Top 5 Greatest Rounds Ever
Everybody loves a good dust up between two athletes at their physical peak standing on each other’s toes and trading blows like they were going out of fashion. Who isn’t partial to a thrilling war of attrition with two warriors holding their ground in an epic battle of wills? Or seeing a man pick himself up off the canvas to fight his way back from the depths of defeat? And when it all happens in one round, what can be more exhilarating? Here are some of the most entertaining three-minute segments in boxing history…
5. Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe I, Round 10, November 13, 1992
When the heavyweight division wasn’t just the big ticket because of the dimensions of its members but the action on offer, Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe produced a round of boxing that eptomised everything good about the era. Exploding to life after Holyfield is caught with an uppercut that would have brought down Big Ben, the pair go into survival mode as the balance of power shifts dramatically between opposing fists. The haymakers come in bundles as the round tells a story of two different fights with one common thread: colossal men going hammer and tongs.
4. Erik Morales vs Marco Antonio Barrera I, Round 5, February 19, 2000
You want toe-to-toe action? You got it. The only time Erik Morales and Antonio Barrera are not throwing punches in round five of their first encounter is when they are re-aligning themselves back into phone box position having just been forced apart from the latest onslaught. It’s the Mexican ballet at its finest; two proud warriors at their peak not giving an inch, and vying to be crowned the nation’s Numero Uno (No1 fighter). And if the fact they couldn’t stand each other was the Tabasco sauce then this round was the meat in this burrito of a dust up.
3. Diego Corrales vs Jose Castillo I, Round 10, May 7, 2005
Round 10 of Corrales and Castillo’s lightweight unification contest is so explosive it didn’t even need all three minutes to rank as one of the greatest rounds ever. But the two minutes it did serve up goes some way to covering the checklist for an epic show. With one eye almost shut due to swelling, the late great Diego Corrales is knocked down twice before getting up to deliver the most thrilling ‘what happens next’ question in sport quiz history. Seemingly down and out, and fighting off instinct, Corrales lands what Castillo would later call the ‘perfect right hand’ to stop the Mexican on his feet.
2. Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns, Round 1, April 15, 1985
The fight was dubbed ‘The War’ and go to war Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns did in 1985 when they met for the undisputed middleweight championship of the world. So much so the pair could have been dragged in front of the International Court of Justice at The Hague for their part in this brutal conflict. Never has boxing seen a first round like it, from the opening bell Hagler and Hearns set about each other like they’d just discovered they were sleeping with the same woman. How they managed to answer the bell for the next couple of rounds is even more astonishing.
1. Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward I, Round 9, May 18, 2002
Even Hollywood couldn’t have scripted a better fight than what unfolded in the spring of 2002 when Arturo ‘Thunder’ Gatti and ‘Irish’ Micky Ward came face to face for the first time. Two blue-collar heroes, two fighters with no quit in them, and two warriors with a pain threshold higher than Mount Everest; all ingredients that came to boil in spectacular fashion in round nine of this classic. The three-minute blockbuster produced sees Gatti and Ward take it in turns to knock seven bells out of each other and create one of the most enthralling action scenes of all time, without the aid of any pyrotechnics or CGI.