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Julian 'The Hawk' Jackson

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

Julian Jackson

Plagued throughout his career with eye problems, some said that he needed a white stick, but tell that to the forty-nine opponents he knocked cold in the light-middle and middleweight ranks.

Jackson had an amateur record of 15-2 and turned professional on 02nd February 1981, winning a four round points decision against fellow debutant Inocencio Carmona.

The father of six from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands dedicated his life to God after losing a WBA light-middleweight contest to the Jamaican Mike McCallum, in 1986.

Both men were undefeated, the champion was 26-0 (23 KO's), whilst Jackson's resume stood at 29-0 (27 stoppages). After McCallum tasted Jackson's power in the first round, the champion ended matters in the 2nd.

Jackson, an assuming and modest man came back from this setback and took the WBA eleven-stone crown from the South Korean In-Chul Baek in the third round in Las Vegas on 21st November 1987. He defended the 154lbs belt three times, notably in his third defence, Jackson forced Norris to the ropes and cracked him with a right hand. The future three-time champion stood motionless as he was relieved of his senses before the champion landed the last few blows to end the contest.

Surgery to correct his retina problems interrupted his career. He was out of the ring for ten months, with the Norris defence being his last contest at light-middleweight as he stepped up to the middleweight division against nine fight novice John McClendon, winning by a second round KO.

The following month saw him beat Wayne Powell with a fourth round TKO, which set him up to contest the vacant WBC middleweight belt against Britain's Herol Graham on 24th November 1990.

The bout took place in Spain as the British Boxing Board of Control refused to give Jackson a license due to his retina surgery.

Graham started unusually aggressively and had Jackson backed on the ropes. By the third it looked as if Jackson couldn't solve the elusive style of the southpaw Graham. He was swollen around both eyes and told in the interval between rounds by the referee Joe Cortez he had one round left or he'll stop the fight.

All the Brit had to do was negate the fourth round and the green belt was his. Graham backed his opponent to a ring post, as he went in with a left, Jackson threw a thunderous right and nailed Graham on the chin.

He was out before he hit the canvas as the referee counted above him. Being a fellow Brit I was urging Graham to get up, even though it was obvious he wouldn't. 'The Hawk' was now a two weight world champion.

His first defence was a first round knockout against Dennis Milton. Next up was another quick contest with Ismael Negron and a fifth round TKO against Ron Collins, before being taken the full twelve rounds for the first time, winning an unanimous decision against the tough Thomas Tate.

He held the belt for three years before being dethroned by Gerald McClellan in Las Vegas. This marvellous battle of big hitters ended in the fifth as Jackson was on the receiving end of McClellan's right hand.

Jackson won three on the bounce before challenging McClellan again a year later. The rematch didn't last long as Jackson got blasted out in the first round.

On 17th March 1995 Jackson took on Italy's Argostino Cardamone (23-0) for the vacant WBC crown. He was in trouble in the first round, but typically knocked his southpaw opponent out in the next, becoming a two-time middleweight champion.

Jackson had slowed markedly by the time he lost the belt to Texan southpaw Quincy Taylor in six rounds to end his championship days in August 1995.

Jackson carried on boxing winning four on the bounce, before boiling back down to 154lbs to take on Verno Phillips for the lightly regarded World Boxing Union title on 23rd January 1998. He lost by a ninth knockout.

He stayed in the light-middleweight division and fought Anthony Jones on 24th May 1998, losing via a ninth round TKO. It was Jackson's last fight and he retired with a record of 55-6 (49 KO's).

Julian Jackson is the father of boxers Julius and John Jackson, who represented the Virgin Islands at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Julius competed at light-heavyweight, but lost in the competition's first round. John fighting at welterweight did slightly better progressing into the second round of the tournament.

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