Boxing is an exhilarating sport, no doubt. When boxers line up for battle in the ring, there is this unique thrill that runs down our spine as we anticipate the delicious punches and possible knockouts.
Indeed, Indians like Vijender Singh and Mary Kom have dominated the global sporting arena, with punters rushing to top bookmaker apps like 4rabet (expertly reviewed on Telecomasia) to stake on their matches.
But aside from this duo, there are some spectacular boxing rivalries that light up our faces with glee. This article details six boxing rivalries that every boxing fan helplessly loved.
Erik Morales vs. Marco Antonio Barrera
The Morales-Berrera rivalry is one of the greatest rivalries in boxing history. The Mexicans fought in the ring three times between 2000 and 2004.
The first fight was in 2000. At that time, Morales had won all his 35 fights.
The clash was to unify the WBC super-bantamweight and WBO super-bantamweight titles. Morales won the 12-round fight with a split decision.
The duo had a rematch two years later, and it was decided by unanimous decision. Berrera handed Morales his first boxing career loss and stripped him of his WBC featherweight title.
In 2004, they met for the third time with the WBC Super Featherweight on the line. Barrera won with majority decisions as their fierce trilogy came to an end.
Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward
Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward fought 3 times in two years and two of their encounters won The Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year.
Their rivalry, which was characterized by friendship, started in May 2002. The fierce and bloody fight ended with Ward winning via split decision in the 10th round.
Further, the second match was in November 2002, and Gatti won the contest. The duo completed their trilogy in 2003, and it was a great match, with both men giving their all in the ring.
Ward knocked Gatti down in the sixth round, but Gatti won by unanimous decision. Gatti later hired Ward as his trainer for his last career fight.
Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Juan Manuel Marquez is one of the toughest rivals of Manny Pacquiao, with their similar aggressive and front-foot offense fighting style.
This rivalry started in 2004 in a fight where Pacquiao knocked Marquez down 3 times in the first round. However, the match ended in a draw.
In 2008, Pacquiao stripped Marquez of the lineal super featherweight title in an entertaining fight won by a split decision.
Further, their third face-off was in a highly contested 2011 match, which Pacquiao won by majority decision. In 2012, their fourth clash had many knockdowns. The fight ended with a 6th-round KO in favor of Marquez.
Willie Pep vs. Sandy Saddler
The Pep-Saddler rivalry started with a 1948 match, where Saddler dethroned Pep as the Featherweight champion via a 4th-round KO.
The result stunned the boxing world because Pep was great with his defensive boxing style and was the title holder for six straight years.
However, the 1949 rematch saw Pep regain his title, which set the stage for their third fight a year later.
Pep had to retire from the match due to a separated shoulder despite having upper hands in the match. Their last face-off was in 1951 dirty and brutal clash! The fight ended in Saddler’s favor, with a 9th-round technical knockout.
Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Jake LaMotta
Robinson and LaMotta were mostly avoided by boxers during their era because of their brutal fighting style.
Robinson was smooth and battered his opponents, while LaMotta had a brutal forward-pushing offense. The duo had a thrilling rivalry.
Meanwhile, their rivalry started in a 1943 match where LaMotta handed Robinson his first career defeat. They went on to fight five more times, with Robinson winning all despite the fight being highly contested.
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which was their famous last fight, was brutal, with both warriors punishing each other.
Before the clash, Robinson was the welterweight champion, while LaMotta was the middleweight champion. The match ended in the 13th round with Robinson’s victory.
Joe Frazier Vs. Muhammad Ali
Muhammad Ali versus Joe Frazier is another famous boxing rivalry and the most famous boxing trilogy. The trilogy was named the Fight of the Century, the Super Fight 2, and the Thrilla in Manila, with Ali winning two and Frazier one.
Meanwhile, Joe stunned the world in the 1971 Fight of the Century, handing Ali his first-ever defeat to become the world champion.
The match had 15 rounds of intense boxing and was decided by unanimous decision.
Three years later, they had a rematch — the Super Fight II. Although the match was not for the World Championship, the two great boxers gave their all, and Ali won on points.
Joe had lost the championship to George Foreman. Ali reclaimed the world championship from Foreman and set the stage for Manila (1975), and Ali won through a technical knockout.
Conclusively, rivalries are common in combat sports like boxing, and the sport has some incredible rivalries of all time.
The list is not limited to our content, as we still have Pacquiao vs. May Weather and other famous rivalries. For many, rivalry makes the game more thrilling and exciting.
Leave a Reply