A Decade Later. The Gerald McClellan Tragedy.
by Richard T. Slone
February 25th will mark a decade. The tenth year that former middleweight champion Gerald McClellan has struggled with life since his fight with Nigel Benn left Gerald with permanent brain damage.
It’s been a decade since McClellan and Benn battered each other close to death. McClellan has been under the constant care of his two sisters, Lisa and Sandra, since. The war of 1995 left him blind, partially deaf and unable to care for himself.
Gerald is completely blind, his eyes are healthy but the signal to his brain is on a short circuit and his brain has trouble recognizing sounds, his brain injury also caused short-term memory loss. His sense of humor is still intact, as is his will to make the most of everyday. His compassion is also intact, the once fearsome brawler cried when he learned Roy Jones got knocked out.
Gerald lived his young life as a lion, and in that I mean he ruled his domain, he was invincible for a few years and lived life to the fullest. As someone once told me, “It’s better to live just one day as a lion, then a lifetime as a lamb”. Gerald McClellan knew what it was like to be the lion.
Boxing is a brutal sport, and the combatants know it, shortly before his battle with Benn, McClellan told the press that he was willing to die in the ring instead of losing. Gerald was a warrior to the fullest extent, he lived by the sword and was willing to die by the sword – the sport he loved built him up and then tore him down.
Today, his bank account is empty, medical bills took all of that and he’s supported by his sisters who have dedicated their lives to the care of the G-Man. His sisters work multiple jobs to make ends meet. The promoters, managers, entourage and business partners are all gone, when the money left, so did they. When the McClellans reached out for financial help, few even returned calls.
“Fighters, fans and promoters should all help Gerald” said former heavyw
eight great Smokin’ Joe Frazier, who once drove 13 hours through snow to attend a fundraiser for Gerald. “In the boxing business, you can get your brain’s shook, your money took and your name in the undertakers book. It’s time people pull together for Gerald.”
Gerald lived his life as a lion, but now he’s the lamb, fortunately he has his sister to shepherd him through the rest of his life.
PLEDGE TO HELP GERALD McCLELLAN NOW…AND GET A LIMITED EDITION ART PRINT!
Donate to help Gerald McClellan now and receive a signed limited edition art print of Gerald McClellan in his prime.
The print, painted by Hall of Fame artist Richard T. Slone, measures 16 inches by 20 inches (approx. 50.8cm x 40.6cm) and is available in a limited quantity of only 500 worldwide for a onetime donation of $50 or more to the Gerald McClellan Trust Fund.
All supporters who pledge to help Gerald McClellan by donating $50 or more will receive this magnificent limited edition art print. Checks and money orders should be made payable to: Gerald McClellan Trust Fund and mailed to:
Gerald McClellan Trust
C/O Fifth Third Bank
PO Box 120
Freeport, IL 61032