2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of Nigel Benn and Michael Watson stepping into a purpose built tent in Finsbury Park to contest the WBO Middleweight Championship, marking the start of an epic saga in British Boxing. No Middle Ground will do for this golden era of the sport what George Kimball’s Four King’s did for American boxing. Between 1989 and 1993, Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn and Michael Watson fought each other repeatedly for the World Middle-weight championship belt. The first fight took place a month after the Hillsborough disaster and each fight was screened live on TV. It was a time when boxing was seen in a brighter light than most other sports, when kids could stay up late to watch 12 rounds of hate-fuelled madness. It was also the last Golden Era of British Boxing. No Middle Ground is the story of the greatest, and last, rivalry between three of the most talented fighters Britain has ever produced. Rivalries exist in every sport, but put it in the ring, in the form of the prancing, gleaming Eubank or the heavy set of The Dark Destroyer (Nigel Benn) and suddenly it becomes something more, a war of wills. But this is what the British public tuned in for. And they certainly got it, with Michael Watson comatosed on the canvas at the end of one brutal fight. Sanjeev Shetty takes us back to when these three boxers graced the heavy bags and tells their story as well as that of Britain’s love affair with the sport. He traces their journeys to center stage and tells the story of the dark side of Thatcher’s nation – the blood, the sweat, and the dangerous hatred that fuelled these men before pantomime took over and revealed a new age of boxers crafted not from the salt of the earth, but from brand-managers flipcharts and the sport disappeared behind a curtain of advertisements forever.
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