Greatest boxing bouts of all time that I've watched on television or in the arena.

End of Rocky III or Beginning of Rocky IV
"End" of Rocky III or "Beginning" of Rocky IV

I joined my parents and my brothers for a video conference on Microsoft Teams earlier. We all noticed that we had our TVs on in the background and re-runs of boxing matches were being broadcast. That moment led us to discuss which boxing matches each of us believed were the greatest bouts of all time that we've watched on TV or in the arena.

Not in any particular order... Here are my picks:

1975's Ali versus Frazer III

The Thrilla In Manila
'The "Thrilla" In Manila'

Ali won by technical knockout (TKO) after Frazier's corner asked the referee to stop the fight following the end of the 14th round. The contest's name is derived from Ali's rhyming boast that the fight would be "a killa and a thrilla and a chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila."

The bout is consistently ranked as one of the best in the sport's history and was the culmination of a three-bout rivalry between the two fighters that Ali won, 2–1. The fight was watched by a record global television audience of 1 billion viewers.

I was only 3 year old then. It wasn't until 1979's 'Rocky II' that I heard of the legendary heavyweight, formerly called Cassius Clay Jr., who was said to be the model of actor Carl Weathers' character, Apollo Creed. My dad would go on and on about his all-time favorite heavyweight boxer until the name 'Ali' became a household name throughout my childhood.

1987's Hagler versus Leonard

Super Fight
'Super Fight'

Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Sugar Ray Leonard. I love their names! I was 15 and unable to fully understand what all the "ruckus" was about in the living room. When I decided to see for myself, this spectacular fight made me realize that it truly went down as the "Super Fight" for the ages.

1981's Leonard versus Hearns

The Showdown
'The Showdown'

'Sugar' takes on 'The Hitman' and prevails! This was an incredible match up. On the night of September 16, 1981, the biggest and most anticipated welterweight championship bout in boxing history back then was underway. The pairing couldn't have been better than that.

My rivaling brothers were also duking it out in the living room between rounds until one wild swing connected to my mouth and knocked me out cold. I woke up a minute or so later with a tooth missing. Fortunately, it was just an already loose baby tooth. Yeah, both boys were grounded for a week. Meanwhile, I got to watch replays of the fight on dad's lap in the bedroom.

1980's Duran versus Leonard II

No Mas!
"No Mas!"

The much-anticipated rematch between 'Sugar' & 'Hands of Stone' after a thrilling 1st encounter in Montreal, billed as "The Brawl in Montreal" in which Duran won, was also the 1st ever boxing match I watched live on television.

1985's Hagler versus Hearns

The War
'The War'

OMG! Probably the best-ever 1st round I've ever seen. This was a true slug fest! Round 2, though slower-paced compared to the 1st, was still packed with exciting moments. Then, came Round 3... when I thought Referee Richard Steele's halting of the fight was gonna spell disaster for 'Marvelous' Marvin. Despite the brief breather 'The Hitman' got during the Ring Physician's examination of Hagler's eye cut, he couldn't hold off Marvin's brutal attacks. The Middleweight Champ threw a vicious right to Hearns' chin who went limp, staggered and fell forward as Hagler landed more blows. As Hearns fell face first to the canvas, Sugar Ray Leonard yelled into his microphone "He's gone! He's gone!" Hearns staggered back up to his feet at the count of nine but was no longer able to continue.

2012's Pacquiao versus Marquez IV

Fight of the Decade
'Fight of the Decade'

I think this is the most spectacular 6th round ever in boxing history. Who could forget that vicious right? Juan Manuel Marquez unloaded a devastating right hand to Pacquiao's mouth which caused Pacquiao's head to snap back violently. Pacquiao fell face first to the canvas and remained out cold.

I paid big buck$ to watch this bout up close in support of Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao. Apparently, I jinxed him. :( I also bet a ton of money and lost. :( Waaahhh!

1992's Holyfield versus Bowe

Big Daddy versus The Real Deal
"'Big Daddy' versus 'The Real Deal'"

In what would become one of the greatest heavyweight boxing matches of all time, Bowe defeated Holyfield by unanimous decision, winning all three judge's scorecards. The match was critically acclaimed, winning The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" with round 10 of the fight also winning the magazine's "Round of the Year" title.

Up until tonight, I haven't seen this fight. My husband searched it on YouTube and it earned it's spot on this list.

2001's Ali versus Frazier-Lyde

March To Destiny
'March To Destiny'

"Ali versus Frazier IV" was another name for this much-anticipated battle between the Ali family & the Frazier family. The daughters of legendary heavyweights Muhammad Ali & Joe Frazier carry on the "family feud" into the ring. I watched a full re-run when I lived in the Philippines. It was no disappointment.

Greatest boxing bouts of all time that I've watched on television or in the arena.
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  • Iron_Man
    Awesome you are the first female on the site that has expressed intrest in Boxing. l am a boxing historian my favorite sport in the world besides football
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Thank you. I'm glad you "approve" of this.

      You're similar to my dad. He talks about boxing all the time. I'd fact check the stories he repeatedly shared with us just to see if he was bullshitting us even just a little. Nope. He knows his stuff well. Some of 'em rubbed off onto to me.

    • Iron_Man

      That's Awesome

    • Iron_Man

      Thank you so much for most helpful award it's greatly appreciated

    • Show All
  • Jjpayne
    Fun review! It's always fun to see unique recaps in history. Great mytake!
    Like 1 Person
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Bluemax
    How could you forget this one?Greatest boxing bouts of all time that I've watched on television or in the arena.
    Like 2 People
    • Lol. That was never on TV or live in an arena.

  • jessicarosen
    Great take on boxing!

    How long have you been into the sport?
    Like 1 Person
    • My dad & brothers are so into boxing that their enthusiasm just rubbed off unto me throughout the years.

    • Awesome story! How many bouts have you attended?

    • I've attended 2 boxing events. 2012's Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez IV in Las Vegas was my 1st. 2017's Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn in Brisbane. Unfortunately, 'Pacman' lost both fights. He suffered a big blow from Marquez on the 6th round of their 4th match. Jeff Horn, menwhile, scored a controversial upset on 'Pacman' in the next arena fight I attended which clearly should've been a Pacquiao win. I believe I'm a "jinx" to my friend, the Senator.

  • NYCQuestions1976
    My favorite boxing story wasn't a match. In the early 1970s, two guys who were in their 20s tried to strong arm rob Jack Dempsey who was in his 70s. They didn't know who he was, but I'm sure it didn't take long for them to figure it out. Dempsey beat them so severely that when the police first showed up to the scene, they initially took him into custody, thinking he was the aggressor.
    Like 1 Person
  • American_Centurion
    Best match in the last few years was wilder vs Fury. Canf remember the last time two in their prime undefeated champions fought.
    A favourite of mine is Vitali Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis. Lewis pulls off an unlikely victory against a younger man of equal ability using his toughness, experience and ringmanship.
  • JimboGB
    Nice selection, any list must have Gatti v Ward 1 though. Hagler b Hearns would have been my personal favorite. Fast but furious. Special modern mentions; Joshua v Klitschko and Froch v Groves 1.
    Like 1 Person
  • R3DthatDude
    I’ve watched on tv live Mike Tyson vs Holyfield... I was upset Mike lost... I herd they might be having a rematch and are training right now for it
    Like 1 Person
  • 888theGreat
    Hagler vs Hearns was maybe the best, at least first round. Both had same strategy , get the other guy early.
    Like 2 People
    • Ali Vs Foreman was Ali's best match, then Ali vs Frazier , then Ali vs Ken Norton , these were all great.

    • Iron_Man

      Don't forget Holmes vs Cooney June 11th 1982 the great white hope match on pay per view shown on On tv for $15

  • Tunasub
    You know your shit... all of those were great fights. Hagler/Hearns was the best 3 rounds of boxing ever... good stuff...
    Like 1 Person
  • Jupiter1
    I thought the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was gonna the most exciting boxing match of the century but that turned out to be a big disappointment. Pacman just chased Floyd the entire night.
    • You're right! That was a disappointing match. Mayweather earned the nickname "Kentucky Floyd Chicken" during & after that bout.

  • ask4any
    Boom-Boom Mancini and an Asian who later died due to his injuries ultimately ending with Mancini's retirement from boxing. Was unable to live with the guilt.
    • Iron_Man

      he felt real bad but he actually kept on and had many fights with Livingstone Bramble

    • @Iron_Man he fought Camacho and won , even if judges said he didn't. The crowd knew he won. He fought 8 more times after dukkoo , going 4 -4

    • Iron_Man

      That's what I was trying to tell the guy he kept on fighting

    • Show All
  • RonThirdWheelWeasley
    Any Charlie Zelnoff bout...
    Unbelievable skill and boxing acumen. Worthy champion of any era. Probably the best ever. Also an incredibly humble guy.
  • NewtoTheSouth
    Good selection. What about Tyson vs. Spinks? JK. It is interesting that Ali called Frasier a "gorilla." Calling a black man that today is deemed racist.
  • monkeynutts
    Nicolino Locche, some fun to watch him fight, he just tires his opponents, they waste all their energy swinging and not connecting.
  • Titanic1912
    I have a favorite boxing movie and it’s Cinderella Man!
  • AcidT0y
    I didn't even know Ali v Frazier IV was a thing. Gonna have to find that and watch it xD
    • The Laila Ali versus Jacqui Frazier-Lyde bout was also known as "Ali versus Frazier IV" as if to continue the series of fights of their famous fathers.

    • not the same

  • Cryptic-Game
    Well I'm not a fan of boxing but we each like different sports.
  • Thatsamazing
    Nice list.
    Like 1 Person
  • spartan55
    No Mike Tyson fights? Hmmmm...
    • Tyson was a two title boxer, he lost to some losers. He was very over rated. He had one way to win and that was power. Those guys don't last long. You must have strategy to win long term. Like Ali , who won title 3 separate times. He prepared for other fighters and could box different styles. Sugar ray L. had strategy.

    • Avenoma

      Tyson over rated!!! Hah!!! I understand why Tyson isn't really considered here bc he devastated everyone in the early days. Consider that people just learned to wrap him up over and over and over. Mike's pride would not allow him to punk out like that. His Holmes fight comes mind. Please rewatch that fight and tell me if ALL those wrap ups were fair. If wrapping up someone in the first round is good technical fighting, call me a non fan of boxing.

    • @Avenoma A 20 year old Holmes would have jabbed Tyson to death , Tyson would never had gotten to the inside Of Holmes.

    • Show All
  • SecretGardenBlood65
    Good mytake.
    Like 1 Person
  • jimmy2
    I hear you those were good days back then
    Like 2 People
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