There are a lot of sports, that require athletes to be disciplined, well physically prepared, fearless, and mentally ready to battle through struggles. While we can say that for all the sports, some stand out. For me the sport that stands out is boxing. We have all seen the movie “Rocky”, and to tell you the truth, it roughly showed a real picture of a boxing athlete who strives to be the best. As one of the oldest sports in the world, dating back to the 3rd millennium BC, it has become one of the most recognised sports of our time, with a huge fan base and collectively agreed upon as one of the sports that require the athletes to be as tough as a nail.
With a sport that requires a lot from athletes to compete on a high level, there are without a doubt fights which will go down in history as the most memorable in boxing history.
From Amir Khan, the great Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson and of course Floyd Mayweather here are our picks for top 4 greatest boxing fights.
Amir Khan VS Marcos Maidana; December 11th 2010, Las Vegas
Amir Khan, also known as “King Khan” the WBA Light Welterweight champion was to face Marcos “El Chino” Maidana on December 11th 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada in the WBA Light Welterweight Championship fight. It was a highly entertaining fight, which was almost over in the 1st round when Khan knocked down Maidana, with a powerful body shot, but the Argentinian fighter recovered and even managed to dominated Khan in the last 2 rounds. Still, it was not enough for him to win in the end. The fight lasted for all the 12 rounds with no knockouts, nonetheless, it was one of the best fights in the history of the sport. In the end, it was Amir Khan who won by unanimous decision and managed to defended the title due to his spectacular performance in the first few rounds and a point deduction against Maidana for throwing an elbow in the 5th round.
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao; May 2nd, 2015, Las Vegas
The biggest fight of this decade and a well-remembered one between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao was named the fight of the Century, as two of the best fighters that ever lived were to step into the ring. The fight itself was heavily anticipated, and rightfully so, as it was a fight almost 5 years in making. The clash of the “giants” broke all the financial records and is as of now the “richest fight” in history, with over $410 million in revenue. While some of the viewers considered the fight a bit underwhelming, it was still the biggest fight in boxing history. The fight ended with a unanimous decision with Mayweather being crowned the champion. With the huge popularity of the fight and the enormous amount of money in revenue, the “loser” of the fight Pacquiao went home with $120 million, while Mayweather pocketed a record-breaking $180 million. This, of course, does not include the pay-per-view and endorsement deals, so we can look at this fight as a fight with no “losers”.
2. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier; October 1st, 1975, Philippines
One of the biggest rivals in the history of boxing met each other in the ring for a total of 3 times in their careers, and they never failed to entertain the crowds. Despite that, it was the 3rd and last fight between these two spectacular fighters that proved to be the most entertaining fight which went down in history as one of the greatest boxing fights. Prior to the “Thrilla in Manila”, both Frazier and Ali both had 1 win against each other, so the 3rd and the final fight would settle it once for all and answer the question; who was the better boxer.
Ali approached the fight highly aggressive, he moved well and traded some nice blows with Frazier, but soon he showed signs of fatigue. While this usually meant a fighter would be in a disadvantage, Ali used his “rope-a-dope” strategy which basically means he constantly used the clinch which resulted in Frazier tiring himself. In the next rounds, Ali finished off Frazier who lost the fight due to a technical knockout in the 15th round when he failed to answer the call of the 15th round bell. Quite an unordinary ending of a fight, but a deserved win for Ali, who is set in stone as one of the greatest fighters to ever walk the face of the earth.
Mike Tyson vs Lennox Lewis; June 8th, 2002, Tennessee
“The Baddest Man on the Planet” is a deserved nickname for Mike Tyson, a kid from Brooklyn who was one of the most feared heavyweight boxers in the world. His approach to fights was quite interesting. Some believe he won the fights even before he stepped into the ring which is a fair statement. He started the “fight” with his opponents in press conferences with mental battles which surely helped him become one of the greatest fighters in the world. In 2002, Mike Tyson faced off against the British heavyweight star Lennon Lewis for the IBF, IBO and WBC world heavyweight title. The match itself is still considered as one of the most hyped boxing matches in history. It was anticipated for a long time and for its recognition alone it should belong in the top 4 boxing fights, but unlike the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao, this one was also highly entertaining to watch. The fight ended in the 8th round when the Kid Dynamite fell under punches from Lewis. Despite a lot of “beef” between the fighters, Tyson was respectful and praised Lewis on his win and his great performance which saw him defending the title. The fight was later named the “Knockout of the Year” by Ring Magazine in 2002.