Rivalry is the great dramatic engine that drives our love of sport. To be sure, athletic competition is compelling in its own right. But when the opponents share a history of antagonism, fan interest inevitably peaks.
In each of the past two years, the biggest event in boxing has been the latest chapter in the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez rivalry. There is a good chance Pacquiao-Marquez V will provide some of the sport's biggest memories in 2013.
Trying to determine the greatest boxing rivalries of all time is a daunting, if intriguing task. While there can be no doubt about which rivalry must rank No. 1, and several other rivalries stand out for obvious inclusion, this is still the sort of article where I am conscious of leaving off several worthy contenders and am confident that readers will point out at least one or two more that make me do a Homer Simpson "Doh!" for having overlooked them even for consideration.
For the sake of this list, I have only considered rivalries of three fights or longer. I have also given a preference to rivalries which had major historical significance and/or relevance to establishing dominance in a weight class.
Because of these two considerations, a number of very important and extremely popular rivalries will not be included.