Boxer Profile: Michael Grant

At 6 foot 7 with natural gifts including an amazing 86 inch wing span Michael Grant should have been a great fighter, he should have been a boxer who stamped his authority on the sport yet the giant failed to fulfil his early career promise. Having come into the professional ranks on the back of an 11-1 amateur record Grant would prove his amateur inexperience meant little and aged 21 he embarked on a professional career that has seen him make a name for himself as one of the sports nearly men.

Starting in 1994 Grant, a relatively well built monster weighing around 250lbs built up an impressive record, which included 31 straight wins to start things off. Those wins included several note worthy victories including a DQ win over Lionel Butler (who was then the WBF champion), a KO of the equally tall Jorge Luis Gonzalez (a former World title contender), a stoppage over David Izon, a points victory against Lou Savarese and an exciting off the deck KO of Andrew Golota. These wins saw him becoming highly ranked and at 27 he seemed to be the American heir apparent to the Heavyweight division. Of the 31 wins he had racked up he had managed to stop 22 by KO and was highly hyped as the challenger when he faced Lennox Lewis in 2000. Lewis was the man generally regarded as the best and held most of the meaningful titles but was expected to have a difficult test from the Goliath sized Grant. The first round saw Grant landing some powerful blows on Lewis and cut him around the mouth, though mid way through the round Lewis would land a hard accurate uppercut and drop Grant onto his back. Although he recovered from that he would be wobbled and kept up by the ropes a few seconds later as Lewis took control of the fight. A huge monster right hand sent Grant down for the 3rd time in the opening round and yet he managed to survive the round, just. Despite starting the round well Grant had ended the round abysmally and things wouldn’t get better as he got stopped the following round with a short sharp uppercut.

Having lost in his big chance Grants career never really got going again, a 1st round stoppage defeat to Jameel McCline saw Grant becoming a joke in boxing circles. After 15 months of of the ring due to injuries Grant would make a very short lived (43 second) comeback, which saw him dropped with the first punch of the fight, before limping away claiming a broken ankle soon afterwards.

Although Grant would make a comeback to the ring 8 months later he had lost all momentum from his 31 wins and started fighting low key affairs, winning 7 fights in a run by KO or TKO. Having expanded his record to 38-2 (29) he would face his first test since his 2 losses, though the unbeaten Dominick Guinn hadn’t read the Grant script and stopped the giant in the 7th round with a lethal combination. This was the last time many would hear or see of Grant as he fought in relative obscurity for the following few years until he emerged recently to face former 2-weight champion Tomasz Adamek. Although Grant started slowly against Adamek he wobbled the Polish born fighter late in losing effort to fall to 46-4 as a professional.

Grant, although perfectly built, with an athletic, tall frame and a huge reach just seemed to lack the mental attitude to impose his size and strength onto opponents, added to his confidence being destroyed by the loss to Lennox Lewis, it seems fair to say Grant just lacked the fighters heart to go with his size.

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