Ten Favorite Fights
Over the years, I have seen literally thousands of fights and to name my top ten will do injustice to many others and I apologize for that up front. Still, I’ll give it a go and list them in order of preference. Rightly or wrongly, I used the following criteria: I had to see them live or when they were first televised (no tapes, YOUTUBES, and/or videos), ebb and flow, sudden change in flow, controlled violence, courage, imposition of will, superiority of technical skills, pure savagery and personal satisfaction. Here they are.
1. Bobby Chacon vs. Rafael “Bazooka “ Limon
: On December 11, 1982, Chacon was dropped in the 4th and 10th, Limon in the 15th round (1982 Fight of the Year - Ring Magazine). It contained all of the criteria listed above and then some. Bobby came back from the brink to win in dramatic fashion. Had to see it to believe it.
2 Bobby Chacon vs. Cornelius Boza-Edwards
on May 15, 1983: Same as number one. Ebb and flow, savagery, courage, violence, technical skills…everything was included. 1983 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Chacon rose from a knockdown in round one and recovered from a dangerous cut to drop Boza Edwards in round twelve and avenge an earlier defeat. Reemption at a high cost.
3.Yvon "The Fighting Fisherman" Durelle vs. Archie Moore
: on December 10, 1958 in Montreal. On the canvas 3 times in round one and once more later in the mid rounds, Moore somehow regrouped and slowly came back. He knew every trick in the boxing book and used every one of them to come back and batter the game Durelle for an 11th-round stoppage. The fight defined courage and will. Only Robinson vs. Basilio kept this from being Ring Magazine Fight of the Year…but that was just plain wrong. Hell, this should have been fight of the Decade.
4. Monroe Brooks vs. Bruce Curry: on April 7, 1978. Old school battle featuring controlled violence until both threw simultaneous hooks in the ninth round with Curry's landing first. This was Gatti-Ward before Gatti-Ward. Violence with a purpose. The exchange of punishing shots was incredible.
5. Alvaro "Yaqui" Lopez vs. Matthew Saad Mohammed
: on July 13, 1980 in New Jersey. The first half was dominated by Lopez and in round eight (named "Round of the Year"), he pinned Saad in a corner landing 20 wicked consecutive blows. Muhammad somehow got out of that round and stopped the arm weary Lopez in the 14th round. (1980 Fight of the Year - Ring Magazine)
6. Jaime Garza vs. Juan “Kid” Meza:
on November 13, 1983. Sudden fury in Kingston, NY. First Meza down, then Garza down and out. The ko was named 1984’s Knockout of the Year by KO Magazine. The old adage "never hook with a hooker" did not apply, for both fighters were deadly with this punch.
7. Elvir "The Kosovo Kid" Muriqi vs. "Slamming" Sam Ahmad:
On July 23, 2002 in New Rochelle, NY. A pier six, ebb and flow brawl. A total of 6 knockdowns called and 2 not called but should have been.
8. Tommy Hearns Vs. Iran Barkley
: on June 6, 1988 a winging right hand from Hell suddenly ended what had been a bloody one-sided beat down of "The Blade." The second punch that accelerated Tommy's descent was malefic.
9. Micky Ward vs. Reggie Green
: this cult classic was fought on October 1, 1999 and was arguably better than the first Gatti-Ward. I was there and can vouch for the ebb and flow action and dramatic ending in the 10th when Ward finally caught up with the courageous Green. Two lions in the ring. Breakthrough fight for Ward that segued him to glory.
10. Three-way tie between:Thomas Hearns- Marvin Hagler
: On April 15, 1985, these two engaged in unmitigated and non-stop warfare for three rounds before Hagler ended matters with a brutal right. The 1985 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year.Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo
: With his left eye almost totally closed and already down twice in the 10th, Corrales miraculously climbed off the deck and battered Jose Luis Castillo into submission along the ropes to score one of the most dramatic TKO's in boxing history on May, 2005. Ring Magazine Fight of the Year."Kid" Akeem Anifowoshe vs. Robert "Pikin" Quiroga:
on June 15, 1991, they battled for 12 ferocious rounds for the IBF Super Flyweight Title in an ebb and flow savagery that not only was named the “Ring Magazine” Fight of the Year for 1991 but was one of the best fights ever in the super flyweight division. The 12 brutal rounds landed both fighters in the hospital, and was as close to the edge as two fighters can get. May have contributed to the “Kid’s” death years later.
2002: Ward vs. Gatti
2002: Gonzalez vs. Letterlough
1983: Duran vs. Moore
1981: LoCicero vs. Lee
1976: Foreman vs. Lyle
1976: Williams vs. Shavers
1947: Graziano vs. ZaleTed The Bull's Five Favorite Rounds
1. Round 10 of the Diego Corrales- Jose Luis Castillo
battle in 2005: With his left eye almost totally closed and already down twice in the 10th, Corrales miraculously climbed off the deck and battered Jose Luis Castillo into submission along the ropes to score one of the most dramatic TKO's in boxing history. Ring Magazine Fight of the Year and Round of the Year. “All the nobility, all the savagery, and all the brutality of boxing was captured in one three-minute round Saturday night.” – Ron Borges/Boston Globe
2. The 15th round of the 1950 Jake LaMotta-Laurent Dauthuille
championship fight was unparralelled for its ending when LaMotta,. playing possum, suddenly erupts and takes out Dauthuille with only 13 seconds left. He was trailing on the scorecards at the time he staged this miraculous 15th-round knockout to retain his Middelweight belt. Scoring at time of knockout: 72-68, 74-66, 71-69 Dauthuille. It was named the 1950 Fight of the Year and Round of the Year.
3. The ninth round of the Roy "Tiger" Williams- Earnie Shavers
fight on December 11, 1976 saw a big change both ways (but it was the 10th that was memorable). The Tiger started strong in the ninth and landed a number of solid shots He seemed in charge but then tired midway though the round and Ernie came on, bombing away and Roy had to hold on and regroup. With about a minute to go, it happened. Roy snapped off one of the hardest left hooks I have ever seen and staggered Earnie who was now in big trouble. Ernie had no answer and likely was saved by the bell. He staggered back to his corner a very tired boxer.
The 10th and last round began and Shavers came out visibly exhausted while Williams appeared confident and ready to end matters and finally emerge as a serious heavyweight contender. He quickly moved Earnie into a corner and applied brutal, non- stop punishment until the Referee called a standing 8 count. Roy thought the fight had been stopped, turned around and raised his hands in victory but when he turned back to see a determined Shavers still standing. The Tiger's spirit visibly sagged. Still, he came on and hit Shavers with blows that would surely have knocked out anybody else. Then, all of a sudden, Shavers started to connect with some medium hard blows to Roy's body which slowed him down. Suddendly he connected with one of his deadly uppercuts with Tiger on the ropes and it straightened him up. He was now hurt and Ernie sensed it. He moved the Tiger into a corner and began throwing his own bombs. Roy could not withstand the ferocious onslaught and the Referee now gave him a standing eight, incredibly the second in the round! Ernie stood poised, albeit exhausted, and ready to go. As the referee ordered Roy to begin fighting, he took a step forward, hesitated, and then collapsed in the corner a beaten man. Ernie sagged over the ropes too tired to celebrate. The fight was over. That was some 10th round!
4. Ninth round of the first Ward-Gatti
fight in 2002. Ring Magazine Round and Fight of the Year. Incredible ebb and flow blended with uncommon violence and sagave head shots. First Gatti unloads, then it's Ward turn. It's the kind of exchange that has everyone up screaming until they are hoarse.
5. In Ring Magazine and KO Magazine's 1980 Fight of the Year, Matthew Saad Muhammad met
in an incredible war. On the brink of a stoppage loss several times during the fight, Saad rallied to take Lopez out in the fourteenth round. The first half of the fight was dominated by Yaqui and in Round Eight (named Round of the Year) he pinned Saad in a corner and landed 20 consecutive blows. Somehow Saad got through it and dictaed control the rest of the way until he scored the 14th-round knockout. However it was the eighth round in which he lived up to his moniker "Matthew Miracle."
Honerable Mention:Tommy Hearns Vs. Iran Barkley:
on June 6, 1988 a winging right hand from Hell suddenly ended what had been a bloody one-sided beat down of "The Blade." The second punch that accelerated Tommy's descent was malefic. The suddendenees with which this ocurred in round three stunned the crowd into silene.
The fifth and last round of the 1981 Bill “Caveman” Lee - John LoCicero
fight in the suffocating heat at the Twenty Grand Showroom in Detroit would give this short battle cult-like status. LoCicero got decked early in the round, got up and pummeled “The Caveman” with between 20 and 25 unanswered and savage shots until he got arm weary. Lee then regrouped and took over pummeling LoCicero until he was knocked out in the same round. First LoCicero almost out, then Lee almost out, then LoCicero down and out! Like Meza-Garza but longer and both warriors arm weary..