The Mayweather-Pacquiao Treatment: Five Great Fights That Never Happened
After a dominating performance against Shane Mosely, the stage is set (again) for a superfight pitting Floyd Mayweather Jr against Manny Pacquiao. The two tried to come to terms for a deal to fight in March, but in December neither side could find a comparable compromise thus stalling the fight. Will this fight ever happen? If it doesn't, it stands in a long line of anticipated bouts that never came to fruition. Here's a look at a few.
George Foreman vs Larry Holmes 70's early 80's
George Foreman and Larry Holmes were the premier post Ali heavyweights of their time. They shared common opponents, but Foreman abruptly retired following a loss to Jimmy Young in 1977, when Holmes started picking steam. This fight would have rocked this era, but never happened. Foreman retired following a near death experience and a call to preach only to resurface nearly a decade later. A 1999 bout was proposed, but never happened over a purse mishap.
4. Pernell "Sweet Pea" Whitaker vs Meldrick Taylor
Considering the two were teammates in the 1984 Olympics, the likelihood of this fight was zero to none. However, the two faced Mexican icon Julio Cesar Chavez in thrilling fights and the "what if" question will be posed for generations. Taylor's superior handspeed and combination punching vs "Sweet Pea's" defensive prowess and boxing cunning. Hmmmm...
3. Ike Ibeabuchi vs Michael Grant
In the late 90's the heavyweight division was amuck with young talented and hungry lions. The competition was great and the prize for a crack at then champion Lennox Lewis was on the line. Two young guys emerged above the rest. Michael Grant had been crowned the "heir apparent" while Nigerian powerpuncher Ike Ibeabuchi had just knocked out the elusive Chris Byrd. The stage was set for a "winner take all" type of fight untill Ike was jailed on sexual assault charges in Las Vegas and Grant recieved his shot at Lennox Lewis. The result is pictured above, although the guy pictured is not Lewis.
2. Roy Jones Jr vs Dariuz Michalczewski
Roy Jones Jr ruled the middleweight-light heavyweight division in heyday during the late 90's early 2000's. While Jones was pounding on the Richard Frazier's, Eric Lucases and Mike McCallum's of the boxing world, a powerpunching German Pole waited overseas to test his skills against Jones. Critics of Jones point to Michalczewski as a quality fighter whom Jones ducked. Whatever the reason terms to bring Michalczewski or Jones overseas could not be negotiated.
1. Riddick Bowe vs Mike Tyson
This fight would have been huge. These were the two youngest and brightest stars in the heavyweight division at that time. Tyson went to prision and Bowe knocked off Evander Holyfield before losing to him months later. When Tyson came back from prision Bowe was more than willing as this might have grossed in the hundreds of millions, but rival promoters stalled this megafight. We can only dream.
Honorable Mention 1a Ike Quartey vs Felix Trinidad
In 1997 there were 3 dominant welterweight title holders. Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey and Felix "Tito" Trinidad. The biggest crowd pleasing draw would have been Quartey facing the hard hooking Puerto Rican Trinidad. Whitaker was past his prime as Tito would later prove and Quartey gave De La Hoya his toughest challenge at that time. These two never could figure out how to get in the same ring. Pity.
Honorable Mention 1b Michael Spinks vs Evander Holyfield
If Spinks had never fought Tyson and stayed at the light heavyweight division, this fight would have had to happen. There hasn't been two more dominate light heavys since. This fight definitely would have been uttered in the same breathe as Hagler-Hearns or Leonard-Duran as these two were warriors. We will never know because Spinks retired after being annihilated in less than 90 seconds by a streaking Mike Tyson.