On July 1st, 1991, WBC Super Welterweight champion ‘Terrible’ Terry Norris entered the third defence of his title against Donald Curry as a 4-1 favourite, coming off a decision win over Sugar Ray Leonard, in his own words he felt ‘untouchable’.
Donald Curry, on the other hand, was looking retirement dead in the eye, knocked out by Michael Nunn in his previous bout, not many gave him a hope in hell’s chance at dethroning Norris.
The fight was a co-feature with Meldrick Taylor’s narrow split decision win over the unknown Luis Garcia at the Raddison Resort in Palm Springs, California. Curry even though a slightly faded force at this point was still a dangerous puncher, coming into the bout with intentions of walking Norris onto one his straight right hands, a ploy that worked wonders as Norris fell into the trap of standing his ground, creating a dogfight kind of scenario which was quizzical to some.
Norris later explained his reasoning for abandoning his usual tactics, telling media ‘I wanted to knock him out, I started thinking, I beat Leonard, I beat the legend, Can’t nobody touch me’
But Curry for seven rounds wouldn’t comply, fighting fire with fire as he landed crisp hooks mixed with solid counterpunching, Norris complained that Curry had used dirty tactics throughout, including headbutts and low blows but it was the action of Norris that on conclusion would be guilty of such.
The fight was rough taking its toll on Curry more so as he began to fade entering the eighth, a final throw of the dice was a hard left-right combination which seemed to rock the champion, Norris answered with a combination of his own, a straight right hurting Curry before a second toppled him, Curry was on his knees but here’s where controversy plays it’s part, whilst down Norris landed another clubbing right hand reenacting what he also did in the Leonard fight previous, Referee Chuck Hassell who had shown little control throughout, decided to ignore the blow, counting Curry out with seconds remaining of the round.