Kirkland Laing was a Jamaican-born British boxer. Nicknamed The Gifted One, he fought in the welterweight division. He was a two-time British welterweight champion and one-time EBU welterweight champion. Laing is best known for defeating Roberto Duran in September 1982. Their fight was named The Ring Magazine’s upset of the year. In his boxing career, he found 56 professional fights and complied a 43-12-1 record.
Laing died on 9 June 2021 at the age of 2021.
What is Kirkland Laing Famous For?
- Two-time British welterweight champion
- One time EBU welterweight champion
Where is Kirkland Laing From?
Kirkland Laing was born on 20 June 1954. His birth place was in Jamaica. The family moved to Britain when he was an infant. He held British nationality. His zodiac sign is Gemini. Laing’s mother suffered a tragic accident when she was nine months pregnant with Laing. Due to this, Laing wasn’t able to walk until the age of 5. He has a younger brother named Tony. The detailed information about his parents is not available at present.
Kirkland Laing Boxing Career
- Kirkland Laing started boxing at an early age.
- He competed in his first amateur bout at the age of 12.
- He was 17 years old when he defeated Vernon Sollas to win the ABA featherweight championship.
- Laing turned professional at the age of 19.
- In his professional boxing career, Kirkland Laing fought 56 professional fights. He compiled 43 wins including 24 KOs. He lost 12 fights and recorded 1 draw.
- Laing is best known for his win over Roberto Duran. Laing defeated Duran via a shock split decision in September 1982. Ring Magazine named the fight Upset of the Year in 1982. KO Magazine also named the fight Upset of the Year.
- Besides his most popular fight, he held the British welterweight championship twice from 1979 to 1980 and from 1987 to 1991.
- He also won the EBU welterweight title in 1990. He had knocked out Antonie Fernandez at the Wembley Conference Centre.
- However, Laing’s professional career was affected by his involvement in drugs and women. He had gone missing in 1983 and blew his earnings. He missed four major fights that would have earned him $6 million.
- Laing retired from boxing after losing to future world champion Glenn Catley. He retired at the age of 40.
Kirkland Laing Family
Kirkland Laing married a woman named Felicidad in 1978. After retiring from boxing, he continued to live in Hackney. In 2003, he fell from his balcony. The reason for him falling from the balcony remains a mystery.
A book about the life story of Kirkland Laing titled, “The Gifted One” Kirkland Laing Through the Eyes of Others by Oliver Jarrat in 2009.
Laing lived in Hornsea, East Yorkshire. He died on 9 June 2021 at the age of 66. His cause of death has not been released yet.