan captured the British welterweight title via a twelve-round points decision against the tough Cliff Gilpin on 5 April 1983, after suffering the first knockdown of his career in the second round. Honeyghan later stated that Gilpin gave him one of his hardest fights.
He remained busy throughout 1983, travelling to the United States to defeat Kevin Austin, then outpointing US contender Harold Brazier in London before rounding off the year with a clear points victory in a British title rematch with Cliff Gilpin.
In 1984 Honeyghan fought only once, defeating Roberto Mendez. He suffered a broken thumb and had to have a pin inserted into his left hand to keep the bone in place.
On 5 January 1985 he captured the European welterweight title with a highly impressive third-round knockout of future twice super-welterweight world champion Gianfranco Rosi in Perugia, Italy. Following this, Honeyghan defeated R W Smith (better known as Robert Smith) who is the current General Secretary of the British Boxing Board of Control in six rounds. He kept extremely busy during 1985, defeating three US contenders in world title challenger Roger Stafford, followed by Danny Paul and Ralph Twinning.
Honeyghan and Lawless parted company because Honeyghan believed that Lawless was spending too much time on the career of Frank Bruno and not enough on his career. As such the two couldn't get on and things came to a head following an altercation between Honeyghan and his trainer in the Royal Oak gym run by Lawless. Following the incident, Lawless banned Honeyghan from his gym; Honeyghan promptly signed with Mickey Duff.
Honeyghan appointed former British featherweight champion Bobby Neill as his new trainer and closed out 1985 with a stoppage victory over fellow world rated Briton and former stablemate Sylvester Mittee, for the British, European, and Commonwealth welterweight titles.
On 20 May 1986 Honeyghan stopped top US contender Horace Shufford in eight rounds in London, earning him a title shot against the unbeaten and undisputed welterweight world champion Donald Curry of the US.
On 27 September 1986, Honeyghan defeated Curry for the undisputed welterweight title. The fight took place in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and was televised by Showtime.
At the time Curry was considered to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world with his only possible rival being Marvin Hagler. Honeyghan was given little chance by the majority of the media. However, there were rumours that Curry was having difficulty making the welterweight limit and that this would be his last fight at the weight. The betting odds prior to the fight were 6–1 against Honeyghan and he placed a bet of $5,000 on himself to win the fight. He caused a major upset by dominating the fight, nearly dropping Curry in the second round, before Curry retired at the end of round six. Curry suffered a broken nose along with cuts to his lip and above his eye, which required 20 stitches. As a result of his bet Honeyghan earned an additional $30,000.
At the press conference before the fight Curry had dismissed his little known and lightly taken British opponent, asking "Who is this ragamuffin?" Because Honeyghan had come to the press conference in casual clothes. Honeyghan thereafter adopted the title 'Raggamuffin' with relish. Embracing his Jamaican heritage where a raggamuffin is a streetwise tough guy.
The fight had taken place one night after another "expert shocker", when Edwin Rosario knocked out Livingstone Bramble in two rounds to claim the WBA lightweight title, and one week after Honeyghan's win, Ring magazine mentioned his victory on their "Weekend of shockers!" issue's cover. (Rosario's photo was featured on the cover of that issue).
Honeyghan disagreed with the WBA's rules that allowed fights to take place in apartheid South Africa, so he publicly and controversially dumped the WBA welterweight title into a London trash bin soon after winning it, relinquishing the title rather than defending it against South African Harold Volbrecht. Honeyghan was criticised for showing a lack of respect after dropping the belt in the trash can, especially as Deuk Koo Kim had lost his life in 1982 when fighting Ray Mancini for the WBA Lightweight title. Honeyghan did admit to regretting his actions, which had resulted after he had been prompted to do so by tabloid newspaper photographers. His stance proved significant, as soon after, the WBA stopped sanctioning fights held in South Africa. It also provided his manager Mickey Duff with the opportunity to avoid Mark Breland who would have become the number one contender, assuming that Honeyghan had won. The vacant title was won by Breland following a seventh-round stoppage of Volbrecht.
After winning the world title he changed his boxer-puncher style to that of more of a brawler. He became known for his full frontal assault on opponents. Most boxers would spend the early rounds boxing cautiously until they had figured out their opponent's style of fighting. Honeyghan went for a knockout from the opening bell. Asked why he had changed his fighting style Honeyghan quipped "You don't get paid for overtime in this business."
In his first defence, after dominating and flooring his opponent in the first round. He caused controversy by (legally at that time) racing across the ring and trying to hit his opponent, former super-lightweight world champion Johnny Bumphus, as soon as the bell sounded to start the second round. Honeyghan threw a left hook which missed but the momentum from his forearm knocked an unsteady Bumphus to the canvas. Honeyghan had a point deducted from his score and Bumphus was given time to recover. However, the fight had already been knocked out of him and he did not last much longer. Asked why he had done this, Honeyghan stated "The bell went ding and I went dong." The rules were changed following this incident so that at the beginning of each round the referee stands in the middle of the ring. Instead of in a neutral corner, as it had previously been, to prevent punches being thrown until both fighters are ready.
In his second defence of the title, Honeyghan defeated the then unbeaten future world champion Maurice Blocker on points. He became a crowd pleaser with his all action style of fighting and recorded one of the fastest wins in a world title fight with a 45 second blowout of former Super-lightweight champion Gene Hatcher of the US. His manager Duff said after the fight "The best fighter I have been involved with was John Conteh, even though he never reached his full potential. Lloyd is catching him up fast. I've never known a more dedicated fighter."
He controversially lost his WBC title to Jorge Vaca in 1987 when a clash of heads meant that the fight had to be stopped due to a cut sustained by Vaca. Vaca had come in as a late replacement for Bobby Joe Young who had been deemed an unacceptable opponent by the British Boxing Board of Control. Honeyghan was expected to win the fight as Vaca was a relatively unknown fighter. However, an off form Honeyghan was given plenty of trouble by the heavy-handed Mexican. The WBC implemented their technical decision rule (which has now been withdrawn) and Honeyghan had a point deducted from his score, even though the clash of heads had been deemed accidental and the round had not been completed. Without the point deduction the fight would have been a draw meaning that Honeyghan would have retained his title. After the point deduction the scorecards favoured Vaca and he became the new champion. The fight was not for the IBF title which was declared vacant and was subsequently won by Simon Brown. Many fans said that Vaca had been given the decision because the WBC who are based in Mexico were holding their convention in London during the week of the fight.
Honeyghan became only the second British boxer in history to regain a world title, when he knocked Vaca out in a return fight for the WBC title in the third round. The first being Ted "Kid" Lewis earlier in the 20th century. In the post-fight press conference Honeyghan, who could at times be an outspoken character. Expressed his views on Mickey Duff, stating "Mickey and I don't mix outside of boxing, he looks at me as a pawn, a commodity. I don't like him." This elicited a memorable response from Duff who stated "Fortunately, there is nothing in our contract that says we have to like each other I will continue to do the best job I can for him."
Honeyghan next defended against tough South Korean Yung-Kil Chung, halting him in five rounds in July 1988 when the Korean refused to get up after being hit with an accidental low blow. In February 1989 Honeyghan lost his WBC title to former Don Curry victim and arch-rival Marlon Starling. There was bad blood between the two fighters and Honeyghan boxed wildly against the defensively excellent Starling. He was stopped in the ninth round after taking heavy punishment throughout the fight. Years before the two fought Starling came out with a classic foot in mouth boxing quote when he said "I'll fight Lloyd Honeyghan for nothing if the price is right." Honeyghan returned later in the year, labouring to a points decision over Delfino Marin in Florida, however he appeared to be a fading force.
He had to apologise to the WBA for his previous actions in order to fight for the WBA title in 1990 against Mark Breland. By this time Honeyghan was past his best and was stopped by Breland in three rounds after being knocked down six times.
In 1991, he resumed his career at super-welterweight having outgrown the welterweight division. During 1991 and 1992 he won six consecutive fights against relatively modest opposition in Mario Olmedo, John Welters, Darryl Anthony, Alfredo Ramirez, Mickey Duncan and Carlo Colarusso. In early 1993 he was still good enough to win the Commonwealth super-welterweight title by defeating the useful Mickey Hughes. However, in June of that year he was stopped in ten rounds by former world champion Vinny Pazienza in a contest made at middleweight. Victories over Steve Goodwin and in 1994 Kevin Adamson followed, with Honeyghan retaining the Commonwealth title in the latter fight. He did not fight for another year and retired after he was stopped in a bout by fellow Briton Adrian Dodson in three rounds in 1995, on the undercard of Nigel Benn vs. Gerald McClellan.
On leaving school Honeyghan became an apprentice printer and he continued in this trade until he became a full time professional boxer.
In his younger days Honeyghan developed a reputation for being a flashy dresser and a ladies' man. The tabloid newspapers had a field-day when he became a world champion and revealed that he had fathered five children with three different women, none of whom he had married.
He was attacked and hit on the head with a hammer at a weigh-in at the Thomas A' Beckett gym in 1993. A fellow boxer, Darren Dyer, was arrested and charged with causing actual bodily harm after the attack but was acquitted in the subsequent trial. There had been bad blood between the two stemming from the Curry fight, when Dyer who was also managed by Duff had been one of Honeyghan's sparring partners. There had been an altercation between him and Dyer in the changing rooms following his win over Mickey Hughes for the Commonwealth title.
When Frank Bruno fought Oliver McCall for the WBC World heavyweight title in September 1995. Honeyghan entered the ring as a member of McCall's camp, despite the fact that he and Bruno had been friends in the past, when they had both been part of the Terry Lawless stable of fighters. He received a lot of criticism from British boxing fans as a result of his actions.
He had a block of flats named after him in Southwark to mark his achievements.
Honeyghan put on a lot of weight in retirement and in October 2017, it was reported that he had suffered a heart attack but was making a good recovery in hospital. It was reported in September 2020 that Honeyghan had suffered a blood clot on his lung (Pulmonary embolism) and was again being treated in hospital. As a result of his health problems, Honeyghan can no longer walk and has become largely housebound.