Donny Lalonde

Last updated
Donny Lalonde
Statistics
Real nameDonald Drew Lalonde
Nickname(s)Golden Boy
Weight(s) Light Heavyweight
Cruiserweight
Nationality Canadian
Born (1960-03-12) March 12, 1960 (age 61)
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights47
Wins41
Wins by KO33
Losses5
Draws1
No contests0

Donny Lalonde (born March 12, 1960) is a retired professional boxer. His nickname is "Golden Boy," after the Golden Boy statue atop the Manitoba Legislative Building in his boxing home town of Winnipeg. Lalonde held the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship from 1987 to 1988.

Contents

Early career

Lalonde was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He got into boxing "to try to reestablish self-esteem, respect, pride," he said. "Boxing is a way of doing that." Lalonde had an amateur record of 11-4 and turned professional in 1980.

Early professional career

Lalonde won his first four fights and then lost a six-round decision to Wilbert "Vampire" Johnson in March 1981. They had a rematch seven months later, which Lalonde won by a second-round knockout.

In 1983, Lalonde won the Canadian Light Heavyweight Championship, knocking out Roddie McDonald in ten rounds. He defeated McDonald even though he had a smashed middle knuckle on his right hand and was recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, which he first separated when he crashed into the boards while playing hockey in 1977.

Over the years, the shoulder had separated some thirty times and had become so loose that he was able to pop it back into socket himself. To prepare for his fight with McDonald, he underwent an operation in which doctors inserted a pin to bind the joint, which severely restricted his ability to raise his left arm. It affected Lalonde's style: He would paw with his left, looking to set up his powerful right.

In 1985, with a record of 19-1, Lalonde fought Willie Edwards for the NABF Light Heavyweight Championship. Edwards stopped Lalonde in nine rounds.

Rise to the top

At the end of 1985, Lalonde hired Dave Wolf as his manager and Teddy Atlas as his trainer. Lalonde went 8-0 with Atlas as his trainer, but they clashed in temperament and style. He and Atlas parted ways, and Lalonde hired Tommy Gallagher and Bobby Cassidy as his new trainers.

In his first fight with Gallagher and Cassidy, he outpointed Mustafa Hamsho on May 7, 1987. His next fight was for a world title. On November 27, 1987, Lalonde knocked out Eddie Davis in two rounds to win the vacant WBC Light Heavyweight Championship in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. His first title defense was also in Port of Spain. On May 29, 1988, he knocked out former WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Leslie Stewart in five rounds. [1]

On November 7, 1988, Lalonde fought Sugar Ray Leonard at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was by far the biggest fight of his career. Lalonde's purse was six million dollars. They fought for Lalonde's WBC Light Heavyweight Championship and the newly created WBC Super Middleweight Championship, which meant that Lalonde had to make 168 lbs. Some were concerned that moving down from the light heavyweight limit of 175 lbs would weaken Lalonde, but he told HBO's Larry Merchant after the fight that he had no trouble making weight, and he felt great on the night of the fight.

Lalonde's size and awkwardness troubled Leonard. In the fourth round, a right hand to the top of Leonard's head dropped him for just the second time in his career. Early in the ninth, Lalonde hurt Leonard with a right to the chin. Leonard fired back and hurt Lalonde with a right. He drove him to the ropes and unleashed a furious assault. Lalonde tried to tie up Leonard, but got dropped with a powerful left hook. He rose but was soon down again, and the fight was stopped. Leonard won his fourth and fifth world titles. [2]

Retirement and return

After Leonard vacated the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship, Lalonde was scheduled to fight Dennis Andries for the title on June 24, 1989 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shortly before the fight, Lalonde shocked many by retiring. "I just don't have the desire to hit people anymore," Lalonde said. [3]

Lalonde returned to boxing in 1991. After four straight wins, he fought Bobby Czyz for the WBA Cruiserweight Championship on May 9, 1992 in Las Vegas. Czyz dropped Lalonde in the first round with a left hook. Lalonde got up and survived the round, but for the rest of the fight, Czyz continued to come forward and land effectively with left jabs and hooks. Czyz retained his title with a twelve-round unanimous decision. [4]

After losing to Czyz, Lalonde was inactive for four years. He returned to the ring and won three straight fights, then fought a six-round draw with Kevin Pompey in 1998. Lalonde stayed out of the ring again until 2002. After three consecutive wins, Lalonde fought former two-division champion Virgil Hill in Winnipeg on July 7, 2003.

In the first round, Lalonde fell into the ropes after getting hit by a left hook. The referee ruled it a knockdown, but Lalonde said the fall was due more to bad footwork. Lalonde spent most of the fight backpedaling and looking to land his right hand. Hill controlled the fight, landing frequently with jabs and hooks while avoiding Lalonde's powerful right. Hill won by a ten-round unanimous decision. It was Lalonde's last fight. He finished with a record of 41-5-1 with 33 knockouts. [5]

Teddy Atlas' book revelation

In 2006, Teddy Atlas published his autobiography, Atlas: From the Streets to the Ring: A Son's Struggle to Become a Man. In the book, he revealed that he came close to murdering Lalonde. "When he made six million for Leonard, it tore me up," Atlas wrote. "It made me murderous." If Atlas had not been fired by Lalonde and he had trained him for the Leonard fight, he would've gotten 10% of his purse, $600,000.

Atlas described getting a gun and going to Lalonde's apartment building in New York City. After getting buzzed into the building by another tenant, Atlas went to Lalonde's apartment and knocked on the door. "If he had opened the door, he was dead," Atlas wrote. "I would have pulled the trigger, turned around, and walked away." However, there was no answer.

Atlas waited through the night for Lalonde to return, periodically phoning the apartment. When he finally got through, Lalonde's girlfriend answered. When asked if Lalonde was home, she said yes. Atlas hung up and started making his way over to the apartment. Somewhere along the way, for whatever reason, Atlas changed his mind.

Lalonde knew nothing about it until the book came out and a friend told him about it. "It actually didn't surprise me when I heard it," he said. "Teddy got into fights with trainers and fighters quite a bit when I was with him. He may not be the most stable person walking around." [6]

Honors

Lalonde was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1990.

T.K.O.O.O

Lalonde is now aiming to help boxers live a healthier life in their golden years through his initiative "TKOOO" (Taking "K"are Of Our Own). Its mission is to educate fighters on the benefits of natural and preventative medicine, including the reduction or elimination of the trauma induced effects of combat sport. [7]

Controversies

In 2004, Lalonde declared bankruptcy in B.C., owing $1.5 million to creditors, mostly linked to failed real estate ventures, and moved to Tamarindo in northwestern Costa Rica where he sold pre-construction lots in a new community. Ten years later, about 30 investors hired a lawyer, hoping to recoup $3.5 million in a class-action lawsuit. As of 2020, no development has taken place

Professional boxing record

41 Wins (33 knockouts, 8 decisions), 5 Losses (2 knockouts, 3 decisions), 1 Draw
ResultRecordOpponentTypeRoundDateLocationNotes
Loss48-4 Flag of the United States.svg Virgil Hill UD1005/07/2003 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg CanWest Global Park, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win17-6-2 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Willard LewisUD1014/03/2003 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win29-29-2 Flag of the United States.svg Stacy GoodsonKO106/12/2002 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaGoodson knocked out at 2:40 of the first round.
Win75-14-1 Flag of the United States.svg Tony MenefeeUD802/10/2002 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Draw32-14-2 Flag of the United States.svg Kevin PompeyPTS628/05/1998 Flag of the United States.svg Westchester County Center, White Plains, New York, U.S.
Win14-3-1 Flag of the United States.svg Joe StevensonTKO709/04/1997 Flag of the United States.svg The Aladdin, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.Referee stopped the bout at 1:28 of the seventh round.
Win16-3-3 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg George SponagleKO312/12/1996 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Win12-2-2 Flag of the United States.svg Ed DaltonUD802/11/1996 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Memorial Arena, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Loss39-5 Flag of the United States.svg Bobby Czyz UD1208/05/1992 Flag of the United States.svg Riviera Hotel & Casino, Winchester, Nevada, U.S.For WBA cruiserweight title.
Win13-9-1 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Dave FiddlerTKO317/12/1991 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaReferee stopped the bout at 1:28 of the third round.
Win5-11 Flag of the United States.svg David BatesKO403/12/1991 Flag of the United States.svg Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.Bates knocked out at 1:47 of the fourth round.
Win18-9 Flag of the United States.svg Bert GravleyTKO720/09/1991 Flag of the United States.svg Sun Dome, Tampa, Florida, U.S.Referee stopped the bout at 2:04 of the seventh round.
Win17-6 Flag of the United States.svg Darryl FrommTKO305/09/1991 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg LuLu's Road House, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Loss34-1 Flag of the United States.svg Sugar Ray Leonard TKO9 07/11/1988 Flag of the United States.svg Caesars Palace, Paradise, Nevada, U.S.Lost WBC light heavyweight title;
For inaugural WBC super middleweight title
Referee stopped the bout at 2:30 of the ninth round.
Win26-2 Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg Leslie Stewart TKO529/05/1988 Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg National Stadium, Port of Spain, Trinidad and TobagoRetained WBC light heavyweight title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the fifth round.
Win34-5-1 Flag of the United States.svg Eddie Davis TKO227/11/1987 Flag of Trinidad and Tobago.svg National Stadium, Port of Spain, Trinidad and TobagoWon vacant WBC light heavyweight title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:22 of the second round.
Win42-3-2 Flag of Syria.svg Mustafa Hamsho UD1207/05/1987 Flag of the United States.svg Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.Won vacant WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title. 117-110, 116-110, 118-108.
Win17-3 Flag of the United States.svg Benito FernandezTKO906/11/1986 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win17-6 Flag of the United States.svg Charles HendersonTKO830/09/1986 Flag of the United States.svg Premier Center, Sterling Heights, Michigan, U.S.Referee stopped the bout at 1:04 of the eighth round.
Win7-4-1 Flag of the United States.svg Terrence WalkerTKO628/08/1986 Flag of the United States.svg Felt Forum, New York City, New York, U.S.Referee stopped the bout at 2:28 of the sixth round.
Win-- Flag of the United States.svg Frank WaltersKO112/08/1986 Flag of the United States.svg Ashland Armory, Ashland, Kentucky, U.S.
Win7-8 Flag of the United States.svg Lenny EdwardsTKO330/04/1986 Flag of the United States.svg Lakeland Community College, Mentor, Ohio, U.S.
Win0-2-1 Flag of the United States.svg Joe BrewerTKO306/04/1986 Flag of the United States.svg Essex Racquet Club, West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.Referee stopped the bout at 0:34 of the third round.
Win0-3 Flag of the United States.svg Roberto RodriguezTKO208/02/1986 Flag of the United States.svg Enid, Oklahoma, U.S.
Win0-1 Flag of the United States.svg Ronnie CrawfordTKO221/01/1986 Flag of the United States.svg Trade Winds Central Inn, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S.
Win12-4 Flag of the United States.svg Jamie HowePTS1028/08/1985 Flag of the United States.svg Wheeling, West Virginia, U.S.
Loss19-2-1 Flag of the United States.svg Willie EdwardsTKO916/05/1985 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Winnipeg Arena, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaFor NABF light heavyweight title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:49 of the ninth round.
Win0-1 Flag of the United States.svg John JonesTKO326/04/1985 Flag of the United States.svg Hammond, Indiana, U.S.
Win9-1 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Don HurtleTKO608/09/1984 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Winnipeg Arena, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaRetained Canada light heavyweight title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:40 of the sixth round.
Win23-1 Flag of the United States.svg Carlos TiteTKO228/06/1984 Flag of the United States.svg Holiday Star Theatre, Merrillville, Indiana, U.S.Referee stopped the bout at 2:06 of the second round.
Win23-4-1 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jimmy GradsonKO111/02/1984 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Brandon Community Arena, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaRetained Canada light heavyweight title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:30 of the first round.
Win9-6 Flag of the United States.svg Nathaniel AkbarKO325/11/1983 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Win24-2 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Roddy MacDonaldTKO1004/07/1983 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, CanadaWon Canada light heavyweight title.
Win4-0 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Don HurtleUD815/11/1982 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win-- Flag of the United States.svg Frank LuxKO207/10/1982 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg International Inn, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaLux knocked out at 0:26 of the second round.
Win9-5-1 Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy BakerTKO830/09/1982 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Marshall Hall, Kitchener, Ontario, CanadaReferee stopped the bout at 2:29 of the eighth round.
Win0-4 Flag of the United States.svg Akbar AbdullahTKO223/08/1982 Flag of the United States.svg Ramsey, Minnesota, U.S.
Win0-8 Flag of the United States.svg Ken JohnsonKO229/06/1982 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaJohnson knocked out at 0:29 of the second round.
Win2-5 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Randy JacksonKO212/02/1982 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg International Inn, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaJackson knocked out at 2:40 of the second round.
Win0-1 Flag of the United States.svg Akbar AbdullahUD610/12/1981 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win37-8-1 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Jean-Claude LeClairTKO203/11/1981 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Paul Sauvé Arena, Montreal, Quebec, CanadaReferee stopped the bout at 1:05 of the second round.
Win13-1 Flag of the United States.svg Wilbert JohnsonTKO210/10/1981 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Loss6-1 Flag of the United States.svg Wilbert JohnsonUD606/03/1981 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win-- Flag of the United States.svg Jimmy GreenTKO320/01/1981 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaReferee stopped the bout at 1:47 of the third round.
Win2-18 Flag of the United States.svg Muhammed SmithKO112/11/1980 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win-- Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Edmond EsquirolUD416/09/1980 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win0-1 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Ken NicholsTKO224/04/1980 Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Convention Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, CanadaReferee stopped the bout at 2:05 of the second round.

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References

  1. "For Donny Lalonde, who will meet Sugar Ray Leonard in - 10.31.88 - SI Vault". 2012-10-26. Archived from the original on 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  2. "Sugar Ray Leonard KO'd Donny Lalonde and savored every - 11.21.88 - SI Vault". 2012-10-26. Archived from the original on 2012-10-26. Retrieved 2020-09-25.
  3. The Milwaukee Journal May 28, 1989
  4. New York Times May 10, 1992
  5. Lodi News-Sentinel July 7, 2003
  6. Donny Lalonde Responds To Atlas
  7. Boxing 101,"Golden Boy Donny Lalonde Is Taking Care Of His Own", September 26, 2012

Donny ‘Golden Boy’ Lalonde Is Back In Town

Achievements
Vacant
Title last held by
Virgil Hill
WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Champion
7 May 1987 - 27 November 1987
Won world title
Vacant
Title next held by
Mike Peak
Preceded by
Thomas Hearns
Vacated
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
27 Nov 19877 Nov 1988
Succeeded by