There are several big boxing matches that have been experienced throughout the ages and some of them have remained memorable. Many memorable boxing matches have been held in Las Vegas. MGM Grand Garden Arena remains in Vega’s boxing history for holding big matches in the US including Boxing. It is a multi-purpose arena that can hold 17,000 fans and is located in the MGM Grand Las Vegas along the Las Vegas Strip. The following are some of the most memorable boxing matches in the US.
“Sugar” Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns (1981)
The fight was known as ‘The Showdown’ and was held in the presence of 23,618 spectators at Caesars Palace. This memorable boxing match happened on September 16, 1981 and it started as normal. In the fifth round of the match, Leonard had to deal with a bruised eye that was rapidly swelling. After a fierce battle, Hearns took charge and was dominant in rounds nine and through twelve. Angelo Dundee, Leonard’s trainer had told him that he was about to blow it out. This gave Leonard great courage and he went on to unleash unexpected powerful combination towards his opponent. This caused the fight to come to an end and eventually ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard became the champion.
Thomas Hearns vs Marvin Hagler (1985)
This memorable fight was termed as “The War”. It took place at the famous Caesars Palace on April 15, 1985. The first round of this boxing match was considered as the greatest round ever in the history by the Boxing magazine ‘The Ring’. In fact the Marvin Hagler vs Tommy Hearns fight is one of the greatest fights that still lives on 30 years on. The round was fierce and the participants produced a non-stop action. In the second round of the game, Hearns developed issue with his legs. Hearns did not manage to produce more in the third round which made the match to be over. It was an eight minute fight that saw Hagler carry the day, soaked in blood while Hearns carried away semi-conscious.
Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo (2005)
This fight has been regarded to be the best fight to take place in 2005. The fight was held at Mandalay Bay on May 7, 2005. The fight went into the tenth round when “Chico” Corrales was knocked down by “Terrible” Castillo two times. While on the ground, Corrales beat the count and eventually countered with what was termed by Castillo as a perfect right hand. Castillo was in a trap initiated by Corrales against the ropes. In the trap, Corrales unleashed fury punches against his opponent and the fight was over.
Julio Cesar Chavez vs Meldrick Taylor (1990)
A fight between J.C “The Great Mexican Champion” Chavez and Meldrick “TNT” Taylor was regarded as “Thunder and Lighting”. This match was held at the Las Vegas Hilton which is now known as Westgate. It happened on March 17, 1990 and Taylor had an early advantage over his opponent with his fancy footwork. Chavez however overcame this by exhibiting powerful punches. The proceeding rounds experienced Taylor incur a broken and bleeding face which was worse than his opponent. The fight was going against Taylor but he eventually took lead in the final round of the match. With few seconds remaining for the game to end, Chavez ensued Taylor and he trapped him in a corner. Taylor did not respond and the match was won by Chavez by TKO.
Evander Holyfield vs Riddick Bowe (1992)
This is a memorable match between “The Real Deal” and “Big Daddy”. It is one of the greatest matches of all time that took place at the Thomas and Mack Center. It took place on November 13, 1992. Bowe was big in physique and very stronger with great pace compared to Evander Holyfield. Bowe managed to land 53% of 249 punches whereas Holyfield managed only 39% of 1661. Into the tenth round of the match, Holyfield powered through and it was expected to be over. Holyfield eventually became aggressive in the twelfth round but Howe managed to overpower him and was declared heavyweight champion.
Evander Holyfield vs Lennox Lewis II (1999)
This match between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis II was a return match. The first one had taken place 8 months earlier on at the Madison Square Garden. The match had ended in a tie. The match had raised many eyebrows with many believing that Lennox won it. Two judges made a split decision with the final judge declaring the match a draw based on points. This is perhaps the reason why it falls under the top 10 fights that didn’t live up to the hype.
The return match was set and the two aimed at unifying the WBC, WBA, IBF and the Lineal World Heavyweight Championships. Before the match, Lewis was the IBO, WBC and the Lineal Heavyweight Champion while Holyfield was the WBA and the IBF Heavyweight Champion.
During the first 8 rounds of the match, the two were evenly matched as the scorecards alternating to who would eventually win. During the first rounds, Lewis showed some strong potential of winning. He had the points in the first 3 rounds but Holyfield was strong in the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th rounds. The immediate three rounds were in favor of Lewis with the final round shared between the two contenders. Lewis emerged the winner and was declared the first Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion since 1992.
Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Leonard (1987)
All eyes were on the return of “Sugar” Ray Leonard. The Welterweight and Middleweight Champion had been out for a period of 3 years without participating in an official boxing match. He was participating in secret full bouts fights and his return was spearheaded by judges, official referees and ranked boxers.
In the early stages of the match, Hagler used right-handed boxer stance. His usual was the natural southpaw stance but it saw Leonard adopt to the switch comfortably and swiftly. This helped him win the first two rounds of the match. Hagler then went back to his natural southpaw which he used for the remaining part of the fight. Hagler began to take it to his opponent as the bout proceeded. He rocked Leonard using a right uppercut as the final bell went on. Leonard slowed down in the remaining part of the fight.
The 9th round was the climax of the fight and Hagler used a left cross to damage his opponent. Leonard tried a fight away from the corner and the remaining part of the round experienced a back and forth entertainment.
There was an exchange along the ropes between the two as the fight ended. Leonard had a total of 629 punches thrown which he landed 306. Hagler on the other hand threw 792 punches and landed 291. There was split decision in which Leonard was declared the winner which he carried away WBC, The ring and Lineal Middleweight titles. Here’s a comprehensive list of the top 10 super middleweights in boxing history. The decision remained controversial in the history of boxing as Hagler was believed to be the winner of the match.