Mayweather vs. Pacquiao and the Most Bitter Rivalries in Boxing History
Mickie Ward V. Arturo Gatti
Although Ward and Gatti were never elite fighters, the duo gave fans three epic fights.
Not a display of the sweet science, but a showcase of what all great fighters exhibit: blood and guts. Their fights resembled scenes from Rocky (music not included.) Their clashes were Ring Magazine's 2002 and 2003 fight of the year.
Duran v. Hagler v. Hearns v. Leonard
In the 1980s, some of the greatest fights in boxing history involved four great champions. Their battles lasted an entire decade and were fought from welterweight to middleweight. Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns, Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard battled each other in instant classics.
The foursome supplied some of the most epic moments in boxing: Duran’s infamous "no mas" quote, "the war" between Hagler and Hearns and the still controversial decision of Leonard and Hagler’s final showdown.
These men gave fight fans a golden era of boxing—one many consider the greatest ever.
Robinson v. Lamotta
Considered the greatest pound for pound boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson won more than 170 fights during his 25-year career. Not to be outdone, Jake LaMotta is remembered as one of the legendary fighters of the 21st century.
The two fought a total of six times; Lamotte has the honor of being the first man to defeat Robinson. But, the following five meetings the Sugar Man won every bout.
Ali v. Frazier
The trilogy between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier represents not only a struggle inside the ring, but a cultural battle outside of it.
In the 1970s, the United States was changing.
The struggle for Civil Rights was being played out and the military was fighting a war in Vietnam.
For many, Ali was the voice of change. He was loud and brash, voiced his displeasure and was critical of the government. When he refused to serve in the military, he did so knowing he would have to forfeit his heavyweight title.
Frazier was Ali’s opposite.
Frazier visited the troops. He never ran his mouth—his work inside the ring spoke for him.
When Ali vacated the title, Frazier was ready to be the next champion.
Their displeasure for each other was well documented. During a press conference, Ali referred to Frazier as an “Uncle Tom.”
Their fights were more than just two men boxing—they were two movements colliding.
In their first meeting, promoted as "The Fight of the Century," they sold out Madison Square Garden, and many celebrities and politicians were turned away at the door.
Mayweather v. Pacquaio
It’s a rivalry without one punch being thrown, but the verbal jabs have gone back and fourth.
Manny Pacquaio and Floyd Mayweather have been teasing the world with a superfight for over two years. Both fighters claim the other is avoiding the clash: from accusations of steroid use, arguing over who makes more money, to who has more fans.
The two boxers have never seen eye to eye on anything.
In January 2012, Mayweather challenged the Filipino icon on Twitter, saying it was time for them to “give the world what they want to see.” Unable to agree to the terms of a fight, the two walked away from, a reportedly, over $50 million dollar payday.
Both will be in action against different opponents later this year. Will we ever see the two inside the same ring?
Only time will tell.
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