Boxing: The Roar and the Thunder

Daniel MarksContributor IDecember 5, 2008


The Top 10 Most Anticipated Fights

This weekend is yet another Fight of unlikely matches desperately trying to live up to the hype? A fight between “The Golden Boy” Oscar De La Hoya, and the “Pound for Pound King” Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas, at the  MGM Grand Hotel.  Only time will tell on the final bell if indeed this fight lived up to the hype.

Is the Buzz around Oscar de la Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao fight deserving of a spot on the List?  My Answer that question is no, it’s true that De La Hoya is carrying boxing on his back, but he has yet to win a major fight in his career.  Unless you count the Chaves fight, many including my self would not consider his win over Parnell Whitaker as legit, while his other loses to me would take him out of the picture as a major contender all together.

He has lost to many notable fighters, the likes of Trinidad, Mosley, Hopkins, and Mayweather all but end any talk of Oscar being a great fighter, but you can’t knock his marketing ability as the Golden Boy and how that has made him the cash cow.  Much like Sugar Ray Leonard, De La Hoya transcends the sport, and fills the stands with a large support of Latino fans.

What I will say on De La Hoya’s behalf is that he has never walked away from a challenge or the payday that comes with a big fight. Manny on the other hand this could be the start of him moving into the ranks of other great small men who have stepped up and taken the gold if you will; men like Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Robinson, and recently Roy Jones Jr when he won the Heavy Weight Title.

All of these men were considered Pound for Pound greats so the jury is still out on him.

What past fights have drawn a lot of attention?
Fight List:
1.    Aaron Pryor vs. Alexis Arguello
2.    Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier (I and III) Thriller in Manila
3.    Muhammad Ali vs. George Forman The Rumble in the Jungle
4.    Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo I
5.    Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns I
6.    Marvellous Marvin Hagler vs. John “The Beast” Mugabi
7.    Hagler vs. Hearns
8.    Iron Mike Tyson vs. Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield I
9.    Holyfield vs. Dwight Qawi I
10.    Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns vs. Iran “The Blade” Barkley

And did those fights live up to their expectations? This is the story of Boxing, The Roar and the Thunder Signifying loud but ain’t saying nothing:

1.    Aaron Pryor vs. Alexis Arguello” The build up to this fight was high, as Arguello was just coming off of two blowout victories of Ray “boom boom” Mancini, and was looking to play the part of the spoiler moving up in weight to take on the Hawk Aaron Pryor.

The fight is a classic even in controversies “the little brown Bottle” that allegedly helped Pryor prevail in a grueling fight that had both men digging deep. Pryor unrelenting style proved to be too much for the challenger, as Arguello would find himself kissing the canvas several time in the first fight, and sitting in defeat in refusing to get up in the second fight.

2.    Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier I: This fight cast in the midst of strong Political climate of the early '70s. Was seen as the classic good vs. Evil bout with Smokin Joe being a Christian, and a Blue collar down to earth quite man faced off with Muhammad Ali who was just the opposite. Ali was seen as Loud, Brash, and a Muslim (A Black Muslim as a member of the Nation of Islam), and very out spoken on the issues of our time. The war in Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement back home.

The Highlight of the fight was Joe’s sweeping left hook that sent Ali to the canvas for the first time, but he couldn’t keep him there Ail would rise broken jaw and humble in defeat, but never silent as his voice remains til this day.  The Thrilla in Manila a classic end to this historical epic. 14 brutal rounds in 115-degree heat. Both Ali and Frazier giving it all they had round after round, but it would be the jab as it was in their second fight that told the tale that night.

As Ali peppered Frazier closing both his eyes force corner man and trainer the Legendary Eddie Futch to throw in the towel putting an end to the best trilogy in boxing history.

3.    The Rumble in the Jungle Ali vs Forman: This fight was mega on two fronts. 1) it was the larges purse at the time, and two it was fought in Africa, Zaire Congo.  Forman was seen as the unstoppable force knocking out foes and destroying former Champions like is second round mutilation of Joe Frazier.

Ali was seen as on his way out a shadow of his former greatness, and no one not even is mouth piece Howard Cosell thought that Ali had a chance. But we would witness Ali’s greatness once again as he would shock the world with an eight round knockout of the unstoppable force that George came to be known. At the same time introducing a little known boxing tactic that Ali would call the rope a dope.

4.    Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo I: This fight goes down in the book for one reason seldom in this era of pay me, and I still won’t give you a fight Chico was a throw back. We lost a true showman when he died; the fight is summed up in the 10 round. Being floored twice by Castillo, and looking for a way to hold on, spitting out his mouth piece.

Which cause the Ref to take yet another point in the round that he was already losing badly Diego from out of nowhere caught a fire, and rattled off hooks and right hands stopping Castillo in what will go down as one of the most spectacular finishes in boxing history.

5.    Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns I: Is on for the ages although this wasn’t a Heavyweight fight it carried all the juice of one. The Hitman undefeated and had amassed a string of knockouts that had everyone singing way Ray, don’t do it Ray. But The Golden Boy of his era took the fight, and now we have an epic 14 eye popping rounds and a finish that had Hearns being pulled from the ropes TKO.

6.    Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. John “The Beast” Mugabi: This was a middle weight show down like those of the past. Hagler facing a complete destroyer in the beast took one of the worse beatings of any fight he had to date.

John Mugabi earned his nick name, and provided one of the more memorable fights of the Middle weight division. Hagler finished the fight by KOing the Beast, but was never the same after that fight. As Sugar Ray Leonard would test out later in their careers.

7.    Hagler vs. Hearns: Three rounds of hell, I could say more but I won’t. Get your download youtube going find this fight and pop the corn. But don’t blink and believe in miracles, the miracle of watching the best three rounds in Boxing period.

8.    Iron Mike Tyson vs. Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield I: For me this fight was all about styles. The Peek a Boo vs. The Armadillo (Eddie Fucth was Holyfield’s trainer for this fight) two inside fighting styles that brought it all to the table. Headbutts hooks and uppercuts. Yes dirty fighting at its best, a great match if you love the inside game.

9.    Holyfield vs. Dwight Qawi I: This is a throw back fight 15 rounds of mega proportions. Yes two men in prime shape duke’n it out, toe to toe, blow for blow. Style and Pose of Gladiators of the past, yes indeed this is a Cruiser weight fight, where neither fighter cruised.  Punch happy combatants until the final bell.

10.    Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns vs. Iran “The Blade” Barkley: Although this little barn burner wasn’t a mega fight. You be hard pressed to find any fight out there that had more leather thrown, or with more back and forth drama than this fight. 

Take my word if you want action, and see two warriors showing why boxing is America’s true favorite combat sport just throw in the tape and sick back. This is one of those banged out slugfest that made boxing a true no holds bared event.