Nigel BennIf you ever had the pleasure of seeing Nigel Benn in action then you’ll know it was a hair-raising experience and we certainly hope ‘The Dark Destroyer’ will raise a few more pulses when he arrives in Keighley for a unique sports dinner this June.

We’ve had some real legends at our events over the years and Nigel is big as any of them. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s he was a national hero, drawing audiences of almost 16 million for his two epic battles with Chris Eubank.

In many ways that was a golden era for British boxing and Benn, with his all-out aggressive style, was at the very forefront of it. After serving four years in the army, Benn turned professional in January 1987 and fought an incredible 11 times in little over ten months, scoring a knockout each time.

With barely two-and-a-half years pro experience under his belt, Benn had become a major star on ITV and his 1989 tussle with Michael Watson was one of the most eagerly anticipated events in British boxing history. Things didn’t go his way that Spring evening in Finsbury Park, but he didn’t let it get to him and quickly embarked on an American adventure that saw him knockout Doug DeWitt and Iran Barkley in world title fights.

He returned to Blighty in late 1990 and soon found himself embroiled in a bitter dispute with Eubank, a man who seemed intent on using every word in the dictionary to wind Benn up. The rest, as they say, is history.

Boys (and some girls) used to watch Benn blast his way through the world’s best middleweights and super-middleweights and then hit the gym themselves hoping to one day emulate Nigel’s success.

One of those boys was none other than Ricky Hatton, who cites Nigel and Roberto Duran as the two men who inspired him to lace up the gloves and throw his fists in anger.

Ironically, it is ‘The Hitman’ that now gives ‘The Dark Destroyer’ advice whenever he calls into the Hatton gym in Manchester and does a training session. And some sessions they are, with Benn showing he still packs an almighty punch on the pads.

Despite it being more than 20 years since their last fight, Nigel has been itching to land those punches on Eubank again. The pair might not be as bitter towards each other as they were in the 1990s, but with potential offers of £5 million each on the table, it’s easy to see why some people want to get it on once more and we’re sure Nigel will tell the fans all about it in Keighley on June the 9th.

Away from the ring, Nigel is a committed family man who spends much of his time counselling men who are struggling with their marriages. He also works tirelessly for his local church where he now lives in Sydney, Australia.

Furthermore, he helps oversee the careers of heavyweight Lucas Browne and his son Conor, who has recently come back to the UK to turn professional and showed that he has the Benn DNA by blasting out his opponent in round 1 on his debut in April this year.

Nigel never shrank from a challenge in the ring and we don’t expect him to pull any verbal punches on June 9th. This event is sure to be one of the best we at MJK have ever held and we can’t wait.

See you there!