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Five of Boxing’s Most Entertaining Heavyweight and Middleweight Fights

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Boxing is, no doubt, the most popular combat sport.  The ultimate man vs. man competition from middleweight to heavyweight where will, technique, and sometimes luck determines the winner.

It is also one of the most lucrative sports with hundreds of millions of dollars going player fees, TV rights, and big bets.

Boxing bets are popular when a big match is on, but you can also bet on your favorite boxers in the slots. Boxing themed slot machines are available in online casinos such as SkyCity. Claim an exclusive welcome bonus at SkyCity casino here.  Millions of boxing matches have been fought, but some will be forever remembered;

Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield 

Mike ‘iron’ Tyson and Evander ‘The Real Deal’ Holyfield had risen brilliantly in the 80s as heavyweight boxers though they had never met. Tyson was famous for his furious barrage of heavy punches intended for first and second-round knockouts.  Holyfield depended on his height to outmaneuver his opponents.

The first fight in 1996 was a show of technique against raw strength. Holyfield had studied Tyson’s fast and furious style and intended to counter it with superior height and technique. He parried and out-moved Tyson until the eleventh round when the fight was stopped in favor of Holyfield.

The rematch in 1997 was one of the most memorable for Tyson’s bizarre behavior.  It was dubbed ‘the bite fight.’ Tyson, feeling frustrated by Holyfield’s superior strength,  bit hard into Holyfield’s right ear and cut out one inch at the top. The fight went on, and Tyson bit into Holyfield’s other year, which forced a stop and Tyson’s disqualification.

Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran II (1980)

“Sugar” Ray Leonard and the “Hands of Stone” Duran fought two matches driven by hubris, insults, and giant egos. The first fight was dubbed the ‘brawl in Montreal.’ Duran had taunted Sugar Ray in the days before the match, building up a tension that was waiting to explode in the fight.

The match was more of a brawl than a boxing match. Duran forced  Sugar Ray to leave his usual technical fight and brawl with him. Duran was a brawler and beat Sugar Ray in one of the most brutal fights in the 80s.  This set up the rematch that promised to be a grudge match.

The rematch was dubbed  ‘The Super fight ’ or the ‘No Mas’  fight.  Sugar Ray had learned from his mistakes. He returned to his usual tactics relying on speed and superior technique.  Duran was out of shape and not ready for a technically superior opponent. Duran, outmaneuvered, surrendered in the 8th round, saying, ‘No Mas’ which is Spanish for ‘No More.’

Ray Robinson vs. Jake La Motta  (1951)

Some boxing pundits say that Ray Robinson was the best pound for pound fighter boxing has ever had.  Jake La Motta is iconized for his giant will.   This fight was dubbed ‘Valentine’s day massacre.’  As the fight developed, Robinson’s superior technique showed as he delivered a barrage of punches.  Everyone expected La Motta to go down at one point, but he kept going and going. 

Boxing matches of those days were rarely stopped.  La Motta took a legendary beating. He stayed on his feet till the end in a show of superior will. He is known to have famously quipped, ‘Another 30 seconds and Sugar Ray would have collapsed from hitting me.’ They inducted him into Boxing’s Hall of Fame. 

Muhammad Ali George Foreman

Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman (1974)

This fight gave the world the phrase ‘Rumble in the Jungle.’ The fight in Kinshasa, Zaire (today DR Congo), was also the most-watched live event on TV at that moment, beaming to over 1 billion people.  Ali was coming out of a three-year ban, while Foreman was the undisputed and undefeated champion.

Foreman depended on his raw power while Ali relied on his height and movement.  Ali, at one point, allowed Foreman to land punches that did no damage. The trick was to let Foreman get tired.  Foreman was tired by the seventh round. Ali came out hard in the eighth and finished Foreman with a knockout. 

Wilder vs. Fury

This is an ongoing grudge match. Wilder’s knockouts are famous, while Fury’s bare-knuckle boxing style is equally loved.  The first match was a draw despite Fury being knocked down twice. The rematch saw Fury’s height and strength advantage to overcome Wilder’s power punches.  Fury won the fight. The third match was set for 2020 but was put off due to the COVID-19 restrictions. Boxing fans are eagerly awaiting this match.