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Iran Barkley (born May 6, 1960) is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1982 to 1999. He held world championships in three weight classes, including the WBC middleweight title from 1988 to 1989, the IBF super middleweight title from 1992 to 1993, and the WBA light heavyweight title in 1992. As an amateur, Barkley won a bronze medal in the middleweight division at the 1982 World Championships.

Iran Barkley
BrizelBarkley.JPG
Barkley in 2011
Statistics
Nickname(s)The Blade
Weight(s)
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Reach74 in (188 cm)
NationalityAmerican
Born (1960-05-06) May 6, 1960 (age 59)
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights63
Wins43
Wins by KO27
Losses19
Draws1

Early life and familyEdit

Iran Barkley was the youngest of eight children[1] raised in the Patterson Houses. His parents were Frank Barkley, Sr. and Georgia Barkley.[2] He was a member of the Black Spades street gang[2] in his youth, along with former heavyweight contender Mitch Green.[3][2] Iran's sister Yvonne, who boxed professionally during the late 1970s, convinced him to start boxing when he was 13 years old,[2] training under Bobby Miles and Connie Bryant.[1]

He is the great-uncle of NFL running back Saquon Barkley.[4]

Amateur achievementsEdit

Professional careerEdit

Known as "The Blade", Barkley turned professional in December 1982, and first challenged for a world title against the highly skilled Italian Sumbu Kalambay, losing on points over fifteen rounds for the vacant WBA middleweight title in Livorno, Toscana, Italy in October 1987.

Barkley returned in 1988 with a split decision over Sanderline Williams and a fifth-round stoppage of Michael Olajide, before winning the WBC middleweight title with a third-round knockout of Thomas Hearns, voted 1988 Upset of the Year by The Ring magazine.

In his next fight, Barkley lost his title via split decision in a 12-round war with Roberto Durán, in a fight proclaimed 1989 Fight of the Year by Ring magazine.[5] Following the defeat to Duran, Barkley took on undefeated Michael Nunn for the IBF and lineal middleweight titles, dropping a close majority decision. He next fought Nigel Benn in a challenge for the WBO middleweight title and was stopped on the three-knockdown rule at the end of a wild first round in which both fighters were hurt.

After losing to Benn, Barkley underwent surgery for a detached retina and was inactive for a year. Barkley returned with two low-key wins at light heavyweight in 1991, then defeated Darrin Van Horn to win the IBF super middleweight title in two rounds in January 1992 in Paramount Theatre, New York. Just two months later, he went on to again defeat Hearns and take his WBA light heavyweight title via a twelve-round split decision. Barkley vacated the title without defending it, choosing instead to defend his super middleweight title against IBF and lineal middleweight champion James Toney. Barkley reportedly had trouble getting back down to the 168 lb weight limit and lost his IBF title via a corner retirement after nine rounds due to severe swelling around both eyes.

Barkley's final shot at a title would come against undefeated Henry Maske at light heavyweight for Maske's IBF title in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany in October 1994. Barkley again lost by corner retirement after nine rounds.

Barkley continued to fight after this loss, eventually moving up to the heavyweight division. His last fight of note was a June 1997 win for the WBB heavyweight title, a bout in which Barkley retired former WBA heavyweight champion Gerrie Coetzee with a 10th-round TKO.

Barkley 'retired' in 1999 after losing a bout in Mississippi by sixth-round stoppage to Keith McKnight.

ComebackEdit

In 2006, at the age of 46, Barkley won an unsanctioned bout by second-round stoppage in Aruba. In 2008, at age 48, Barkley fought to a six-round draw in an unsanctioned exhibition bout against heavyweight Chauncy Welliver in Lapwai, Idaho at the Pi-Nee-Waus Community Center of the Nez Perce Tribe.[6]

A May 20, 2011, online article on Boxrec News hinted Barkley is seriously considering making a comeback in the ring at age 51.[7]

Professional boxing recordEdit

Professional record summary
63 fights 43 wins 19 losses
By knockout 27 7
By decision 16 12
Draws 1
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
63 Loss 43–19–1   Keith McKnight TKO 6 (10), 2:47 Jul 31, 1999   Lady Luck Casino, Lula, Mississippi, U.S.
62 Loss 43–18–1   Trevor Berbick UD 8 Jun 29, 1999   Molson Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
61 Loss 43–17–1   Tony Halme SD 12 Apr 19, 1999   Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland
60 Loss 43–16–1   Thomas Williams TKO 4 Mar 19, 1999   Southeastern Livestock Pavilion, Ocala, Florida, U.S.
59 Loss 43–15–1   Joey Guy PTS 10 Jan 27, 1999   Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.
58 Loss 43–14–1   Tue Bjørn Thomsen UD 6 Nov 6, 1998   K.B. Hallen, Copenhagen, Denmark
57 Win 43–13–1   Caseny Truesdale TKO 4 (10) Oct 22, 1998   Roxy Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
56 Draw 42–13–1   Dan Kosmicki TD 4 (8), 1:23 Sep 30, 1998   Station Casino, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
55 Loss 42–13   Tony LaRosa UD 10 Aug 22, 1998   Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois, U.S.
54 Win 42–12   Marcelo Aravena TKO 3 Sep 13, 1997   Mandan, North Dakota, U.S.
53 Win 41–12   Gerrie Coetzee TKO 10 (12), 2:07 Jun 8, 1997   Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, California, U.S. Won vacant World Boxing Board heavyweight title
52 Win 40–12   Dave Fiddler KO 1 Jan 22, 1997   Lucky Eagle Casino, Rochester, Washington, US..
51 Win 39–12   Caseny Truesdale TKO 4 (6), 1:32 Nov 20, 1996   The Ritz, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.
50 Win 38–12   Frankie Hines TKO 1 Nov 14, 1996   Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.
49 Win 37–12   Dan Kosmicki UD 8 Sep 6, 1996   Casino Omaha, Onawa, Iowa, U.S.
48 Win 36–12   Craig Payne MD 8 Jul 27, 1996   Lucky Eagle Casino, Rochester, Washington, U.S.
47 Win 35–12   Brian Yates UD 8 Jun 3, 1996   Marriott Allis Plaza Hotel, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
46 Win 34–12   James Baker TKO 1 (8), 1:00 Feb 2, 1996   Marriott Hotel, Des Moines, Iowa, U.S.
45 Loss 33–12   Rocky Gannon MD 8 Aug 18, 1995   The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
44 Loss 33–11   Tosca Petridis UD 10 May 14, 1995   Sports and Entertainment Centre, Melbourne, Australia
43 Loss 33–10   Henry Maske RTD 9 (12), 3:00 Oct 8, 1994   Gerry Weber Stadion, Halle, Germany For IBF light heavyweight title
42 Win 33–9   Gary Butler UD 8 Jul 22, 1994   Brady Theater, Tulsa, Oklahoma
41 Win 32–9   Rick Enis TKO 4 (10) May 24, 1994   Brady Theater, Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
40 Loss 31–9   Adolpho Washington TKO 6 (10), 0:33 Oct 20, 1993   Casino Magic, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, U.S.
39 Win 31–8   Dino Stewart TKO 9 Aug 30, 1993   Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
38 Loss 30–8   James Toney RTD 9 (12), 3:00 Feb 13, 1993   Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Lost IBF super middleweight title
37 Win 30–7   Robert Folley KO 4 (10), 2:48 Dec 5, 1992   Etess Arena, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
36 Win 29–7   Thomas Hearns SD 12 Mar 20, 1992   Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. Won WBA light heavyweight title
35 Win 28–7   Darrin Van Horn TKO 2 (12), 1:33 Jan 10, 1992   Paramount Theatre, New York City, New York, U.S. Won IBF super middleweight title
34 Win 27–7   Jesus Castaneda TD 8 (10) Oct 3, 1991   Four Seasons Arena, Great Falls, Montana, U.S. Unanimous TD after Castaneda was cut from an accidental head clash
33 Win 26–7   Juan Hernandez UD 10 Aug 16, 1991   Hacienda Resort Hotel and Casino, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
32 Loss 25–7   Nigel Benn TKO 1 (12), 2:57 Aug 18, 1990   Bally's Las Vegas, Paradise, Nevada, U.S. For WBO middleweight title
31 Loss 25–6   Michael Nunn MD 12 Aug 14, 1989   Lawlor Events Center, Reno, Nevada, U.S. For IBF and lineal middleweight titles
30 Loss 25–5   Roberto Durán SD 12 Feb 24, 1989   Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Lost WBC middleweight title
29 Win 25–4   Thomas Hearns TKO 3 (12), 2:39 Jun 6, 1988   Las Vegas Hilton, Winchester, Nevada, U.S. Won WBC middleweight title
28 Win 24–4   Michael Olajide TKO 5 (10), 1:21 Mar 6, 1988   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
27 Win 23–4   Sanderline Williams SD 10 Jan 29, 1988   Broadway by the Bay Theater, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
26 Loss 22–4   Sumbu Kalambay UD 15 Oct 23, 1987   Palazzo dello Sport, Livorno, Italy For vacant WBA middleweight title
25 Win 22–3   Jorge Amparo UD 10 Apr 3, 1987   Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.
24 Win 21–3   Stacy McSwain UD 10 Feb 20, 1987   Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
23 Win 20–3   James Kinchen SD 10 Oct 17, 1986   Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
22 Win 19–3   Basante Blanco RTD 4 (10), 0:01 Jul 24, 1986   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
21 Win 18–3   Tony Harrison KO 3 (12), 2:06 Jun 19, 1986   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S. Won vacant WBC Continental Americas middleweight title
20 Win 17–3   Mike Tinley SD 12 Dec 6, 1985   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S. Won vacant WBC Continental Americas middleweight title
19 Win 16–3   Wilford Scypion KO 8 (10), 2:59 Nov 1, 1985   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
18 Win 15–3   Norberto Sabater KO 2 (10), 1:21 Aug 29, 1985   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
17 Win 14–3   Bill Lee TKO 3 (10), 1:58 Aug 8, 1985   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
16 Win 13–3   Carlos Betancourt KO 1 (10), 1:48 Jul 11, 1985   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
15 Win 12–3   Randy Smith UD 10 May 24, 1985   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
14 Win 11–3   Norberto Sabater TKO 2 (8), 2:25 Apr 26, 1985   Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.
13 Win 10–3   Osley Silas TKO 6 (8), 2:25 Feb 21, 1985   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
12 Loss 9–3   Eddie Hall SD 8 Nov 1, 1984   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
11 Win 9–2   John Ford TKO 5 (8) Aug 23, 1984   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
10 Win 8–2   Esteban Pizzarro UD 8 Jul 5, 1984   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
9 Loss 7–2   Robbie Sims TKO 6 (10), 2:21 Jan 6, 1984   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
8 Win 7–1   Marciano Bernardi TKO 1, 2:27 Dec 15, 1983   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
7 Win 6–1   Frank Minton TKO 5, 1:21 Aug 18, 1983   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
6 Win 5–1   Jose Torres UD 6 Jun 18, 1983   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
5 Loss 4–1   Osley Silas PTS 6 Mar 31, 1983   Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
4 Win 4–0   Donnie Franklin UD 4 Feb 18, 1983   Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
3 Win 3–0   Donnie Williams TKO 1 (4), 2:45 Jan 29, 1983   Bally's Park Place, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
2 Win 2–0   Bruce Starling KO 2 (4) Jan 6, 1983   Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.
1 Win 1–0   Larry Jordan TKO 2 (4) Dec 9, 1982   Sands, Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S. Professional debut

Honors and awardsEdit

Barkley is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Barkley's first child was born to Barkley's common law wife Pam in 1981.[1] He has four offspring and has been divorced twice.[2]

Barkley has fallen on some difficult times since his retirement from boxing. Penniless and unemployed, he became homeless in November 2010 after he was evicted from his Bronx apartment. Through the support of the Bronx nonprofit BronxWorks and the Ring 10 boxing charity, he found housing and receives assistance so he can become self-supporting.[9]

Barkley resides in the Morrisania area of the South Bronx.[10]

Barkley enjoys teaching boxing skills to young amateurs.

He is a ringside regular at boxing matches in New York City.

Barkley's great-nephew, Saquon Barkley, is an NFL running back who was selected with the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Russo, Frank (November 2, 2004). "The Iran 'The Blade' Barkley Story". BoxingScene.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Mallozzi, Vincent M. (March 25, 2007). "Barkley, Once a Boxing King, Now Has a One-Bedroom Kingdom". The New York Times. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Keenan, Ronan (June 22, 2009). "Iran Barkley: For Better Or Worse 'A Glass Half Full Type of Guy'". thesweetscience.com. Retrieved May 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "Saquon Barkley's boxing background helps define his toughness". USA Today. Retrieved 2018-05-13.
  5. ^ Scrima, Sharon (April 17, 2012). "Roberto Duran vs. Iran Barkley: VHS Classic Rewind". WorldBoxing101.com. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 16, 2018. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "News". Fight Beat. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  7. ^ "The hardest word in the hardest sport. Retirement". boxrec.com. 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  8. ^ "Iran Barkley". NJboxinghof.org. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  9. ^ "Ring 10 Veterans Boxing Foundation: A Beta Bomb of Brotherhood, Part 2 - Champions in Need". WorldBoxing101.com. June 27, 2012.
  10. ^ "Former champion boxer Iran Barkley gets some help off the ropes, out of homelessness from nonprofit". NYDailyNews.com. 2011-04-16. Retrieved 2011-09-27.

External linksEdit

Sporting positions
Regional boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Jose Quinones
WBC Continental Americas
middleweight champion

December 6, 1985 – December 14, 1985
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Esteban Pizzarro
Vacant
Title last held by
Esteban Pizzarro
WBC Continental Americas
middleweight champion

June 19, 1986 – June 1987
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Ricky Stackhouse
Minor world boxing titles
Vacant
Title last held by
Will Hinton
World Boxing Board
heavyweight champion

June 8, 1997 – May 1999
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Mika Kihlström
Major world boxing titles
Preceded by
Thomas Hearns
WBC middleweight champion
June 6, 1988 – February 24, 1989
Succeeded by
Roberto Durán
Preceded by
Darrin Van Horn
IBF super middleweight champion
January 10, 1992 – February 13, 1993
Succeeded by
James Toney
Preceded by
Thomas Hearns
WBA light heavyweight champion
March 20, 1992 – September 1992
Vacant
Title next held by
Virgil Hill
Awards
Previous:
Sugar Ray Leonard
SD12 Marvin Hagler
The Ring Upset of the Year
TKO3 Thomas Hearns

1988
Next:
René Jacquot
UD12 Donald Curry
Previous:
Vinny Paz
The Ring Comeback of the Year
1992
Next:
Zack Padilla