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Former boxing champion Iran Barkley hospitalized with COVID

Barkley previously survived a stroke in 2014

Hearns V Barkley Getty
Patrick Stumberg is a freelance writer for SB Nation, first joining the network in 2011 before linking up with Bad Left Hook in 2015.

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman announced today that former, middleweight, super middleweight, and light heavyweight champion Iran “The Blade” Barkley has been hospitalized by the coronavirus.

Barkley (43-19, 27 KO), who turned 60 last year, was one of the premier blood-and-guts warriors of the 80s and early 90s. His 1988 comeback knockout of Tommy Hearns earned him both the WBC middleweight title and Ring Magazine’s Upset of the Year, while his subsequent war with Roberto Duran took home 1989 Fight of the Year honors. He would go on to battle Michael Nunn to a majority decision loss, produce three minutes of mayhem alongside Nigel Benn, stop Darren Van Horn for the IBF super middleweight title in 1992, and defeat Hearns in a rematch to claim the WBA light heavyweight belt.

Barkley successfully fought through a stroke in 2014 and we’re hoping he can do the same here. Best of luck, champ.

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