Floyd Mayweather. Manny Pacquiao. These two dominate pugilists have been on a collision course for quite sometime now. This hyped up clash between the top pound for pound kings draws some interesting parallels to some of history's most highly anticipated bouts.
Here are 10 fights in no particular order that come to mind when I think Mayweather-Pacquiao. Most of these fights were all out brawls. While I don't believe that this fight will feature many furious exchanges, the buzz and excitement created is where I draw the comparison.
When two elite boxers step through the ropes, Ali-Frazier almost immediately comes to mind. The trilogy between "The Greatest" and Smokin' Joe is in a class by itself, but comparisons are drawn nonetheless. The Thrilla in Manila drew a huge crowd for it's time and Ali gained redemption of sorts by stopping Smokin' Joe in the 15th and final round.
This fight holds a close parallel to Pacquiao-Mayweather in storyline. Whitaker and Chavez were both atop the Pound-For-Pound rankings in the early 90's. They both were also dominate champions and Chavez would seek to capture a title in a fourth weight division. The fight was clamored over by millions of fight fans and held in San Antonio amidst thousands of Chavez supporters. They were quieted by the boxing lesson drubbed out by "Sweet Pea" who had to settle for a draw. The cover of this magazine says it all.
Dominate middleweight champ Marvin Hagler took on surging Thomas "Hitman" Hearns in what will be remember as one of the greatest fights of all time. The first round is probably the most action packed round of slugging ever seen.
Ike Quartey and Oscar De La Hoya clashed to unify part of the welterweight title. Oscar had just moved to welter at the time and would face and defeat Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey and Felix Trinidad. Yes Trinidad technically received the decision, but those who watched the fight know the truth. How exciting was this time in the welterweight division?
Pictured is the rubber match between Holyfield and Bowe, but the initial clash was worth watching. Undisputed heavyweight king Holyfield, put his title on the line against the young hungry upstart. The 10th round is one of the best rounds as well.
Wily veteran Jersey Joe Walcott challenged Rocky Marciano for the heavyweight title. Walcott threatened to hand "The Brockton Blockbuster" his first loss. As history tells us, that didn't happen.
Aaron Pryor and Alexis Arguello is the epitome of highly anticipated bouts. El Flaco Exploviso (The Explosive Thin Man) was looking to become the first four division champion and Aaron Pryor was the undefeated junior welterweight champ. The end result will always be linked to the Panama Lewis water bottle controversy. RIP Alexis Arguello.
When "Little Hands of Stone" and "Chiquita" squared off it felt like the whole world was watching—and it was. This bout drew the highest pay-per-view buys at the Light Flyweight division at that time. The fight ended in dramatic fashion when Carbajal, who was behind on points at the time, knocked out Gonzalez with a picture perfect right.
Mainly all marquee fights at middleweight and below draw this comparison. Perhaps there isn't a fight on this slideshow that has more parallels to Mayweather-Pacquiao than Leonard-Hearns. You had Leonard, the young, brash, good looking counter-punching boxer. Then you had Hearns the power-punching kamikaze.
Mayweather and Pacquiao's styles contrast in similar fashion. Does this mean that we should expect the same result?
If there were a such thing as pay-per-view back in this time, it would have broke records hands down. Instead millions of people were able to see it FREE! The potato farming Basilio was a bull of a fighter. Sugar Ray Robinson, arguably the best fighter ever excelled in every aspect of the Sweet Science.
In a fight of contrasting styles here the relentless pressure of Basilio won out, albeit not without controversy.
Considering both guys were already mentioned once I decided to make this one a honorable mention. The build up to fight made headlines all over ESPN, so yes it was very highly anticipated. This fight was the passing of the torch as the Mexican icon had no answer for the crisp jab and speed possessed by "The Golden Boy." After dismantling Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya became the most celebrated fighter of Mexican decent.
Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard had one of the most storied rivalries in boxing history. While Duran employed rough house tactics, he was also tough to hit and took a great punch when he did get hit. The first two fights meant something, but the next one years later did not. Leonard, as stated before was the pure fluid, boxer. The Brawl in Montreal will go down as their best.
Something to think about. Are the results as important as the fact that two great fighters in the prime of their careers declare war on each other? Didn't think so. History shows us that anything is possible and when two elite pugilists step between the ropes they are for that period of time immortal.