3. Randy Turpin vs Sugar Ray Robinson I
“The supreme fight sensation of all time!”
The moment Sugar Ray Robinson decided to fight Randy Turpin on July 10, 1951 boxing fans, historians and writers already knew that Sugar Ray Robinson was something special and that he was going to go down in boxing history as one of the greatest boxers ever.
He was a fighter who it was said, could out-punch the punchers and outbox the boxers. Robinson had won all his 85 amateur fights, 69 by way of knockout and 40 of those KO’s came in the 1st round. “My business in hurting people“, Robinson always said.
On July 10, 1951 it turned out Turpin outfought Robinson for the duration of 15 rounds. Sugar Ray showed his true sportsmanship in defeat, his first loss in ninety fights. He made no excuses and acknowledged that he had been defeated by a better man.
Randy became an instant British hero and was crowded by his adoring fans. As a winner of a 5 to 1 underdog he was paraded through his hometown of Leamington to enjoy his moment in the sunshine.
Fortunately for Sugar Ray Robinson there was a clause in the contract which guaranteed him a rematch with Randy Turpin if he lost. Rematch that took place in New York City almost two months later, just 64 days after the first encounter.
Randy Turnip was not intimidated by Robinson and Robinson himself knew that Turnip was not an easy matchup after the first fight. Sugar Ray was in the fight of his life and his legacy could not afford another loss against the tough Brit. In the 10th round Sugar Ray got a cut over his left eye and knew there was only one thing he could do in order to win the fight. He became more offensive and tried to score a knock out and soon after the referee moved in to stop the fight leaving Turnip barely standing.
2. Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston I
“The fourth greatest sports moment of the twentieth century”
The match took place in Miami Beach, in Florida and has aroused enormous interest. Liston was a feared fighter and extremely cautious, but had more than 10 years in front of Cassius Clay and had been defeated 2 years back by Floyd Patterson and the odds were 8 to 1 in Liston’s favour.
Garrulous and bold Cassius Clay won the gold medal at light heavyweight at the 1960O’s Olympic Games in Rome.
Before the Liston dispute Cassius Clay reviled his opponent, bragging smoothly that he will win, that he will knock him down. And the truth was not very far, Clay dominating the fight, through footwork and a top speed in front of a slower and resigned opponent. After the sixth round, Liston, who already had a swollen eye and a wounded shoulder, said he cannot continue the fight, giving Clay the opportunity to call out in the ring: “I am the greatest!”
A year later, on May 25, 1965, the two fighters met again in Lewiston, Maine, for revenge. Clay again won by a knockout in the first round.
It was the year in which Cassius Clay went to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. In 1967, while America is in a war in Vietnam, Muhammad Ali refused, on religious grounds, to join the US military. He was stripped of the title of world champion and was forbidden to practice boxing for three years. In 1971 the US Supreme Court overturned the decision and on 28 January 1974 Ali recovered his diamond belt, defeating the champion George Foreman.
In February 1978 Ali lost his world title to former Olympic gold medalist Leon Spinks, but regained it seven months later, after a difficult 15 round match. He retired from boxing in 1979, returned for a brief period, unsuccessfully, to withdraw definitively in 1981. In his career Cassius Clay, aka Muhammad Ali, has recorded 56 wins (37 by KO) and 5 defeats.
1. Buster Douglas vs Mike Tyson
“Tyson Is Back!”
Everyone knows who Mike Tyson is … the terror of his hits and how fast his opponents fell to the floor. But very few people know why he was defeated and the reasons behind his downfall.
We can certainly say that Mike Tyson owes its title and his life to Cus D’Amato. He was the person who took him off the streets and the coach who turned him into a world champion at the age of 20 (performance that has never been equaled). Cus invented a boxing style (peek-a-boo) which fit perfectly with Mike Tyson as a boxer (1,80 m and 100 kg).
This style was characterized by sudden drop height and lunge enabling it to reach under the arms opponent boxer (Mike is one of the shorter champions and therefore perfectly suited). The guard position was different than the normal one because his arms were very high and his hand parallel, not perpendicular with his face (Mike is short for a heavyweight boxer, the danger of an uppercut to the liver was low).
Peek-a-boo Boxing Style
This style combined with a fantastic punching power propels Tyson very quickly in the rankings and in 1986 Mike manages to win the world heavyweight title. But at that moment problems occur because Cus dies and Mike, at the age of 20 is left alone with several million dollars. Now the sharks begin to appear (Don King) and women began to give him circling. But nevertheless Mike is still “lord of the ring” and no one can stand before him. But the real problems started to appear when he married Robin Givens. If Gus took out everything that was good in him, this woman did the opposite.
Finally she divorces, but the damage was produced and Mike starts to neglect physical training and discovers nightlife. The aftermath is about to happen, especially since Mike was getting dropped by his sparring partners. The inevitable happened in 1990 when Buster Douglas knocks Mike Tyson out giving him his first loss. In this fight Mike “forgot” the peek-a-boo style and becomes just a bully, he was relying on force. And the tactic worked for six rounds, but the lack of training left its mark and eventually Mike got knocked out.
Not knowing all the facts it’s no wonder this is the most upsetting fight in boxing history and the betting odds said it all, 42 to 1 in Mike Tyson’s favour.