When boxing fans talk about the biggest fights in boxing history, they likely mean those events that caused the biggest buzz around the world. Usually, it’s that one fighter, one special character that makes all this possible, taking the excitement to a whole new level.
What is boxing buzz? Here is my definition: Thundering crowds of fans at arenas, bars and houses. Shouts, screams and roars that create vibration through the venue so loud, that even audio is unable to handle the frequency (happened to my video camera at the Klitschko vs. Arreola bout), leaving only the video and deadly silence on their screens when reviewing the footage.
Shirts, hats and flags in your field of view no matter where you turn your head, representing the men in the ring. Abysmal silence when their favorite fighter’s name is being announced, followed by extreme cheer chaos as soon as the announcer speaks the last letter of their name. Millions of increased heart rates and dilated pupil stares due to the great adrenaline rush people are experiencing before that bell finally rings.
How do you feel at such times?
When thinking about all the fighters that have brought this kind of excitement to boxing fans, a few names instantly pop up in my head. Some are more recent and some are classic. Here are just some of the names that I believe have created the biggest buzz in boxing history—at least the history that I was able to watch on TV or experience live.
Please remember that this is not a list of the best fighters in boxing, but the ones that have been able to create the best buzz and direct the media exclusively towards themselves.
So, what’s your list?
This was a hard one for me to decide, because both men are and were exceedingly tremendous boxers, and both know how to run their mouth to self promote.
Floyd can speak like a professional businessman and a cocky yet remarkably confident man at the same time. He is so good, that sometimes I feel that he could have been a politician (maybe Obama can take some speech lessons from this guy).
No matter how much you dislike him or his character, when he speaks, all quietly listen and are hypnotized by his words. He is convincing, direct, funny and capable of making the crowds go berserk.
I can say the same thing about the Jones back in the day when he was still on top of it all. He had no problem making every event his own, and had the full right to do so. Jones’ fighting inside the ring was undoubtedly the most entertaining ever. His movement, his cocky play with opposition and his fluidity stand on their own, without anyone in sight threatening to take that away.
Exactly who is Manny Pacquiao nowadays?
A boxing sensation? A politician? An actor? A singer?
I’m guessing that I am only scratching the surface. First, the Filipino people were infatuated with this man, then the boxing fans and now the entire planet. A man of many trades, Pacquiao has taken the media by surprise. His humble personality, extraordinary boxing ability paired with the infamous Freddie Roach and his dedication to life outside of boxing make him truly a one of a kind persona.
His fights sell out on a regular basis, not only because his name is still soaring in popularity, but because he is one of the most exciting fighters most have ever seen. He enters the ring ready to go toe to toe, and is unrelenting until the job is done. Going up in weight, he kept on shocking people time after time, and has accomplished legendary goals in this respect.
This man was fighting during a very interesting time in world history. Political friction was high, and to many, Schmeling represented something that he himself never believed in: the Nazi regime.
He was a super fighter with a very warm and respectful character. His fights with Joe Louis were met with incredible, mind-blowing popularity. This was not only a fight of an African American vs. a German, but a fight of democracy vs. fascism. The whole world was watching and hoping, but their interests were not purely boxing-related and very much divided.
We all know there are numerous great and memorable quotes that came out of Mike Tyson’s mouth during and after his boxing career, but compared to the trash-talking ability of Ali, Tyson was a well-experienced amateur at most.
Everything Ali ever said became an instant classic. He was not only loud and obnoxious, but also cocky and confident to a degree that no one has ever seen before in any sport. His personality was composed of the entire spectrum of feelings and emotions. His dominance in and out of the ring brought people to see him from all over the world, and not all Ali fans were even boxing fans.
While there is room for argument, the buzz that Tyson has created during his boxing career is unparalleled. The things he said, has done and the way he performed in the ring were just too original to go unnoticed.
His entire life during his boxing career was on par with the best reality shows we have ever seen. Drama and action were the only two words to describe his years. His character became world-known to an extreme, where any nation, island, town or neighborhood would be a fan trap for Tyson; he would not be able to go without being noticed and swarmed by the fans anywhere on this planet.