Pacquiao vs. Marquez and the 10 Greatest Boxing Revenge Stories
Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez is a grudge match for both, but it's mostly a fight of vengeance for Marquez.
When a fighter beats another fighter, he takes part of the other's accomplishments with his victory.
Marquez sees what Pacquiao has achieved so quickly since beating Marquez over three years ago, and if he had beaten Pacquiao, maybe he'd have enjoyed some of the same fame and fortune.
Now, his chance at redemption is coming on November 12th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Here are the 10 greatest revenge stories of all time.
10. Zab Judah vs. Cory Spinks
Judah was, without a doubt, the odds-on favorite to beat Cory Spinks in 2004 when they unified the welterweight world titles.
The odds lied.
Spinks's height and range boggled Judah, and he lost by decision.
Judah got his revenge in 2005 in Spinks's hometown of St. Louis.
Judah blazed a trail of excellence, staggering Spinks in Round 7 and later stopping Spinks in Round 9, regaining his world titles.
9. Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe
Holyfield vs. Bowe was one of the biggest heavyweight fights of the 1990s. Both were undefeated, and Holyfield was the unified heavyweight world champion.
In 1992, he lost everything to Bowe via unanimous decision.
Holyfield got a rematch the following year in 1993 and came in heavier and stronger. Not even the strange "Fan Man" incident, which was caused by a man gliding down via a parachute, could interrupt Holyfield's determined effort.
Holyfield won by majority decision, winning his title back but losing it again to Bowe two years later.
8. Jose Luis Castillo vs. Diego Corrales
Jose Luis Castillo had Diego Corrales hurt and ready to go in Round 10 of their first fight in 2005. He dropped him twice.
But, Corrales barely beat the counts, standing up at eight and nine, respectively.
Then, a punch deep from inside Corrales wobbled Castillo.
A series of punches threw Castillo against the ropes. Another series ended the fight, as Castillo had stopped guarding himself adequately.
In a rematch, Castillo, not underestimating Corrales after the first surprising comeback victory, got his revenge via fourth-round knockout.
7. Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales
Pacquiao sought glory when he moved up from featherweight (126 pounds) to super featherweight (130 pounds) in March 2005, but Erik Morales sought to outclass a younger, more limited puncher.
Pacquiao was limited and young, but he was still filled with boundless energy and capability. Trainer Freddie Roach put that energy to good use to help fulfill that potential.
Two rematches later, Morales was knocked out in the 10th round of their second fight and in the third round of their third.
6. Floyd Patterson vs. Ingemar Johansson
These two heavyweights were as fierce as punchers could be in the 1960s. Patterson was taken down in the third round of his first meeting with the undefeated Ingemar Johansson.
A year later in 1960, the rematch was set.
Patterson came for revenge and took it via fifth-round knockout. Johansson was left unconscious for five whole minutes.
With that victory, Patterson became the first person to ever successfully regain the heavyweight title.
Patterson and Johansson would have a third and final fight in 1961, which Patterson would win by knockout in Round 6.
5. Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier
Two great fighters met in their prime in 1970.
Frazier had an unorthodox style of constant head movement as he moved forward.
Ali was more of a dancer in the ring, but he was soon knocked out of step by the ferociously hard-hitting Frazier, who even got a knockdown on Ali.
But. Ali famously stood up with a deep intensity almost instantly, showing great heart.
Though Ali lost, he would come back and have two more battles that he would win against Frazier, including a TKO victory in their very last battle famously referred to as the "Thrilla in Manila."
4. Lennox Lewis vs. Oliver McCall
Oliver McCall wasn't supposed to be able to beat an undefeated Lewis. McCall had never beaten anyone of circumstance, much less anyone on Lewis's level.
But, in 1994 in the second round, McCall knocked Lewis down. Lewis got up to beat the count but stumbled forward, and the referee stopped the fight.
Lewis went on a warpath until he finally got his revenge via fifth-round TKO on an actually crying McCall in 1997.
3. Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez
Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in their first match in 2004.
Though Marquez would battle back to win nearly every other round, Pacquiao won enough after his amazing first round to make it a razor-thin close fight.
The fight was ruled a draw, with each fighter winning a scorecard and one card calling it even. The card that called it even forgot to score all three of Pacquiao's knockdowns. Had he done that, the round he scored Pacquiao a 10-7 would've been a 10-6.
That would've awarded Pacquiao the split-decision victory, which Pacquiao eventually picked up in their second match in 2008, using an improved skill set to best his greatest rival Marquez.
Only after vanquishing Marquez did the doors open wide for Pacquiao to move up in weight, conquer giants and become the the superstar that he currently is today.
2. Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran
Leonard fought Duran for the first time in June 1980. The Brawl in Montreal ended with Duran knocking Leonard all across the ring to net a unanimous decision.
Leonard fought flat-footed in response to his critics, who said he could only dance and play around in the ring.
So, when the two fighters had a rematch in November of that same year in New Orleans, Leonard got his revenge using what he knows best: dancing.
Leonard outmoved Duran so badly that he quit out of embarrassment in Round 8, shocking the entire world with two words: "No mas."
That's how revenge is served in boxing.
1. Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling
Louis was undefeated, American and in his prime. Schmeling was considered to be on his way out if he didn't do something fast.
With that in mind, Schmeling trained like a man possessed.
On the night of June 19, 1936, Schmeling's training showed in his educated jab that he kept in Louis's face, in the body shot he would fire into Louis's ribs and in the right over the top that put him down and out in Round 12.
Adolph Hitler rained the following praise on Schmeling in a message with flowers sent to his wife: "For the wonderful victory of your husband, our greatest German boxer, I must congratulate you with all my heart," Hitler wrote (via boxing.com).
On June 22, 1938, Louis returned, hungry for revenge. America was on his side, cheering him on. Nazi Germany was backing its fighter Schmeling to win—the stakes were a lot higher than a normal fight.
Louis got revenge the best way possible: a first-round blowout.
Louis barraged Schmeling, knocking him down three times en route to a knockout victory in front of a sold-out Yankee Stadium in New York.