By Zach Yanowitz - Three minutes is a long time. I remember in elementary school looking at the clock ticking down towards recess, incredulous at how slowly it was moving. Having never stepped in the ring myself, I can only imagine how much longer that time seems when you’re being punched in the face. Here are the individual rounds that I can watch over and over again and still feel thrilled by their action and significance. In no way am I claiming these to be “the best rounds ever”, but rather my 5 favorites to watch. What are yours? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to check them out..
1948 Cerdan-Zale- Round 11
Marcel Cerdan is widely considered the greatest French fighter of all time and one of the top middleweights. Coming in as a huge underdog and fighting far from home in America, Cerdan wore Zale down throughout the entire fight before getting him up against the ropes and knocking him out with a left hook, winning the middleweight championship and cementing his place as a major figure in the revival of France post-WWII.
1985 Hagler-Hearns- Round 1
The world expected Hearns to play it safe and stay outside working his jab before bringing that cannon of a right hand. Instead he came right in on Hagler for three minutes of nonstop action. Hearns broke his hand partway through the round but the two kept on throwing bombs. After the bell the crowd gave the two warriors a standing ovation, recognizing the round immediately as a classic.
1988 Tyson-Spinks- Round 1
Mike Tyson in his prime was a bobbing-and-weaving, inside-fighting monster. This hotly anticipated fight between two undefeated heavyweight champions was to unify the belts. Within the first minute, Tyson dropped Spinks for the first time in his career with a vicious hook to the body. He got to his feet and was almost immediately put to the canvas with a short right hook to the jaw by Kid Dynamite. Spinks was handed his first defeat and retired while Tyson’s reign continued.
2002 Gatti-Ward I- Round 9
Everybody knows this one. Sometimes called “The Round of the Century”, it started with a Ward left hook to the body that put Gatti down. The next 2-and-a-half minutes were a brutal seesaw battle as both fighters, seemingly out on their feet, walked through punches, throwing wicked combinations until the bell. It simply needs to be seen to be believed.
2009 Margarito-Mosley- Round 8
This one just feels good to watch. Sugar Shane has always been one of my favorite boxers and I’ve never liked Margarito. It was exciting when my favorite fighter, Paul Williams (shameless plug), beat Margarito in 2007, but nowhere near this fight in terms of excitement. Mosley, 37, was seen as a non-issue, past his prime, a stepping-stone for Margarito to greater heights. Having just come off a brutal TKO over Miguel Cotto, nobody expected anything but an easy night for the Tijuana Tornado. However, when it was revealed that Margo had attempted to use illegal hand wraps, the Sugarman came out with the vengeance we all wanted. At the end of round 8, Mosley staggered Margarito with that huge uppercut/left straight combo before teeing off on him with right hooks against the ropes. I think we all pumped our fists in collective triumph. Except for Margarito fans, but they don’t really count, do they? Sugar Shane was back with a fury.
Also, the best HBO quote of the night? “The only thing Shane Mosley hasn’t hit him with is the stool and the referee”. Awesome.
Article posted on 28.10.2009