The Monday LunchBox

George Foreman flattens Ron Lyle in 1976
Photo by boxeotuesquina.com

With life as we know it temporarily on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a suspension of all mass sporting activities this may be one of the few times in life where you have time on your hands (family permitting) and an opportunity to reflect. For those of us who love the sport of boxing there is a multitude of great moments that can be revisited at the click of a mouse.

The YouTube catalogue is rich with some of the greatest moments of the sport (Muhammad Ali verses almost anyone, Sugar Ray Leonard v Thomas Hearns I, Mike Tyson destroying Trevor Berbick in 1986 and ‘showing plenty at 20’ to gain the title and many other websites provide a platform for reminding ourselves of the beauty of gloved combat and its fistic history.

Just as a starter for ten why not try what Reg Gutteridge described as “Three rounds of absolute mayhem” – Marvelous Marvin Hagler v Thomas ‘Hitman’ Hearns in 1985. Similarly, my personal favourite, George Foreman v Ron Lyle in 1976 or, Azumah Nelson v Jeff Fenech I in Las Vegas, 1991. These will show you how beautifully brutal and ‘edge of your seat’ the sport can be.

For those who appreciate the finer arts of ringcraft, try Pernell Whitaker’s schooling of Julio Cesar Chavez in the San Antonio Alamodome in 1993 or on the flipside the drama of Chavez prevailing over Meldrick Taylor in 1990. The first great fight of that decade.

There are also the back and forth struggles of Dwight Muhammad Qawi v Evander Holyfield I in 1986, the trilogies of Arturo Gatti v ‘Irish’ Micky Ward, Marco Antonio Barrera v Erik Morales, Manny Pacquiao v Juan Manuel Marquez, which went to a fourth defining fight, and, the changing of the guard fights like Eusebio Pedroza v Barry McGuigan at Queens Park Rangers’ football ground in 1985.

Add to the mix Diego Corrales v Jose Luis Castillo I & II and a more recent vintage Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez v Gennadiy Golovkin I & II. All great toe to toe battles that will stand the test of time in any era.

In the course of my years sitting ringside and back to my earlier days in the ‘nosebleed’ seats below are some of my personal favourites which I witnessed live and are well worth a visit:-

Marvelous Marvin Hagler v Sugar Ray Leonard – April 6, 1987

Nigel Benn v Chris Eubank I – November 18, 1990

Nigel Benn v Gerald McClellan – February 25, 1995

Steve Robinson v Naseem Hamed – September 30, 1995

Kostya Tsyzu v Ricky Hatton – June 4, 2005

Joe Calzaghe v Jeff Lacy – March 4, 2006

Joe Calzaghe v Mikkel Kessler – November 3, 2007

Roman ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez v Srisaket Sor Rungvisai I – March 18, 2017

Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko – April 29, 2017

Regis Prograis v Josh Taylor – October 26, 2019

All great fights and great nights. Hopefully they will tide you over in these unprecedented times and keep the boxing juices flowing to a safe and healthy return for all. Enjoy !

This regular weekly feature is to also raise awareness of the registered boxing charity Ringside Rest and Care.

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