We have all watched a boxing match that can be considered a great fight. The boxers are at the top of their game and paired perfectly to give you an amazing show.
The great matches stick in your mind and can be re-watched and enjoyed just as many years later. If you are like me and love boxing, or just want to see some of the best examples of the sport, I have compiled a list of the ten greatest boxing matches of all time.
Table of Content
- 1 Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier (October 1st, 1975)
- 2 Jack Dempsey vs Luis Angel Firpo (September 14th, 1923)
- 3 Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas “Hitman” Hearns (September 16th, 1981)
- 4 Micky Ward vs Arturo Gatti (May 18th, 2002)
- 5 Joe Louis vs Billy Conn (June 18th, 1941)
- 6 Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo (May 7th, 2005)
- 7 Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler vs Thomas “ Hitman” Hearns (April 15th, 1985)
- 8 Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales (February 19th, 2000)
- 9 Meldrick Taylor vs Julio Cesar Chavez (March 17th, 1990)
- 10 Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank (November 18th, 1990)
- 11 Conclusion
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier (October 1st, 1975)
No boxing match can top “The Thriller in Manila” as Ali and Frazier duked it out in the ring. They were battling for the third time and competing to see who would get the title of a heavyweight champion.
The two went 14 rounds and let the fists fly the entire time. Neither men wanted to stop fighting and the match only ended when a trainer threw in the towel. This was truly one of the greatest boxing matches of all time.
Jack Dempsey vs Luis Angel Firpo (September 14th, 1923)
While it was a relatively short match, the fight at the Polo Grounds on September 14th, 1923 has easily earned a place on the list. Jack Dempsey was the defending heavyweight champion and proved he had earned this title by knocking Firpo down seven times.
But Dempsey was knocked out of the ring by Firpo in the first round. Even though the fight only lasted the one round, every minute was action packed and filled with fury.
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Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas “Hitman” Hearns (September 16th, 1981)
September 16th, 1981 saw the match dubbed “The Showdown” in Caesar’s Palace between welterweight champion, Sugar Ray Leonard and the crown holder, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns.
The match was less of a fight and more of a work of art as the two boxers went back and forth in point lead. During the 14th round, the switch was flipped and Leonard forced the referee to call the match in his favor after a barrage of blows to Hearns.
Micky Ward vs Arturo Gatti (May 18th, 2002)
Dubbed the “fight of the century”, Ward and Gatti were a fan favorite pairing. They were a fury of fists and punishing blows at a non-stop pace through 10 rounds.
During the ninth round, the two boxers were so amazing that they were also given the title of “the round of the century” as Gatti was declared the winner after a body shot to Ward.
Joe Louis vs Billy Conn (June 18th, 1941)
Joe Louis was not nearly as famous as Billy “Pittsburg Kid” Conn and was labeled an underdog due to his lack of fame compared to Conn. While most wrote off Louis, he still managed to last 13 rounds even though he was dehydrated and was labeled the victor when he knocked out Conn. C
on had played it smart and blocked and rolled most of Louis’ punches, but got overconfident and left himself open to Louis’ hit with only two seconds left in the round.
Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo (May 7th, 2005)
While both the boxers in this match were relatively unknown, they put on a fantastic show as they battled for ten rounds. They traded blows and battled valiantly back and forth.
Corrales was floored twice but got back up and lets the fists fly on Castillo. The fight was ultimately canceled when it was discovered that Castillo weighed too much, but the two men still put on an amazing spectacle.
Marvin “Marvelous” Hagler vs Thomas “ Hitman” Hearns (April 15th, 1985)
At Caesar’s Palace on April 15th, 1985 the boxing world saw one of the best opening rounds in the history of the sport. Hagler and Hearns came out swinging at a speed that had everyone in awe.
Even though the pace slowed in later rounds, the two still fought in such a brutal manner that the match was nicknamed “the war”. Hagler won the match with a knockout in the third round and reminded everyone of just how intense the fight can be.
While the match was short, it has remained a standout in the sport ever since.
Marco Antonio Barrera vs Erik Morales (February 19th, 2000)
Mexico was responsible for many of the best boxers in the early 2000s and these two men were a prime example. Barrera and Morales were world ranking boxers who fought like men much larger than themselves. During the fifth round of the match determined the fight as Morales was named the victor. Because Barrera had knocked down Morales in earlier rounds it caused many to question the outcome.
So many complaints were made that a rematch was called and Barrera clearly was the winner.
Meldrick Taylor vs Julio Cesar Chavez (March 17th, 1990)
The fight on March 17th, 1990 between Meldrick Taylor and Julio Cesar Chavez was highly anticipated and labeled “Thunder Meets Lightning”. Chavez was the thunder because of his powerful punches and Taylor was called lightning due to his speed.
The two traded blows and while Taylor landed more punches, Chavez did more damage per punch. The match ended in controversy when an exhausted. Taylor fell as he missed a punch. The referee called the match when he stood back up even though Taylor looked to nod when asked if he wanted to continue the fight.
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Nigel Benn vs Chris Eubank (November 18th, 1990)
These two British boxers both became household names around the same time. Because they were at their best, the match was highly anticipated. Fans couldn’t wait to see them together in the ring. Nigel “Dark Destroyer” Benn and Chris Eubank, who was adored by the fans, fought on November 18th, 1990 and were met by cheers of excited fans.
Eubank entered the ring as he always did by jumping over the top rope and giving the crowd a show. The two boxers began fighting and made it through nine rounds as they traded blows and showed the fans a fantastic example of what boxing at its best looks like.
In the ninth round, Eubank gave the fans exactly what they wanted by living up to his reputation and winning the match after he had been floored earlier. The match was won with a flurry of fists and Eubanks claimed the World Middleweight championship.
Boxing is an amazing spectacle to watch. Two athletes train for months to put their best foot forward and duke it out in the ring. The match can last from minutes to hours, but one match can live on in history.