Former British and European champion Kirkland Laing has died at the age of 66.
Laing, who retired from boxing in 1994 with a record of 43 victories, 12 losses and one draw, will be remembered for having one of the best performances by a British fighter on American soil when he upset the great Roberto Duran in 1982.
RIP Kirkland Laing🙏🏻🥊
— matthew macklin (@mattmacklin) June 9, 2021
It was the biggest triumph of Laing’s career, but his life outside the ring turned to booze and drugs after that famous night in Detroit.
Kirkland Laing Biography
The troubled fighter retired from boxing in 1994 after scoring 43 victories, including a historic win against US champion Roberto Duran.
Tragically, after her career ended, Laing’s life turned to alcohol and drugs.
He fell from a fourth-floor balcony in East London in 2013 and is in critical condition.
Welterweight Laing has fought 56 times in his career from 1975 to 1994, and most of his fights are in the United Kingdom.
He has also boxed in the United States, Australia and Italy and won the British and European belts.
Organizer Frank Warren paid homage to the boxing marvel today as the heartbreaking news of his death circulated online. wiki
Kirkland Laing Died at 66
- Former British boxing champion Kirkland Laing has died at the age of 66.
- Laing will be best remembered for beating Roberto Duran in 1982.
- His death came seven years after surviving a fall from a fourth-floor balcony.
- He was known as the ‘Gifted’ and won 43 of his 56 professional matches.
He wrote on Twitter: “Everyone at Queensberry is deeply saddened to hear the news of the passing of former British and European Welterweight Champion Kirkland Laing.
“Our thoughts right now are with Kirkland’s family. RIP Champion.”
Boxing commentator Steve Bunce added: “A great, great man and fighter a long time ago speaks of his victory in the ring. I’m Kirkland Laing.”
Organizers Kalle and Nisse Sauerland also shared: “I remember seeing Kirkland Laing alone at St Pancras gym practice because nobody wanted to argue with him because he was so good.
Pro boxer Curtis Woodhouse said, “Oh, that’s sad to hear, he’s had some serious hard times and is pretty much forgotten, but everyone who knows boxing knows this guy’s name. Rest easy power champion.”
Reading unconfirmed reports that the great Kirkland Laing has passed away. What an incredible – although unfulfilled, talent he really was. The Gifted One. One of our very best. pic.twitter.com/U2q2iGyT3J
— London Boxing History (@LDNBOXHISTORY) June 9, 2021
Ashley Theophane wrote: “Kirkland Laing with Nigel Benn and Lloyd Honeyghan. My favorite British boxers. RIP to a great fighter. Super talented.”
Kirkland Laing Life Story wikipedia
Laing, who reportedly squandered all his winnings and lost his next fight, would never compete for a world title but would win the British title four more times and the European belt after beating Duran before stepping away from the sport.
Her tragic death comes just seven years after surviving a fall from a fourth-floor balcony in Hackney. The incident, which happened in 2013, resulted in Laing being rushed to hospital in critical condition.
Legendary promoter Frank Warren has paid tribute to Laing after news of his death surfaced online.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘Everyone at Queensberry is very saddened by the news of the passing of former British and European welterweight champion Kirkland Laing. Our thoughts are with the Kirkland family at this time. Champion RIP ‘.
The Jamaican-born fighter was adored by British boxing fans and enjoyed a successful 20-year career before retiring.
Laing largely avoided working in boxing after hanging up his gloves and spending the last 15 years of his life living near his Nottingham family.
The ‘gifted’, as he was known in sports, had a decorated amateur career, winning the ABA title before turning professional in 1975.
He won his first British title nine years later, but the defining night of his career was undoubtedly against Duran.
Laing was a huge loser against Duran, who two years earlier had beaten Sugar Ray Leonard to take home $ 5 million from his rematch, with the Briton’s victory selected as Ring magazine’s Upset of the Year award.
Despite claiming such a large scalp, Laing didn’t fight for a year and spent the fortune he earned beating Duran, while the latter fought four times, including against fellow Briton Jimmy Batten, and won around $ 6 million at the same time. period.
Hundreds of tributes have been paid to Laing after his death, and fans and fighters past and present have paid tribute to him.
Promoter Kalle Sauerland wrote on Twitter: ‘I remember seeing Kirkland Laing at St Pancras gymnasium training alone because no one wanted to train with him because he was too good. RIP, he’s gone too early.
I remember seeing Kirkland Laing at St Pancras gym training alone as no one wanted to spar with him as he was just too good. RIP- gone way too soon 🙏🏽
— Kalle & Nisse Sauerland (@SauerlandBros) June 9, 2021
Former British champion Herol Graham also said: “I am heartbroken to hear this tragic news! He was talented! Rest in peace Kirkland. ‘
Former world title challenger Ashley Theophane added: “Kirkland Laing with Nigel Benn and Lloyd Honeyghan. My favorite British boxers. RIP a great fighter. Super talented. ‘
Kirkland Laing (June 20, 1954 – June 9, 2021) was a British welterweight boxer born in Jamaica and nicknamed The Gifted One.
Laing fought 56 times in a twenty-year career, the climax of which was a surprising split decision victory over Roberto Duran in September 1982. The fight was selected as Ring magazine’s surprise of the year. He was a two-time British welterweight title winner and won the EBU welterweight title in 1990 with a second-round knockout of Antoine Fernandez at the Wembley Conference Center.
Laing’s boxing career was sporadic, as he often failed to deliver on his promise, he appeared ill-prepared against less capable fighters, and indulged in drink, drugs, and women. In the year following his victory over Duran, Laing disappeared, ruining his earnings. In that same period, Duran fought four times, earning an estimated $ 6 million.
Laing continued fighting until he was 40 years old and retired after a stoppage loss to future world champion Glenn Catley. After retiring from him, Laing continued to live in Hackney and fell off his balcony in 2003 in circumstances that remain unexplained. Shortly after, a BBC documentary by Steve Bunce (made before fall) aired. The short film showed that Laing was living life on the streets, although others who know him questioned the accuracy of the piece.
In 2009, Oliver Jarrat published the book “The Gifted” Kirkland Laing Through the Eyes of Others, a detailed account of Laing’s life and career that took the author six years to research and complete. The book contains many insights from people close to the fighter, including former managers, coaches, and opponents whom he faced on both an amateur and professional level.
Laing lived in Hornsea, East Yorkshire before passing away on June 9, 2021.