Michael Nunn, 56, to face Pat Miletich, 52, in June
In a bout between two of Iowa's favorite sons, former middleweight and super middleweight champion Michael Nunn (58-4, 38 KO), 56, will fight mixed martial arts (MMA) star Pat Miletich (29-7-2 in MMA), 52, in a kickboxing match tentatively scheduled for June 13 at TaxSlayer Center in Moline, IL.
“It just comes down to when will they look to allow large groups of people again," said promoter Monte Cox via Quad City Times
“We can’t get a [confirmed] date until the commission gets back in the office,’’ Cox said. “Hopefully, by June there is a good chance they will allow people to do shows like this.’’
And yes, the fighters have been cleared medically. In fact, because both fighters are 50+, the Illinois Athletic Commission required more extensive testing than the norm.
A mid 20s something Michael Nunn, left, batters Frank Tate in 1987 to win the IBF Middleweight Title
Remember Michael 'Second to' Nunn?
He was released from prison last year after serving 15 years for buying two pounds of cocaine from an undercover agent in August 2002. During sentencing hearings, witnesses testified about Nunn's drug activity dating as far back as 1993.
Once the hottest fighter in boxing and pride of Davenport, IA, Michael Nunn, who fought frequently on HBO, knocked out Frank Tate to win the IBF Middleweight title in 1987 and subsequently rose to the cusp of mainstream stardom.
From 1987-91, the boxing world buzzed about a potential match between pound-for-pound star Nunn and superstar/legend Sugar Ray Leonard, who also had a middleweight strap in the late 1980s.
Leonard vs Nunn was arguably the most desired match-up in the sport and would have been a massive event but Ray was seemingly a bit reluctant to face the young Nunn, opting instead for more lucrative superfight rematches with legends Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran. Nevertheless, the 6'1" Nunn, from 1987 to May 1991, was widely respected as one of the top fighters in the world pound-for-pound.
- Fact: Then middleweight champion Nunn was KO Magazine's Fighter of the Year for 1988.
Nunn built an impressive resume, defeating Marlon Starling, Donald Curry, Sumbu Kalambay, Iran Barkley, Merqui Sosa, Juan Roldan and, of course, Tate.
Few elite-level champions have witnessed their stock drop faster than Nunn's. On May 10, 1991, then- IBF Middleweight Champion Nunn fought James Toney, then an unbeaten but little-known opponent. For most of the bout, Nunn boxed well and had built a substantial lead heading into Round 11 where he'd be wickedly knocked out. Toney, of course, would become a legend while Nunn's career would spiral downward.
Michael Nunn scouting report, 1987-91
- Tall, long-armed southpaw with good speed
- Slick movement
- High volume puncher; Peppered opponents with combinations
- Fought well from the outside
- A bit arrogant in the ring at times
Following the KO loss to Toney, Michael, still in his late 20s, would subsequently move up to super middleweight, capture a title and successfully defend it several times. However, despite his champion status, he'd never regain the juice he once had with the public and was dethroned at 30 by former sparring partner Steve Little in 1994.
Nunn stayed active in the ring until 2002, sometimes fighting three or more times per year. His most consequential bout, post 1994, was a split decision loss to Graciano Rocchigiani in his quest to win the vacant WBC Light Heavyweight Title in 1998.
Michael Nunn: Most Significant Fights
Lost SD 12 Graciano Rocchigiani
Mar 21, 1998
Lost UD 12 Frankie Liles
Dec 17, 1994
Lost SD 12 Steve Little
Feb 26, 2994
Won UD Merqui Sosa
Dec 18, 1993
Lost TKO 11 James Toney
May 10, 1991
Won KO 10 Donald Curry
Oct 18, 1990
Won MD 12 Marlon Starling
Apr 14, 1990
Won MD 12 Iran Barkley
Aug 14, 1989
Won KO 1 Sumbu Kalambay
Mar 25, 1989
Won KO 8 Juan Domingo Roldan
Nov 4, 1988
Won TKO 9 Frank Tate
Jul 28, 1988
Who is Pat Miletich?
A retired Croatian American mixed martial artist and current sports commentator, the 5'10" Miletich is best known for his fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he became the first UFC Welterweight Champion and UFC 16 Welterweight Tournament Winner. On July 6, 2014, he was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame and since 2016 he has hosted his own podcast labeled The Conspiracy Farm with Jeffrey Wilson.
His most recent bout was a KO win in 2008 and he has shared the Octagon with top MMA fighters including Renzo Gracie, Matt Lindland and Dan Severn.
It's not yet known at what weight class Nunn vs Miletich will take place.