This weekend The Charlo twins from Texas feature in world championship action, live on BoxNation. Glynn Evans identifies six sets of sibling scrappers who’ve left the competition seeing double.
1) Ron and Reg Kray
(Born 24th October 1933)
Prior to terrorizing London’s East End with blades and shooters in the 60s, the scourge of Bethnal Green proved pretty handy with their dukes.
Introduced to the Noble Art by maternal grandfather Jimmy ‘Cannonball’ Lee, both fought on the fairground booths – once famously against each other – and both were decent amateurs. Reg, older by 10 minutes, even netted a London schoolboy title.
In 1951, as 17 year olds, they turned pro together on a promotion in Mile End and were to fight on the same bill on six occasions. Lightweight Reg, easily the more skilled, won seven straight while welter Ron lost twice in six – once by DQ(!) – before their progress was scuppered by national service.
Later their combative instincts brought fame and fortune but, alas, not inside the prizering!
2) Khaosai and Khaokor Galaxy
(Born 15th May 1959)
To date, these terrific Thai southpaws remain the only set of twins to hold boxing world titles – having previously excelled in Muay Thai.
Khaosai debuted in 1980 and lost just once – his seventh gig – in a 48 fight Hall of Fame career that saw him successfully retain the WBA super-fly title 19 times. Sixteen stoppage wins – mainly from a potent left hand – earned him the moniker ‘The Thai Tyson’ and saw him enlisted in Ring magazine’s Top 20 Greatest Punchers of All-Time.
Khaokor, an inch shorter but three pounds heavier, joined the paid brigade five years after his brother. Nevertheless, within three years he’d edged out Puerto Rican great Wilfredo Vasquez to propel the Galaxys into the history books. Later lost and regained his WBA bantam belt before retiring at 30.
3) Jamie and Gavin McDonnell
(Born 30th March 1986)
Could these Doncaster devils become the first British twins to collect world titles?
Jamie had a five year head start, debuting as a teenager in September 2005, and is presently nestled on the WBA bantamweight throne – with four successful defences on his CV – having previously served as an unbeaten IBF belt holder.
Gavin – older by nine minutes – jettisoned life as a plasterer to follow his sibling’s footsteps in 2010. Within five years he’d hoovered up British, Commonwealth and European super-bantam belts. Unbeaten in 17, he is presently world ranked by both the WBO and WBC.
4) Liam and Ryan Walsh
(Born 18th May 1986)
The Cromer crunchers wrote their names into the annals last September as the first twins to simultaneously hold British titles.
Lionheart Liam, one of the most exciting British fighters at any weight, has been operating at title level since snaring the Commonwealth super-feather strap in 2010. He subsequently added British, Inter-Continental and WBO European honours. Unbeaten in 20 and world rated at both 130 and 135lbs, only illness, injury and ill fortune have hindered his advance to the world stage.
Ryan - a few minutes older but half an inch shorter and four pounds lighter – is a more cautious operator but no less able. He has twice retained the domestic featherweight title that he captured from Samir Mouneimne last year and recently cracked the WBO world rankings. The race is now on to be the first to deliver a world title to the fighting family.
5) Jermall and Jermell Charlo
(Born 19th May 1990)
Hovering around the 6ft mark, these identical Texan terrors represent the twin towers of the light-middleweight class and this Saturday at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas, they endeavour to become the only twins to have reigned in the same division when they contest 154lb title belts.
Jermall, older by a minute and the more powerful of the brothers, faces a tricky looking second defence of his IBF crown when he squares up to New Mexico’s Austin ‘No Doubt’ Trout. He is coached by the highly regarded Ronnie Shields.
Jermell, distinguishable only by different tattoos, is quicker and, at 27-0, has four more wins having entered the pros nine months earlier. On Saturday, he starts as a 7-1on fancy to lift the vacant WBC belt against John Jackson – son of Julian – and deliver Team Charlo a 50% share of the division’s hardware.
6) Luke and Pat McCormack
(Born 8th June 1995)
Expect these audaciously talented twins – who box out of the Birtley ABC in the north-east and represent Team GB – to evolve into dominant forces in the paid code during the 2020s.
After rampaging through the domestic youth ranks and scaling podiums at the major junior meets, the 20 year olds are starting to boss senior competition. Both captured ABA Elite titles whilst still in their teens.
While lightweight Luke – the more aggressive – has been compromised by a stream of niggling injuries, light-welter Pat, already a European Senior finalist, possesses the skills to shine at the Rio Olympics, provided he can conquer the austere qualification process.
[Image credits: Express and EDP24]