Ranking the 10 Bloodiest Boxing Fights in the Past Decade

Kevin McRaeFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2013

Ranking the 10 Bloodiest Boxing Fights in the Past Decade

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    Boxing and the word blood go hand in hand with each other. Some of the greatest, and most popular, fighters of all time earn the title blood and guts warrior. They do this because of their willingness to lay it all on the line, to fight and bleed in order to win.

    When a fighter is cut, it can do one of two things to him. It can get in his head, make him reluctant and conscious about only protecting the cut. Or it can light a fire under him, make him urgent and willing to take more risks. And that makes for a great deal of excitement.

    There have been literally thousands of bloody fights in boxing history, and it's extremely difficult to select just 10 to highlight here. This is sure to spark a great deal of debate, discussion and disagreement.

    But here they are: the 10 bloodiest boxing fights of the past decade. 

10. Miguel Cotto vs. Antonio Margarito I

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    It's hard to include this fight in any lists given the, at best, spurious circumstances under which it was fought. 

    In his very next fight, against Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito was found loading his gloves with a plaster-type substance, and while no proof exists he did the same against Cotto, we can and must remain skeptical.

    In the early rounds of the fight, Cotto was able to outbox his relentless foe. But all the while you got the sense that Margarito's pressure and activity were going to wear down the Puerto Rican legend.

    By the middle of the fight, Margarito began to seize control, landing hard and thudding punches to his opponents face and body. As Cotto began to slow down, his face began to bloody and bruise in disturbing fashion. 

    Finally in the 11th round Cotto had taken enough punishment and after rising to his feet after a knockdown, his face a bloody mess, the fight was stopped. But since then, it has received an asterisk, with many believing Margarito cheated his way to victory.

9. Paulie Malignaggi vs. Pablo Cesar Cano

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    You wanna see a lot of blood? Check out the main undercard bout of the inaugural boxing card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn from this past October.

    In the fight Paulie Malignaggi was supposed to defend his WBA welterweight title against rising Mexican star Pablo Cesar Cano, but when Cano failed to make weight the title was no longer on the line. 

    Malignaggi cut the young fighter over the left eye, and it bled profusely from that point on until the final bell. It was absolutely stunning that Cano was able to see, much less keep fighting, for that long. If the referee or doctor would've stopped the contest, nobody could've objected.

    And what's even more impressive, is that, despite the cut, many felt Cano did enough to earn a decision, regardless of the official scorecards that gave the fight to Malignaggi.

8. Amir Khan vs. Marco Antonio Barrera

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    In 2009 Amir Khan was considered one of the sport's rising stars, and when he signed on to face a faded Marco Antonio Barrera in March, most expected him to win with ease.

    And that's exactly what he did.

    Barrera was badly cut over the left eye in the first round by an accidental clash of heads and spent the next four rounds gushing blood and eating a feast of jabs from his faster, fresher opponent.

    By the end of the fifth round it was clear that Barrera, the proud once great Mexican warrior, could no longer continue. At the advice of the ringside doctor, the bout was stopped and Khan won a wide technical decision on the scorecards.

7. Michael Katsidis vs. Czar Amonsot

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    Say what you will about Michael Katsidis. He's a limited fighter but he is as tough as they come. Some would even argue, probably correctly, that he is too tough for his own good.

    On July 21, 2007, he faced Czar Amonsot for the WBO lightweight championship on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins vs. Winky Wright pay-per-view. 

    The fight was an absolute war from the first bell with Amonsot being dropped to the mat in the second round, but rebounding to cut Katsidis in the third.

    For the remaining rounds, only one word can be used to describe the action; brutal. Both men threw shots with mean intentions, with Amonsot being felled again in the 10th round and Katsidis profusely bleeding from the cuts around his eyes.

    Katsidis would win the fight on the cards, but both men would be hospitalized after the bout. Sometimes that's the price you pay.

6. Diego Corrales vs. Joel Casamayor

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    The late Diego Corrales was known for engaging in his share of wars both inside and outside the boxing ring. He fought the best of the best in his era and often fought on even when it wasn't in his best interests.

    On October 4, 2003, he faced Joel Casamayor in a match of former junior lightweight champions. Both men were dropped to the canvas in the fight, Corrales twice, but more importantly a broken mouthpiece opened deep gashes inside Chico's mouth in the sixth round.

    As the cuts worsened the blood began flowing freely, and gruesomely, from his mouth. The cuts were so bad that they prompted the ringside doctor to stop the fight after Round 6 due to concerns about the amount of blood he was losing.

    Corrales, as was his trademark, protested vehemently to no avail. Say what you want about "Chico," but he was anything but a quitter in the ring.

5. Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward III

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    There are no words in the English language that can do justice to the three fight series engaged in by the late Arturo "Thunder" Gatti and "Irish" Micky Ward. The sweet science it was not, as each man competed for nothing more than pride in one of the bloodiest and most brutal rivalries in boxing history.

    Ward took the first fight by majority decision in 2002, and Gatti evened the score with a unanimous decision of his own later in the year. 

    The stage was set for their epic rubber match which took place in Atlantic City on June 7, 2003. Both men were bloodied, in excess, and fought through tremendous amounts of pain to get to the finish line. Gatti was forced to fight for much of the fight with a broken right hand after a punch landed on Ward's hip. 

    But he persevered and won the fight and the series by unanimous decision. For boxing's ultimate blood and guts warrior, it was just another day at the office.

4. Lennox Lewis vs. Vitali Klitschko

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    Before he made one half of the most dominant brother tandem in boxing history, Vitali Klitschko was a contender who worked his way up the ranks. 

    He got his first shot at a world championship against the recognized heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis on June 21, 2003. 

    Klitschko dominated the early rounds, rocking Lewis with a series of shots and appeared to be on the verge of defeating the champion, when in the third round a right hand opened a serious gash above his left eye.

    The cut got Lewis back into the fight, and as he continued to target it, his opponent's face became a bloody mask. It got so bad that Klitschko's upper eyelid began to droop down into his field of vision, prompting the ring doctor to stop the fight in the sixth round.

    This remains one of the most hotly contested stoppages in boxing to this day. But there is no question that Vitali's eye was simply ugly.

3. Israel Vazquez vs. Rafael Marquez IV

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    Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez are both tough, crazy SOBs who love to fight. They've engaged in a four-fight series, with each man winning two, and all have been brutal wars.

    In their fourth bout, Marquez suffered absolutely brutal cuts on the top of both eyes. Blood flowed freely from each and each time the cameras cut to his corner between rounds you felt the need to turn away. 

    In the end Marquez defeated his foe by third-round TKO in a bloody, brutal affair. Given how close and competitive all their bouts were, it seems fitting that this series ended in a tie.

2. Rocky Juarez vs. Jorge Rodrigo Barrios

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    Rocky Juarez has become a journeyman fighter of late, but there was a time he was considered one of the top prospects in boxing. He's always been good enough to win fights at a certain level, but every time he's tried to step up to the elite, he's been defeated.

    Coming into his August 2008 bout with Argentine tough guy Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, he was just 4-4 in his previous eight bouts, but his losses had come to Humberto Soto, Marco Antonio Barrera and Juan Manuel Marquez. Nothing to be ashamed about.

    The Barrios fight was supposed to get his career back on track and was not going his way before changing on a dime in the 11th round. It was close and competitive, but when Juarez deposited Barrios on the seat of his pants with a little left hand and when "The Hyena" rose from the mat, he was gushing blood from his mouth.

    His lip was spurting blood all over the ring in truly gruesome fashion, and that prompted the ringside doctor to immediately, and correctly, stop the bout in the ring. It was horrific to even watch.

1. Frederic Gosset vs. Xia Yu Quing

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    This is a fight that most people have probably never seen, and if you do choose to watch it be forewarned, there is a ton of blood. It's not for the faint of heart.

    Neither of these guys are world-class fighters, Gosset (11-46-2, 3 KO) and Quing (9-5-2, 1 KO) were competing in a rematch of their 2006 bout that ended in a technical draw due to headbutts.

    That trend continued in this bout when a headbutt opened an absolutely vicious cut over the left eye of Quing that caused him to bleed like a victim in Friday the 13th for the majority of the eight-round bout. 

    The cut, and level of blood, were absolutely unnerving, and this bout should've been stopped and not allowed to go anywhere near the distance. You have been warned.