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BARRY McGUIGAN vs. STEVE CRUZ (Site) 

Description : Here we have an original super-scarce official onsite main event boxing fight poster for the WBA world featherweight championship title bout held at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 23rd June 1986.

Reigning & defending champion Barry McGuigan was meant to defend against Fernando Sosa of Argentina. When a detached retina forced his opponent to pull out, up stepped an unheralded Texan, Steve Cruz, to take on McGuigan on June 23, 1986....McGuigan had injured an ankle and, at one stage, it seemed the fight was off. Boxing observers noted that his relationship with his manager and corner seemed to be disintegrating. Psychologically, the change from a stocky to a lanky opponent had unsettled McGuigan and the issue of acclimatisation to the Nevada summer was also a concern. But Cruz was a Texan with an average record, the traditional "easy fodder" paid to provide an electrifying duel that the promoter hoped would set up for McGuigan a featherweight super fight unification match with World Boxing Council champion Azumah Nelson.

In the script, Cruz was supposed to fold, but the Texan interpreted his role differently. A stable-mate of the then reigning welterweight champion Donald Curry, Cruz was not a big puncher but he fought in a disciplined, orthodox style and fired precision punches with quick hands. He knew this would be his only shot at a world title and he rose to the occasion....The key thing was the venue: a temporary arena set up in the car park of Caesars Palace. It was brutally hot that summer. The temperature rose to 125 degrees. The pale Irishman never had a chance.

At the opening bell he characteristically charged after his opponent, slinging left hooks and burying his head in Cruz's chest. Cruz attempted to keep McGuigan off with stiff left jabs and counter right hands. He kept his hands high. McGuigan maintained superiority with long left hooks and sheer aggression, but in the fifth round his strength was visibly sapping while Cruz went into another gear.

McGuigan's punches became slower. Cruz remained precise and started to take over the fight. The momentum swung between the pair but, in the 10th round, Cruz sent McGuigan to the canvas. He was up at nine but Cruz took over and the fight slipped from the tired, valiant champion who only had to stay upright for the last round to retain his crown but the heat & exaustion sent Barry to the canvas twice in that fateful round handing victory to the unheralded new champion from Texas. He lost on points and, delirious through dehydration, was rushed to hospital. McGuigan would later say that the heat was his biggest enemy in the ring that night. "I never did get used to the heat," he lamented. "Right from the start. I don't want to make any excuses because Steve fought a great fight."


Postage: £10.00 Special Delivery...£20.00 International registered signed 4 airmail.

Condition : Excellent/minor handling*surface*edgewear.
Size : 28in x 22in
Price : £125.00
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