Have news relating to Jewish boxers? Email the editor here!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Look Back: Stephane Haccoun

In an effort to link the past with the present, The Jewish Boxing Blog will offer monthly a short biography of notable former Jewish boxers.

Stephane Haccoun, from France, was a world class featherweight during the 1990s. A European titlist, his one regret during his boxing career was never winning a world championship.

Stephane Haccoun was born on August 31, 1967 in Paris, France. He learned to box in the Avia Club, located in the Paris suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux. Haccoun started his amateur career in 1985 and won 27 of those 32 fights. Nineteen of his 27 amateur wins came by way of knockout.

Haccoun turned pro at the age of 22. He won his first eight bouts and held an undefeated record of 23-0-1 after his first 24 fights. On November 29, 1991, Haccoun sent 1984 Olympic gold medalist Steve "Bluesman" McCrory into retirement following a ten round unanimous decision victory. On March 27, 1992, Haccoun won his American debut over the unheralded Willie Garcia by way of third round KO.

Haccoun, a southpaw, pressured his opponents. A true tough guy, Stephane wasn't vain enough to shave off the stubble on his chest. he wore a mop of brown hair on his head during his boxing career.

Two weeks later, Haccoun decisioned Mark Smith in France. Haccoun stalked the smooth-moving Smith. Smith attempted to control range with a graceful jab, but Haccoun's clubbing lefts and indomitable will carried the day. Wearing leopard print trunks, Haccoun stalked Smith like a big hungry cat.

On October 30, 1992, the 5'5" Haccoun lost his first match to journeyman Steve Robinson. The win helped propel Robinson to a world class level and eventually, a world featherweight championship. Haccoun won his next four fights, three of them by knockout. The lone win on points came against another Jewish featherweight and former world champion, Fabrice Benichou. The final win came against Maurizio Stecca for the European title.

On November 30, 1993, Haccoun finally go his chance at a world championship. He faced off against IBF featherweight beltholder Tom "Boom Boom" Johnson. Johnson had just endured the death of his second manager- the first had also been slain by gun shots. The fight took place in France in front of 5,000 Haccoun supporters. Johnson dominated Stephane throughout the bout until the contest was stopped in the ninth round. Johnson, an intelligent boxer, was too quick-handed for the Frenchman.

Stefano Zoff took the European title from Haccoun in Belgium after a all-action scrap when the fight was stopped before the start of the tenth round. After a loss to Frederic Perez, Stephane retired. He came back nearly five years later winning his last six fights including a French super featherweight belt.

Stephane retired from the ring for good in 2001 with a record of 35-4-1 and 22 KOs. The 45-year old is married with two children. He works at the general council of Hauts-De-Seine in the sports department. He is also a boxing commentator.

Stephane Haccoun vs. Mark Smith
April 12, 1992
Carquefou, France

Demasio, Nunyo F. "Focused Featherweight Rises Above Adversity." The New York Times. May 28, 1995.
"Stephane Haccoun: 'J'attendais Plus de ma Carriere'." NetBoxe. May 20, 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment