Kirkland Laing

KIRKLAND LAING was an alcohol-fuelled drug addict, womaniser and gambler, who happened to also be the most gifted Brit boxer never to win a world title.

Laing, who died aged 66, was admired and loved by everyone who came in contact with him, despite his many vices.

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Kirkland Laing died aged 66 and was the most gifted British boxer never to win a world titleCredit: Getty

The Jamaican-born Nottingham lad was an ever-smiling maverick without a malicious bone in his body, whose skills mesmerised his foes and his fans in the 1980s.

His name deserves to be revered alongside men like Joe Calzaghe, Ken Buchanan, Josh Taylor and the rest of this country’s elite fighters.

Unfortunately, memories of Laing’s mastery of the arts and crafts of the sweet science have been lost in the mists of time.

That’s why the former British and European champion’s death was recorded but, shamefully, without the fulsome tributes he deserved.

It may not sound feasible, but the titles Laing won were achieved with the bare minimum of training — and a mountain of marijuana.

Kirk, with his dreadlocks, Jamaican lilt and laid-back lifestyle, seemed more suited to a free-spirit existence as a Montego Bay beachcomber.

His lack of discipline and dedication, plus the fact he would vanish without trace for long periods, drove managers Terry Lawless and Mickey Duff to distraction.

Duff told me with despairing understatement: “Kirk was unpredictable. He’d make you grow old overnight if you let him.”

The highlight of Laing’s 19-year, 56-fight career was when Duff got him a ten-round fight with the great Roberto Duran in Detroit, in 1982.

The idea was for Duran to get in some useful practice after a humiliating loss against Sugar Ray Leonard.


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The most famous fight of his career was against Roberto Duran in 1982Credit: Getty

But Laing completely outboxed the Panamanian legend and his sensational points win was acclaimed by Ring magazine as “Upset of the Year”.

Kirkland Laing was the most gifted Brit boxer never to win a world title but he tragically threw away a ton of talent

Source:The Sun

Kirkland Laing was the most gifted Brit boxer never to win a world title but he tragically threw away a ton of talent

Kirkland Laing dead aged 66: British boxing champ dies seven years after falling from Hackney balcony

Source:The Sun

Kirkland Laing dead aged 66: British boxing champ dies seven years after falling from Hackney balcony

Kirkland Laing: Remembering the Gifted One who shocked the world and then went missing

Source:The Independent

Kirkland Laing: Remembering the Gifted One who shocked the world and then went missing

Kirkland Laing, the British boxing champion whose career spiralled into drink and drugs after beating the great Roberto Duran in 1982, dies aged 66 – seven years after he was ...

Source:Daily Mail

Kirkland Laing, the British boxing champion whose career spiralled into drink and drugs after beating the great Roberto Duran in 1982, dies aged 66 – seven years after he was ...

Kirkland Laing dead aged 66: British boxing champ dies seven years after falling from Hackney balcony

Source:The Sun

Kirkland Laing dead aged 66: British boxing champ dies seven years after falling from Hackney balcony