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5 of the Most Exciting Professional Boxing Matches in History

Boxing, a sport that has captivated millions around the globe, has given us some of the most thrilling and unforgettable moments in sports history. From shocking upsets to epic comebacks, boxing matches often transcend the sport itself, becoming cultural events that resonate with audiences worldwide. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into five of the most exciting professional boxing matches in history.

1. Evander Holyfield vs. Mike Tyson II

In 1996, Evander Holyfield shocked the world when he defeated Mike Tyson to win the WBA heavyweight title. This victory led to a highly anticipated rematch at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas. Despite many of Tyson’s fans believing Holyfield’s first win was a fluke, Holyfield proved otherwise during the rematch. He used his jab effectively to keep Tyson at bay and dominated the exchanges. Frustrated, Tyson committed an act that would forever be remembered in boxing history: he bit off part of Holyfield’s ear. This shocking act led to Tyson’s disqualification and marked his second loss to Holyfield.

2. Erik Morales vs. Marco Barrera

The first round of this historic matchup was one of the most action-packed rounds in boxing history, with both fighters landing their fair share of punches. By the fifth round, Morales unleashed a vicious barrage on Barrera. Just when it seemed like Barrera was in trouble, he fired back with ferocious punches of his own, sending the arena into a frenzy. The fight was so entertaining that it earned both men the Ring’s Round of the Year award. Morales went on to win the fight by split decision, leading to two more fights between the two. The trilogy between Morales and Barrera remains one of the most entertaining in boxing history.

3. Rocky Marciano vs. Joe Walcott

This historic matchup had the entire boxing world divided. Many, including Walcott, thought Marciano was overhyped and overrated. Walcott was so confident that he asked for his name to be taken out of boxing’s record books if he lost to Marciano. Walcott came out swinging when the opening bell rang, handing Marciano the first knockdown of his career. By the seventh round, both men were pretty busted up, and Marciano was heard complaining that he couldn’t see. However, Marciano turned things around with a huge right hook that left Walcott unconscious as he fell into the ropes.

4. Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Manny Pacquiao

This match was one of the most anticipated in boxing history, pitting two of the sport’s biggest stars against each other. Mayweather, known for his defensive prowess and tactical brilliance, was up against Pacquiao, a fighter renowned for his aggressive style and powerful punches. The fight lived up to its hype, with both fighters showcasing their unique skills and strategies. Mayweather ultimately won the match, but not without a fierce fight from Pacquiao.

5. Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier III

Known as the “Thrilla in Manila,” this was the third and final match between two of boxing’s greatest fighters. Both Ali and Frazier were past their prime, but they put on a show that is still talked about today. The fight was a brutal 14-round battle that ended when Frazier’s trainer refused to let him come out for the 15th round. Ali was declared the winner, but he later said that the fight was the closest thing to death he had ever experienced.

These five matches are just a glimpse into the rich history of professional boxing. Each one tells a unique story of determination, skill, and the will to win. They serve as a reminder of why boxing continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Whether you’re a lifelong fan or new to the sport, these matches offer a thrilling look into the heart and soul of boxing.


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