There’s only a handful of things that are as exciting as watching two evenly-matched boxers battling it out over 12 rounds in a boxing ring. On a rare occasion, the planets will align, producing two men that will undoubtedly deliver a fight that will stand the test of time. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Below, are the best bouts in the history of boxing.
Joe Frazier III vs Muhammad Ali – 1 October 1975
The fight was known as the ‘Thrilla in Manila”, and it became the greatest bout of all time. After the fight, Ali stated that he was as close to death as has ever been and that he couldn’t go on, but thankfully Frazier gave up just before he did. Ali and Frazier beat the hell out of each other throughout the entire fight, but it was Muhammad Ali that managed to win the bout during the 15th round.
Tommy Hearns vs Sugar Ray Leonard – 16 September 1981
This fight was known as “The Showdown”, and it unified the WBA and WBC welterweight titles while living up to its hype that was created before the bout started. Hearns headed into the fight undefeated as they started trading punches for 12 intense, long rounds. Hearns was leading during the 12th round, but Leonard managed to dominate both the 13th and 14th round which allowed him to finally win the fight.
Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward – 18 May 2002
Gatti and Ward fought a total of 3 times, but there’s no denying that their first fight was considered the best. Ward managed to win the bout after 10 rounds on a decision after intense punishment. The blow that decided the match was landed during the 9th round when Gatti was dropped by Ward with a sensational left hook. Numerous reporters called this the “Fight of the Century”. The other two bouts were won by Gatti, but it was this fight that is worth remembering.
Tommy Hearns vs Marvin Hagler – 15 April 1985
This fight was known as “The War”, and it only lasted 8 minutes. When the fight was over, Hagler left quite bloody but managed to win the fight. Hearns and Hagler started throwing an arsenal of punches at each other from the start. Hearns had the upper hand early on thanks to his right-hand jabs and long reach. However, halfway through the 1st round, Hagler provided loads of body shots and figured Hearns out. Hearns managed to last until the 3rd round before Hagler knocked him out.
Jose Luis-Castillo vs Diego Corrales – 7 May 2005
The fight between Corrales and Luis-Castillo started swiftly and continued for a total of 10 rounds. Castillo managed to finish most of his round quite well and was in a strong position during the 10th round where he knocked down Corrales twice. After Corrales was knocked down for a second time, he managed to re-energise himself and provided multiple quick combinations to Castillo before he knocked him out.