By Jim Amato

 

   He was a classy boxer/puncher from New Jersey who appeared destined for greatness. Harold “The Shadow” Knight took a glossy 19-0 record into the ring in an attempt to win a world title. It would be his only chance. Harold became a professional fighter in 1983 at the age of nineteen. It would not take him long to establish himself as a hot prospect and soon a legitimate contender. Harold won his first twelve fights going into 1987. In his thirteenth bout he halted Rene Resto in two rounds. It was Harold’s ninth knockout victory. One month later Knight scored an impressive four round stoppage of Darrell Savoy. This led to an important opportunity for Knight. He was matched with world ranked Kenny Baysmore for the USBA super featherweight title. Harold served notice that he was ready for the big time beating the game Baysmore in seven rounds.
   “The Shadow” was now hoping for a shot at the world title. He scored kayo wins over Rafael Gandarilla and Sylvester Kennon. Then he put his USBA title on the line against slick Anthony English. Four rounds later Harold was still holding on to his USBA belt. Knight closed out a very successful 1987 campaign with a hard fought victory over tough Erskine Wade for the USBA title. Harold was now 19-0 with 15 kayo victories. He won his last nine in a row by knockout. It was now time to challenge for a world title. On April 2,1988 Harold met IBF super featherweight champion Rocky Lockridge at the Sands Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. Lockridge had twice failed to win the WBA featherweight title from Eusebio Pedroza (1980 +83). In 1984 Rocky won the WBA version of the super featherweight title with a one round blitz of Roger Mayweather. He would lose that title on a horrendous verdict to Wifredo Gomez. In 1986 Rocky lost a majority decision to another all time great, Julio Cesar Chavez. That was for the WBC 130 pound title. In 1987 Lockridge stopped Barry Michael to win the IBF crown. Harold Knight was his second scheduled defense. Although Lockridge was a proven commodity, many gave Harold a good chance to win. It was not meant to be. Knight gave it his all but on this night Rocky was just too much for him. Lockridge won a convincing decision by scores of 145-140,145-139 and 146-139.
    Lockridge would lose his title in his very next fight. It was a barn burner against Tony “The Tiger” Lopez and it was the 1988 Ring Magazine Fight Of The Year. Rocky would lose a return go with Lopez. He would then lose two of his next three bouts and retire in 1992. Harold Knight would never fight again after his lost title attempt against Lockridge. He failed a brain scan and retired. We would never get to see how far the talented Harold Knight could have gone.
Jim Amato

Filed under: Boxing


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