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Donny Lalonde
Real name Donald Drew Lalonde
Nickname(s) Golden Boy
Weight(s) Light Heavyweight
Nationality Canadian
Born (1960-03-12) March 12, 1960 (age 58)
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 47
Wins 41
Wins by KO 33
Losses 5
Draws 1
No contests 0

Donny Lalonde (born March 12, 1960 in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada) is a retired professional boxer. His nickname is "Golden Boy," after the Golden Boy statue atop the Manitoba Legislative Building in his boxing home town of Winnipeg. Lalonde held the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship from 1987 to 1988.

Early career[edit]

Lalonde got into boxing "to try to reestablish self-esteem, respect, pride," he said. "Boxing is a way of doing that." Lalonde had an amateur record of 11-4 and turned professional in 1980.

Early professional career[edit]

Lalonde won his first four fights and then lost a six-round decision to Wilbert "Vampire" Johnson in March 1981. They had a rematch seven months later, which Lalonde won by a second-round knockout.

In 1983, Lalonde won the Canadian Light Heavyweight Championship, knocking out Roddie McDonald in ten rounds. He defeated McDonald even though he had a smashed middle knuckle on his right hand and was recovering from surgery on his left shoulder, which he first separated when he crashed into the boards while playing hockey in 1977.

Over the years, the shoulder had separated some thirty times and had become so loose that he was able to pop it back into socket himself. To prepare for his fight with McDonald, he underwent an operation in which doctors inserted a pin to bind the joint, which severely restricted his ability to raise his left arm. It affected Lalonde's style: He would paw with his left, looking to set up his powerful right.

In 1985, with a record of 19-1, Lalonde fought Willie Edwards for the NABF Light Heavyweight Championship. Edwards stopped Lalonde in nine rounds.

Rise to the top[edit]

At the end of 1985, Lalonde hired Dave Wolf as his manager and Teddy Atlas as his trainer. Lalonde went 8-0 with Atlas as his trainer, but they clashed in temperament and style. He and Atlas parted ways, and Lalonde hired Tommy Gallagher and Bobby Cassidy as his new trainers.

In his first fight with Gallagher and Cassidy, he outpointed Mustafa Hamsho on May 7, 1987. His next fight was for a world title. On November 27, 1987, Lalonde knocked out Eddie Davis in two rounds to win the vacant WBC Light Heavyweight Championship in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. His first title defense was also in Port of Spain. On May 29, 1988, he knocked out former WBA Light Heavyweight Champion Leslie Stewart in five rounds.[1]

On November 7, 1988, Lalonde fought Sugar Ray Leonard at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. It was by far the biggest fight of his career. Lalonde's purse was six million dollars. They fought for Lalonde's WBC Light Heavyweight Championship and the newly created WBC Super Middleweight Championship, which meant that Lalonde had to make 168 lbs. Some were concerned that moving down from the light heavyweight limit of 175 lbs would weaken Lalonde, but he told HBO's Larry Merchant after the fight that he had no trouble making weight, and he felt great on the night of the fight.

Lalonde's size and awkwardness troubled Leonard. In the fourth round, a right hand to the top of Leonard's head dropped him for just the second time in his career. Early in the ninth, Lalonde hurt Leonard with a right to the chin. Leonard fired back and hurt Lalonde with a right. He drove him to the ropes and unleashed a furious assault. Lalonde tried to tie up Leonard, but got dropped with a powerful left hook. He rose but was soon down again, and the fight was stopped. Leonard won his fourth and fifth world titles.[2]

Retirement and return[edit]

After Leonard vacated the WBC Light Heavyweight Championship, Lalonde was scheduled to fight Dennis Andries for the vacant title on June 24, 1989 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Shortly before the fight, Lalonde shocked many by retiring. "I just don't have the desire to hit people anymore," Lalonde said.[3]

Lalonde returned to boxing in 1991. After four straight wins, he fought Bobby Czyz for the WBA Cruiserweight Championship on May 9, 1992 in Las Vegas. Czyz dropped Lalonde in the first round with a left hook. Lalonde got up and survived the round, but for the rest of the fight, Czyz continued to come forward and land effectively with left jabs and hooks. Czyz retained his title with a twelve-round unanimous decision.[4]

After losing to Czyz, Lalonde was inactive for four years. He returned to the ring and won three straight fights, then fought a six-round draw with Kevin Pompey in 1998. Lalonde stayed out of the ring again until 2002. After three consecutive wins, Lalonde fought former two-division champion Virgil Hill in Winnipeg on July 7, 2003.

In the first round, Lalonde fell into the ropes after getting hit by a left hook. The referee ruled it a knockdown, but Lalonde said the fall was due more to bad footwork. Lalonde spent most of the fight backpedaling and looking to land his right hand. Hill controlled the fight, landing frequently with jabs and hooks while avoiding Lalonde's powerful right. Hill won by a ten-round unanimous decision. It was Lalonde's last fight. He finished with a record of 41-5-1 with 33 knockouts.[5]

Teddy Atlas' book revelation[edit]

In 2006, Teddy Atlas published his autobiography, Atlas: From the Streets to the Ring: A Son's Struggle to Become a Man. In the book, he revealed that he came close to murdering Lalonde. "When he made six million for Leonard, it tore me up," Atlas wrote. "It made me murderous." If Atlas had not been fired by Lalonde and he had trained him for the Leonard fight, he would've gotten 10% of his purse, $600,000.

Atlas described getting a gun and going to Lalonde's apartment building in New York City. After getting buzzed into the building by another tenant, Atlas went to Lalonde's apartment and knocked on the door. "If he had opened the door, he was dead," Atlas wrote. "I would have pulled the trigger, turned around, and walked away." However, there was no answer.

Atlas waited through the night for Lalonde to return, periodically phoning the apartment. When he finally got through, Lalonde's girlfriend answered. When asked if Lalonde was home, she said yes. Atlas hung up and started making his way over to the apartment. Somewhere along the way, for whatever reason, Atlas changed his mind.

Lalonde knew nothing about it until the book came out and a friend told him about it. "It actually didn't surprise me when I heard it," he said. "Teddy got into fights with trainers and fighters quite a bit when I was with him. He may not be the most stable person walking around."[6]


Lalonde was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 1990.


Lalonde is now aiming to help boxers live a healthier life in their golden years through his initiative "TKOOO" (Taking "K"are Of Our Own). Its mission is to educate fighters on the benefits of natural and preventative medicine, including the reduction or elimination of the trauma induced effects of combat sport.[7]

Professional boxing record[edit]

41 Wins (33 knockouts, 8 decisions), 5 Losses (2 knockouts, 3 decisions), 1 Draw [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 48-4 United States Virgil "Quicksilver" Hill UD 10 05/07/2003 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 17-6-2 Canada Willard "Red Thunder Rock" Lewis UD 10 14/03/2003 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 98-92, 98-92, 99-92
Win 29-29-2 United States Stacy "Goodnight" Goodson KO 1 06/12/2002 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Goodson knocked out at 2:40 of the first round.
Win 75-14-1 United States Tony Menefee UD 8 02/10/2002 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 80-70, 80-70, 80-71.
Draw 32-14-2 United States "Mr. Excitement" Kevin Pompey PTS 6 28/05/1998 New York (state) White Plains, New York, United States 59-57, 57-57, 56-58.
Win 14-3-1 United States Joe Stevenson TKO 7 09/04/1997 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:28 of the seventh round.
Win 16-3-3 Canada George Sponagle KO 3 12/12/1996 British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Win 12-2-2 United States "Irish" Ed Dalton UD 8 02/11/1996 British Columbia Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Loss 39-5 United States Bobby "Matinee Idol" Czyz UD 12 08/05/1992 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada, United States WBA World Cruiserweight Title. 111-117, 110-116, 113-116.
Win 13-9-1 Canada Dave Fiddler TKO 3 17/12/1991 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Referee stopped the bout at 1:28 of the third round.
Win 5-11 United States David Bates KO 4 03/12/1991 Tennessee Memphis, Tennessee, United States Bates knocked out at 1:47 of the fourth round.
Win 18-9 United States Bert Gravley TKO 7 20/09/1991 Florida Tampa, Florida, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:04 of the seventh round.
Win 17-6 United States Darryl Fromm TKO 3 05/09/1991 Ontario Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Loss 34-1 United States Sugar Ray Leonard TKO 9 07/11/1988 Nevada Las Vegas, Nevada, United States WBC World Light Heavyweight/Super Middleweight Titles. Referee stopped the bout at 2:30 of the ninth round.
Win 26-2 Trinidad and Tobago Leslie "Laventille Tiger" Stewart TKO 5 29/05/1988 Trinidad and Tobago Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 2:27 of the fifth round.
Win 34-5-1 United States Eddie Davis TKO 2 27/11/1987 Trinidad and Tobago Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago WBC World Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:22 of the second round.
Win 42-3-2 Syria Mustafa Hamsho UD 12 07/05/1987 New York (state) New York City, United States WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Title. 117-110, 116-110, 118-108.
Win 17-3 United States Benito Fernandez TKO 9 06/11/1986 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 17-6 United States Charles "Hollywood" Henderson TKO 8 30/09/1986 Michigan Sterling Heights, Michigan, United States Referee stopped the bout at 1:04 of the eighth round.
Win 7-4-1 United States Terrence "Top Cat" Walker TKO 6 28/08/1986 New York (state) New York City, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:28 of the sixth round.
Win -- United States Frank "Candy Man" Walters KO 1 12/08/1986 Kentucky Ashland, Kentucky, United States
Win 7-8 United States Lenny Edwards TKO 3 30/04/1986 Ohio Mentor, Ohio, United States
Win 0-2-1 United States Joe Brewer TKO 3 06/04/1986 New Jersey West Orange, New Jersey, United States Referee stopped the bout at 0:34 of the third round.
Win 0-3 Roberto Rodriguez TKO 2 08/02/1986 Oklahoma Enid, Oklahoma, United States
Win 0-1 United States Ronnie Crawford TKO 2 21/01/1986 Oklahoma Oklahoma City, United States
Win 12-4 United States Jamie "Featherman" Howe PTS 10 28/08/1985 West Virginia Wheeling, West Virginia, United States
Loss 19-2-1 United States Willie "Sandman" Edwards TKO 9 16/05/1985 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada NABF Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 0:49 of the ninth round.
Win 0-1 United States John Jones TKO 3 26/04/1985 Indiana Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 9-1 Canada Don Hurtle TKO 6 08/09/1984 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Canada Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:40 of the sixth round.
Win 23-1 United States Carlos "The Force" Tite TKO 2 28/06/1984 Indiana Merrillville, Indiana, United States Referee stopped the bout at 2:06 of the second round.
Win 23-4-1 Canada Jimmy Gradson KO 1 11/02/1984 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Canada Light Heavyweight Title. Referee stopped the bout at 1:30 of the first round.
Win 9-6 United States Nathaniel "Gator" Akbar KO 3 25/11/1983 British Columbia Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Win 24-2 Canada Roddy MacDonald TKO 10 04/07/1983 Ontario Waterloo, Ontario, Canada Canada Light Heavyweight Title.
Win 4-0 Canada Don Hurtle UD 8 15/11/1982 Ontario Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win -- United States Frank Lux KO 2 07/10/1982 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Lux knocked out at 0:26 of the second round.
Win 9-5-1 United States Jimmy "Schoolboy" Baker TKO 8 30/09/1982 Ontario Kitchener, Ontario, Canada Referee stopped the bout at 2:29 of the eighth round.
Win 0-4 United States Akbar Abdullah TKO 2 23/08/1982 Minnesota Ramsey, Minnesota, United States
Win 0-8 United States Ken Johnson KO 2 29/06/1982 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Johnson knocked out at 0:29 of the second round.
Win 2-5 Canada Randy Jackson KO 2 12/02/1982 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Jackson knocked out at 2:40 of the second round.
Win 0-1 United States Akbar Abdullah UD 6 10/12/1981 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 37-8-1 Canada Jean Claude LeClair TKO 2 03/11/1981 Quebec Montreal, Quebec, Canada Referee stopped the bout at 1:05 of the second round.
Win 13-1 United States Wilbert "Vampire" Johnson TKO 2 10/10/1981 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Loss 6-1 United States Wilbert "Vampire" Johnson UD 6 06/03/1981 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win -- United States Jimmy Green TKO 3 20/01/1981 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Referee stopped the bout at 1:47 of the third round.
Win 2-18 United States Muhammed "Ali" Smith KO 1 12/11/1980 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win -- Canada Edmond Esquirol UD 4 16/09/1980 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Win 0-1 Canada Ken "Boilermaker" Nichols TKO 2 24/04/1980 Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Referee stopped the bout at 2:05 of the second round.


  1. ^ Sports Illustrated October 31, 1988
  2. ^ Sports Illustrated November 21, 1988
  3. ^ The Milwaukee Journal May 28, 1989
  4. ^ New York Times May 10, 1992
  5. ^ Lodi News-Sentinel July 7, 2003
  6. ^ Donny Lalonde Responds To Atlas
  7. ^ Boxing 101,"Golden Boy Donny Lalonde Is Taking Care Of His Own", September 26, 2012

Donny ‘Golden Boy’ Lalonde Is Back In Town

External links[edit]

Title last held by
Virgil Hill
WBC Continental Americas Light Heavyweight Champion
7 May 1987 - 27 November 1987
Won world title
Title next held by
Mike Peak
Preceded by
Thomas Hearns
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
27 Nov 1987–7 Nov 1988
Succeeded by
Sugar Ray Leonard


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