By Michael Terrill @MichaelTerrill on April 11, 2014
With Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley set to take center stage Saturday night, the boxing world will take pleasure in seeing the rematch of the controversial fight that occurred just under two years ago. Rematches have become just as much a signature of boxing as bruised faces, which is most likely why fans enjoy them so much. Check out the five greatest rematches in the history of boxing.
Obviously, we won’t know if this is worthy of the top 5 until after the fight. However, it does have all of the makings of being great. The hype is through the roof, as fans can’t wait to see if Pacquiao will get his revenge after the disappointing split-decision that saw Bradley win. Even though Pacquiao clearly won the first fight, despite the judges ruling against him, it doesn’t necessarily mean he will come out top in Pacquiao vs. Bradley II
Sugar Ray Robinson, one of the greatest boxers of all time, matched up well with Jake LaMotta over a span of six fights. The sixth fight, which was knows as the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre”, took place when both men were past their prime. Robinson landed plenty of brutal shots, while LaMotta had spurts of greatness. LaMotta got fatigued in the 13th round and Robinson used him as a human punching bag on his way to the middleweight title.
One of the most famous boxing trilogies occurred between Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. Both boxers had one win apiece as they entered the third bout. Unlike Robinson and LaMotta, these two men were in the heart of their prime. The fight was hard fought, but Barrera emerged victorious in the rubber match. He took home the WBC super featherweight title in the process.
The first bout between Rocky Graziano and Tony Zale was so intense that a rematch had to happen. Zale won the first fight, although he took a massive beating in the process. He continued his dominance early in the second fight, but Graziano managed to get Zale on the ropes constantly. In fact, Zale took over thirty punches while pinned up against the ropes and never was able to respond, which led the referee to eventually call the match.
Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier make up one of the fiercest rivalries in sports. The “Thrilla in Manila”, which was the third fight between the two men, is considered to be the greatest boxing match of all time. The historical matchup saw ferocious barrages from both Ali and Frazier. It was Ali who eventually came out on top and won in the 14th round due to a TKO. Ali claimed the fight was the closest he had ever come to dying.
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