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Glax0r's Photo Glax0r 05 Mar 2012

‘The five greatest heavyweight boxing matches I’ve seen’
By Kevin Iole | Boxing – Sat, Mar 3, 2012 1:10 PM EST


There were heavyweight title fights of one form or another in each of the last three weeks. But the heavyweight division is no longer near what it was once. Brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko are elite fighters, but they don't have elite opponents, so it's difficult to come up with a compelling bout these days.

There have been, though, many great heavyweight fights in the history of boxing. Here are my picks as the five best I've ever seen live.

5. Evander Holyfield TKO 10 Michael Dokes, March 11, 1989, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas: Holyfield had been a heavyweight for less than a year and there was concern at the time how he'd hold up against a big, durable and talented fighter like Dokes. The answer was, extraordinarily well. Pat Putnam, the late, great Sports Illustrated writer, called the bout "more than 28 minutes of unrelenting violence." It certainly was that, and more. The best part is, though it was a brawl, it was a brawl with great skill. These weren't two cavemen flailing away. These were experts of the craft performing at the highest level.

4. George Foreman KO 5 Ron Lyle, Jan. 24, 1976, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas: This was Foreman's first fight after losing his heavyweight title to Muhammad Ali in Zaire 15 months earlier. Given that Foreman and Lyle were two of the biggest punchers in the game, no one could have been surprised that there would be some big blows landed. This fight was like the old "Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots" game, in which each guy took turns getting his block knocked off. Foreman was down twice, and at one point was in deep trouble, but he was landing too cleanly on Lyle. And as tough as Lyle was, when Foreman was hitting you in the head that often, no one could have survived long. It was a breathtakingly violent battle.

3. Riddick Bowe W 12 Evander Holyfield, Nov. 13, 1992, Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas: Both men entered the fight unbeaten. There was no question about Holyfield's toughness, but there were some about Bowe's, as he was dogged by suggestions he quit against Lennox Lewis in the 1988 Olympics. But neither man quit in this and the 10th round is one of the most remarkable rounds in recent boxing history. This was the first of what would become one of boxing's greatest trilogies, but it was by far the best of the three.

2. Larry Holmes W 15 Ken Norton, June 9, 1978, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas: Norton is unique in boxing history because he's a former world heavyweight champion who never won a championship bout. He was awarded the WBC belt after it was stripped from Leon Spinks. In his first defense, he met Holmes, and it turned out to be one of the great fights ever. The 15th round was spectacular, as the men stood in front of each other for long stretches and blasted each other with combinations. Holmes won a split decision, with two judges siding him with by a score of 143-142, while the other judge had it 143-142 for Norton.

1. Muhammad Ali TKO 14 Joe Frazier, Oct. 1, 1975, Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines: There aren't adjectives to describe how incredible this fight was. Frazier trainer Eddie Futch mercifully stopped the bout after the 14th, because Frazier had a cataract in his left eye and his right eye was and he couldn't see the punches coming at him. Futch espoused the perfect sentiment when he said to a protesting Frazier, "No one will forget what you did here today." It was a marvelous display of skill, courage and tenacity on the part of both men. Some think it is the greatest fight ever. That's somewhat questionable, but it is, without doubt, the best heavyweight fight of all-time.
That's my list. I'm curious to hear yours.
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SuperiorKnowledge's Photo SuperiorKnowledge 05 Mar 2012

That Foreman fight was pretty entertaining. Hard to believe guys from that era could have taken out someone like Wlad.
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malvern rida's Photo malvern rida 05 Mar 2012

^Sk  i was thinking the total opposite... these guys of today had absolutely no chance against those beast from back then.. the comeback foreman probably drops either klit brother... hmm another thing from this top 5 is isnt a honor that holyfield is mentioned in 2 of the 5.. it shows he always came to fight.. even though he had heart troubles he exciting and could punch and take punches well.. he moved up and became on of the greatest heavies of his era.. hell maybe an atg? and peeps thought he maybe be in trouble at heavy... warrior!
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shove-aloe's Photo shove-aloe 05 Mar 2012

 malvern rida, on 05 March 2012 - 08:58 AM, said:

^Sk  i was thinking the total opposite... these guys of today had absolutely no chance against those beast from back then.. the comeback foreman probably drops either klit brother... hmm another thing from this top 5 is isnt a honor that holyfield is mentioned in 2 of the 5.. it shows he always came to fight.. even though he had heart troubles he exciting and could punch and take punches well.. he moved up and became on of the greatest heavies of his era.. hell maybe an atg? and peeps thought he maybe be in trouble at heavy... warrior!

Holyfield is one of my favs for that reason.   I don't think there's ever been anyone with more heart, courage and desire in the division.  He left everything in the ring each time he fought and somehow got reincarnated for the next bout.    The wars with Bowe were amazing.   Holy also has an ATG beard as well.......... arguably second only to George Chuvalo.
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SuperiorKnowledge's Photo SuperiorKnowledge 05 Mar 2012

 malvern rida, on 05 March 2012 - 08:58 AM, said:

^Sk  i was thinking the total opposite... these guys of today had absolutely no chance against those beast from back then.. the comeback foreman probably drops either klit brother... hmm another thing from this top 5 is isnt a honor that holyfield is mentioned in 2 of the 5.. it shows he always came to fight.. even though he had heart troubles he exciting and could punch and take punches well.. he moved up and became on of the greatest heavies of his era.. hell maybe an atg? and peeps thought he maybe be in trouble at heavy... warrior!

C'mon man, they're just wailing away at each other. Terrible display of skills, it looks like a backyard brawl. don't be fooled..the athletes of today are stronger, faster, and most likely all on drugs, giving them an additional advantage.

Although the current heavyweight division is not all that great, I would say it's because the demand for participating in heavyweight boxing is on the decline.
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the_hater's Photo the_hater 05 Mar 2012

 SuperiorKnowledge, on 05 March 2012 - 08:41 AM, said:

That Foreman fight was pretty entertaining. Hard to believe guys from that era could have taken out someone like Wlad.

how so? we've seen him fall to far less.
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SuperiorKnowledge's Photo SuperiorKnowledge 06 Mar 2012

 the_hater, on 05 March 2012 - 11:36 PM, said:

how so? we've seen him fall to far less.

That was not a prime Wlad.
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SuperiorKnowledge's Photo SuperiorKnowledge 06 Mar 2012

 the_hater, on 05 March 2012 - 11:36 PM, said:

how so? we've seen him fall to far less.

Just watch the fight, idk if you have. I don't see any way either of those two would have been able to withstand Wlad dictating the pace and eventually getting the knockout. Their posture is straight up with their chin out, hands down, wailing away, that would be easy work for Wlad.
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melonbag's Photo melonbag 06 Mar 2012

Ali/Foreman, Lewis/Klitschko, Holyfield/Bowe I, Holmes/Cooney.

I'm including prefight hype in addition to the actual fight.
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the_hater's Photo the_hater 06 Mar 2012

 SuperiorKnowledge, on 06 March 2012 - 03:39 AM, said:

Just watch the fight, idk if you have. I don't see any way either of those two would have been able to withstand Wlad dictating the pace and eventually getting the knockout. Their posture is straight up with their chin out, hands down, wailing away, that would be easy work for Wlad.

wlad would fall apart to a young foreman imo.. i've seen what happens to him when when someone can take it and keep coming.

he doesn't have the feet or the power to keep foreman away.. when he grabs and leans foreman would attack and he made harder men than wlad fold..

you're going on about wlads prime.. well a green,old or prime foreman would've never been stopped by the guys thats whooped wlads ass..
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Vatoloco's Photo Vatoloco 06 Mar 2012

 Glax0r, on 05 March 2012 - 04:39 AM, said:

1. Muhammad Ali TKO 14 Joe Frazier, Oct. 1, 1975, Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines: There aren't adjectives to describe how incredible this fight was. Frazier trainer Eddie Futch mercifully stopped the bout after the 14th, because Frazier had a cataract in his left eye and his right eye was and he couldn't see the punches coming at him. Futch espoused the perfect sentiment when he said to a protesting Frazier, "No one will forget what you did here today." It was a marvelous display of skill, courage and tenacity on the part of both men. Some think it is the greatest fight ever. That's somewhat questionable, but it is, without doubt, the best heavyweight fight of all-time.
That's my list. I'm curious to hear yours.
I don't understand why people say this fight was so great.  The fight sucked.  Ali and Frazier were old and slow.  There was a lot of clinching too.
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turbotime's Photo turbotime 06 Mar 2012

 Vatoloco, on 06 March 2012 - 01:16 PM, said:

I don't understand why people say this fight was so great.  The fight sucked.  Ali and Frazier were old and slow.  There was a lot of clinching too.
:unsure:
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Vatoloco's Photo Vatoloco 06 Mar 2012

 melonbag, on 06 March 2012 - 03:55 AM, said:

Ali/Foreman
This fight also sucked.  It was like watching Pacquiao-Clottey.
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Vatoloco's Photo Vatoloco 06 Mar 2012

 turbotime, on 06 March 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

:unsure:
I watched the fight and it was boring.
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turbotime's Photo turbotime 06 Mar 2012

:lol: Wow.

Lewis/Klitschko
Ali/Frazier I
Jefferson/Maurice Harris
Tua/Ibeabuchi
Holmes/Ken Norton
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