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Forgotten Champions: Maurice Blocker


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A very tall and technically sound welterweight who actually captured two different world titles, WBC and IBF, but held both briefly, Maurice Blocker today is all but forgotten by the boxing fans and historians. And the reason probably is: his style. He was a slickster and not a too exciting fighter, although he has been involved in some exciting fights, but usually on the losing end. Blocker's greatest achievement was ending Magic Man Marlon Starling's career and thus taking his first world title, WBC one, in 1990. He also fought Terry Norris for his WBC 154-pound title, but lost in devastating fashion. Blocker stood or stands 6'2, which is the height only one other famous welter of that time had: Mark Breland. However, unfortunately for him, he did not possess Breland's power. He was managed by Michael Spinks in the latter part of his career.

A native of Washington DC, Maurice Blocker was known under the fighting alias "Thin Man". He was born 15 May 1963 in DC and had an amateur record of 73-3. He turned pro 16 February 1982 and actually had a few fights below 147! After going 19-0, in his 20th fight he won the NABF welter title by beating Pedro Villela, who held a win over Marlon Starling, by UD12, a wide one. In his next fight he scored a rare KO 1 against Efren Olivo and then won 3 more fights, before getting to fight against the WBC and IBF champ Lloyd Honeyghan, 18 April 1987 in London. Honeyghan had won the title by making Donald Curry quit after 6 rounds and defended it first by knocking out Johnny Bumphus in 2 rounds, but here he had to work harder against the very tall and slick and defensively strong Blocker. Blocker put on a good fight, taking Honeyghan's best punches and counterpunching effectively, but he got a point deducted for a low blow in the last round and lost by a too wide decision. After the fight, he said:"I feel I won the fight. When I heard them say it was unanimous decision I was sure. But thank God it's on TV and American people can see who really won."

It was a good showing, regardless of the result or who really won. He scored a few more easy wins over subpar opponents before fighting Saoul Mamby, the former world light welter champion, but by then definitely faded, on 16 February 1990. He was dominant and got all the 10 rounds from all judges in the end. This gave him another world title shot, this time against the WBC-champ Marlon Starling. Starling was 6 inches shorter and 4 years older but very good defensively and physically strong. The fight was in Reno, Nevada and Blocker was again dominant, easily tagging Starling with his left jab and also knocking out his mouthpiece with a left uppercut in round 2 and staggering him in round 8 with several left hooks. In the end, it was only enough for a majority decision, but it was in Blocker's favor this time. Despite Starling hurting him in the closing round, he was definitely dominated, but as the more popular fighter, judges were too kind on him. 

Already in his next fight and first defense, he had a unification fight against Simon Brown, who had reigned as the IBF champion for around 3 years and had a record of 33-1, that one loss coming against Starling. Brown was also a lot shorter at 5'9, but carried real punching power and was a wrecking machine, a very strong and aggressive fighter. The fight happened on 18 March 1991 at Mirage Hotel and Casino in Vegas and Brown overpowered Blocker after a competitive fight and stopped him by TKO 10. However, as Brown vacated the IBF fight not long after that (in protest against IBF recognizing Apartheid-South African fighters), Blocker got to fight for it against Glenwood Brown, a quality fighter who would go on to fight Meldrick Taylor. The date was 4 October and the place Atlantic City when Blocker became a champion again, this time by a controversial split decision. He also made one successful defense by split decision, next year on 28 August against Luis Garcia of Venezuela.

Feeling more confident, he accepted a fight against Terry Norris at 154. It was staged at Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, on the undercard of Julio Cesar Chavez vs Greg Haugen, 20 February 1993 and Norris made short work of Blocker by dropping him twice in the first round and then stopping him against the ropes in the second. This loss clearly hurt him, because he would also lose his title in the same fashion. After fighting one non-title fight which ended as a no-contest, Blocker made his second defense as the IBF champ against the young Felix "Tito" Trinidad, 19 June same year, in San Diego. After a close first round, Trinidad caught him with a big left hook in the second round and Blocker was out on the canvas for several minutes. This brutal knockout ended his career effectively, but he would come back for two more fights next year, both at 154, winning them both by TKO and then retiring with a record of 36(20)-4-0. 

There is very little info on him online and even at Boxrec and CBZ the info is rather scarce. By all accounts, Blocker is probably still alive today and lives in Washington DC. Thin Man Blocker was simply a talented fighter who lacked the punch to win his biggest fights by ko and thus was reliant on a points victory. It is never easy to fight at world level like that, knowing that the other guy can knock you out and you probably can't knock him out. But for what its worth, he had a good career and accomplished a lot, he made the most of his talent in other words. Hope you enjoyed my presentation of the career of Maurice Blocker-FORGOTTEN CHAMPION!


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