Nigel Gregory Benn (born 22 January 1964) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1987 to 1996. He held world championships in two weight classes, including the WBO middleweight title in 1990, and the WBC super-middleweight title from 1992 to 1996. Regionally he held the Commonwealth middleweight title from 1988 to 1989. Nicknamed “The Dark Destroyer” for his formidable punching power and aggressive fighting style, he retired with an 83.3% knockout-to-win ratio.
Benn turned professional in 1987 and began a streak of consecutive knockout wins. This ensured a rapid rise through the professional ranks and during this time, Benn won the vacant Commonwealth middleweight title with a second round win over Abdul Umaru, at Alexandra Pavilion on 20 April 1988.
At 22-0 (22 KOs), Benn defended his Commonwealth title against Michael Watson in a heavily hyped bout in May 1989 at Finsbury Park, London. The fight even appeared on national television in the US. Throwing virtually nothing but hooks, Benn repeatedly failed to get through Watson’s tight guard, and gradually tired whilst being stunned numerous times himself.
In the sixth round, Watson knocked Benn down with a jab and Benn was counted out as he rose to his feet.
His next fight, against Jorge Amparo in Atlantic City, U.S., was his first fight abroad and also the first to last the full distance, with Benn winning a 10-round decision.
On 24 September 2019, Benn announced that he would be returning to boxing at the age of 55, 23 years after his last fight, saying that he wanted “closure” after the unsatisfactory end to his boxing career in 1996. Benn was set to fight former WBC super-middleweight world champion Sakio Bika (34-7-3) on 23 November 2019. The British Boxing Board of Control refused to sanction the fight, which instead was to be sanctioned by the British and Irish Boxing Authority. The fight was subsequently called off after Benn suffered a shoulder injury in sparring. A disappointed Benn also confirmed that he was abandoning his planned boxing comeback.