‘Somebody spat at me’ – Duke McKenzie tells story of incredibly hostile ring walk when defending European title in France in 1990

Duke McKenzie endured an incredibly hostile ring walk for a European title fight in 1990.
The British boxing legend joined Russ Williams and Spencer Oliver to record a new ‘Fight Of My Life’ documentary, which will air on Sunday night at 9:30pm.
McKenzie won world titles at flyweight, bantamweight and super-bantamweightGetty Images – Getty
However, rather than talk about one of his title victories, the three-weight world champion chose to discuss his defeat to Thierry Jacob for the vacant European bantamweight title.
What made this fight particularly eventful before the pair even stepped into the ring was that it took place in Calais, France.
Jacob’s supporters made sure his home advantage was felt by the visitor.
McKenzie explained on talkSPORT Fight Of My Life: “I came out into the arena, as I said to you, I couldn’t even hear myself think.
“And it’s the first time that I’d boxed in a very hostile environment.
“To the point where it didn’t matter where I made eye contact in that arena, people were just looking at me with like little venom in their eyes.
“Somebody actually spat at me on the ring walk, it was horrible.
“People were trying to slap me on the ring walk.
McKenzie was spat at while making his ring walkGetty Images – Getty
“And again, I’d boxed abroad before – I’d defended my European flyweight championship in Italy successfully.
“But it was nowhere near what I was experiencing in France.”
In the end, McKenzie suffered his second defeat as a pro by unanimous decision.
However, he would bounce back in the years that followed and went on to become world champion all over again.

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Listen to Fight Of My Life on talkSPORT on Sunday 7 February at 9.30pm and download previous editions here.

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