Todd Ruger

Professional boxer Michael Nunn once defended his world championship during a bout held in his hometown of Davenport — and lost. As a defendant in a federal drug case this year, he lost his freedom.

Nunn pleaded guilty to a cocaine distribution conspiracy charge, but he went out fighting for a reduced prison sentence.

He used a three-day sentencing hearing in January to challenge prosecutors' claims that he was eligible for more than 30 years in prison because he was responsible for 23.82 kilograms of cocaine.

The judge delivered to Nunn a 292-month (24 years and four months) sentence for his part in a nine-year conspiracy.

Testimony included video from a hidden camera in a hotel that showed Nunn's last moments as a free man — entering a hotel room wearing shorts and a short-sleeved shirt, making a deal to buy cocaine, stuffing it down his pants, walking out the door and into the waiting arms of law enforcement officers.

Federal law enforcement authorities arrested Nunn — who won two world titles and earned at least $6 million as one of the world's top boxers during the 1980s and 1990s — after they said he bought a kilogram of cocaine from an undercover agent in August 2001.

Nunn's appeal of his case is pending.

—Todd Ruger

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