Are you, as a boxing junkie, feeling the pain of withdrawal symptoms yet? There are of course far more serious issues and problems to be dealt with during the ongoing coronavirus battle, and this article is in no way meant to be disparaging to the problem millions across the world are now facing.
But life goes on. With many fight cards from all over the world postponed (tonight, in the U.S, we would have seen Shakur Stevenson in action, along with big-punching come-backer James Kirkland, only for both fight cards to be KO’d due to the virus), boxing fans are currently dry as a bone, with no guaranteed action to come for the foreseeable future. No fights have yet been postponed in the UK, but there are no big fights set for either this weekend or next.
So what is a hardcore boxing fan to do during this oasis? There is only one thing to do: dig into the archives. Pull out the classic fights on DVD or search YouTube in an effort to watch the classics of yesteryear.
There are literally thousands upon thousands of great, great fights in the history books and many of them are readily available. So get busy, cheer up and watch them.
You could do a lot worse during this drought than to watch the following stupendous fights:
1: “The Thrilla in Manila.” The third and final fight between bitter and evenly matched rivals Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Two men who gave their all and then some in settling not only their rivalry but also, arguably, THE most fierce and celebrated rivalry in all of boxing history.
2: Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns. Eight furious minutes that still make a hardened fight fan tremble. This one saw two primed and peaking stars go out, meet in ring-center and, well, tear into one another with utterly reckless abandon. It was jaw-dropping in 1985 and no matter how many repeated viewings you have afforded this savage encounter, it remains jaw-dropping today.
3: George Foreman-Ron Lyle. Two top-class big men leaving their skill-set and their care for defending or slipping a punch at home, but bringing their big guns. Five rounds, four knockdowns, seemingly limitless trading of leather. An absolute classic. Caesars Palace never rocked so hard and heavy!
4: Evander Holyfield-Dwight Muhammad Qawi. 15 rounds that were so hot, the winner was hospitalized having lost around 12 pounds in fluids. Qawi, the sawn-off, snarling “Camden Buzzsaw” met the young and emerging “Real Deal” and the two went at it hammer and tongs for all 45 minutes. Some fans say THEY feel tired after having watched this grueling battle.
5: Micky Ward-Arturo Gatti. The first of the three legendary encounters the two 140 pounders thrilled the entire hardcore boxing world with. Gatti came out boxing but was soon sucked into a fire-fight by Ward – the result was something very, very special. 30 minutes of warfare that had it all: relentless trading, blood, wicked body shots, switching momentums, screaming commentators, and – don’t forget – “The Round of the Century!”
Some more to watch all over again:
Barrera-Morales, I, II or III
Vasquez-Marquez, I, II or III
Andries-Harding, I, II or III
Robinson-Gatti, I or II
…..and as many of your favorites as you can think of!