Written by Rob Scott
World Middleweight Title Decided in Atlantic City
Atlantic City – December 13, 1991 – On this night Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., Trump Plaza and Atlantic City’s Convention Hall brought a world middleweight title match-up to town when IBF World champion, James “Lights out” Toney, faced off with Mike “The Body Snatcher” McCallum.
The bout was initially billed as a unification contest, but McCallum was stripped of his WBA world title earlier in the month for refusing to face the WBA’s mandatory challenger, opting instead to face Toney.
An Even Match to Start the Rivalry
The crowd on hand saw the younger Toney battle the slick McCallum to a draw, with two judges scoring for each, but the third judge seeing it even.
It was the first of three meetings between these two warriors, with Toney, who had a twelve year age advantage, pulling out the wins in their future bouts.
“The Executioner” and More Round Out the Night
Also on this card, Charles Murray scored a ten round unanimous decision over former WBA World Lightweight champion, Livingston Bramble, in a 140lb match-up.
In his sixteenth professional fight, future great, Bernard “The Executioner” Hopkins, won a ten round unanimous decision over Willie Kemp in a super middleweight contest.
Riddick Bowe faced Elijah Tillery in a rematch of their initial bout that took place less than two months earlier in Washington, DC.
The first bout ended with Bowe winning by disqualification after the first round as a result of a melee that broke out. The brawl saw Tillery landing a few kicks, then Bowes manager, Rock Newman, pull Tillery over the top rope and out of the ring. The aforementioned headlines served as more than enough promotion to create curiosity about the return match-up.
A powerful Bowe right hand started a barrage, followed by a strong right uppercut, to cause the referee to administer a standing eight count in the fourth round. While giving the eight count, the referee called a halt to the fight after Tillery, bleeding profusely from his nose, chose to not continue. Bowe was awarded a fourth round TKO victory.
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