Las Vegas has become the premier not only for those looking to have vacation along Las Vegas Blvd but also has been home to many major conventions, house to many resident entertainers but also has acquired the title of sports capital as well. Before the now popularized UFC made it’s home here in Las Vegas, there was boxing. Boxing in it’s early days were being held across Nevada but ultimately making Las Vegas it’s home and following the opening the The MGM and the arena, most championship matches were held there. Through it’s long history of boxing events, here are 5 great moments in boxing here in Las Vegas.
5. Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Meldrick Taylor, 1990
This fight has been labeled among many as one of the most dramatic comebacks of all time. There were only three seconds left in the fight when referee, Richard Steele, waved off the action to stop the fight and awarded Chavez a TKO victory where Taylor was leading comfortably on two of three cards.
Chavez united the IBF and WBC junior welterweight titles and improved his perfect record to an amazing 69-0.
4. George Foreman vs. Ron Lyle, 1976
With the amount of great and favorited boxers, George Foreman is among those names that are known throughout the nation. In the 1976, the match between Foreman and Lyle, left everyone glued to the fight. No titles were up for grabs for this fight but despite no titles these boxers gave it their all and thus having many agree that it was the greatest heavyweight fight in history.
Foreman had taken a long break after a loss to Muhammad Ali and Lyle was on a rampage from a string of wins. This battle went back and forth with Lyle starting of strong and then have each opponent rock each other back and forth through 5 rounds before Foreman topped Lyle with a barrage on the corner at the end of the round.
3. Diego Corrales vs. Jose Luis Castillo, 2005
Boxing has it’s audience and loyal fan base and with all the boxing matches to date the Corrales vs Castillo match is among the top ranked. These two fighters were highly anticipated in the match and did not leave the fans disappointed.
Round for round each fighter delivered huge power shots all fight long and throughout the tenth round with Corrales’ eyes nearly swollen shut, Castillo dropped him with a huge body shot and was then penalized for excessive spitting of the mouth piece.
After a quick trip to the corner for an adjusted mouth piece, Castillo returned and with the unexpected turn of events Castillo lands a heavy left hook on Corrales to which he never recovered from. Castillo took Corrales to the ropes and the fight was over, Castillo won by TKO.
2. Erik Morales vs. Marco Antonia Barrera, 2005
These rivals and like many before them, great rivals were set to fight in trilogies. The feuding and even dangerous boxers Erik Morales and Marco Antonia Barrera has tension ongoing for five years and each fight is worthy as our number four. The last fight where the show sown took place was right here in Las Vegas, NV. This was a twelve round bloodbath with each fighter giving constant go-for-broke punches. Morales took fight number one, then Barrera won fight number two by unanimous decision. When it came to this November 27th match put Barrera as the over all victor over Morales with his win by unanimous decision and took home the WBC Featherweight title.
1. Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns, 1981
In terms of just pure historical significance you can say that the fight between Leonard vs Hearns should elicit the title of greatest fight in the history of Las Vegas. Not only did the two greatest fighters at the time enter the ring together, they went all the way to the fourteenth round.
After such a long, tough fight between these opponents where Hearn had won the first five rounds, ultimatley it was Leonard with his eye swelling shut that he managed to knock out Hearns down and then finished him off in the fourteenth.
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