7 Boxing Matches That’ll Inspire You to Get in the Ring

Boxing Matches
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Carl Froch v Jermain Taylor

Ben Ince, deputy editor, says: “Everyone knows about the two George Groves fights but this bout, his first on US soil, was the making of the 33-2 middleweight. ‘The Cobra’ put his belt and reputation on the line in his first title defence against Jermain ‘Bad Intentions’ Taylor. The last gasp, come-from-behind victory back in '09 was the most dramatic fight of Froch's blockbuster career that makes Manchester United’s 1999 Champions League triumph look a mere formality.”

Muhammad Ali v Brian London

Joel Snape, associate editor, says: “This makes me want to go hit a heavy bag. Now. The Greatest hits European champ Brian London (in London) with about 16 blurry punches in two seconds to put him down for the count in the third round. When the Brit regained consciousness he called for a rematch, caveating: ‘I’d like a return, but only if you put a 50 pound weight on each [of Ali’s] ankles’.”

Erik Morales v Marcos Maidana

Matt Huckle, features writer, says: “The Mexican Morales was a legend but nearing his twilight years in 2009 and many saw it as a match-up designed to boost the Argentine’s profile and get a big name on his record. In the first three rounds Maidana blitzed Morales, closing his eye completely shut. Then in the 4th, while effectively fighting with one eye, Morales went toe-to-toe with him, using his technique and experience to land majestic combinations against the more powerful Maidana. The younger fighter eventually prevailed but the clash will be remembered for 12 rounds where Morales won the heart of millions.”

James Douglas v Mike Tyson

Joe Miles, Coach online writer, says: “James ‘Buster’ Douglas’ delivered one of the most inspirational underdog performances in the history of boxing. It’s a triumph for belief over complacency. Iron Mike entered the clash with a 37-0 record and some bookies had even refused to take bets from those 'stupid enough' to think Buster could beat him. But Tyson was undercooked and overconfident, whereas Douglas, whose mother had passed away just 23 days before, channelled his grief into preparing meticulously to achieve the unthinkable. In the tenth round, after recovering from a nine count in the eighth, Douglas put the champ down for the first time in his career to take his heavyweight title.”

Micky Ward v Arturo Gatti

Sam Razvi, Coach online writer, says: “Voted the fight of the year in 2002 – and arguably of the decade – it paired two very hittable light welterweights and proven warriors together for the first of their three seismic clashes. The Irish Ward won the epic first bout with the Italian Gatti taking the second and third. It’s difficult to convey just how mind blowing this fight truly was. All I can say is watch it and immediately apologise for that time you first saw Rocky and thought 'This is so stupid, no one could ever take a beating like that’. If it doesn't get you fired up then you should probably get a job in a monastery because you’ve the temperament of a monk.”

Ricky Hatton v Kostya Tszyu

Sam Rider, fitness editor, says: “Floyd Mayweather Jr may be a defensive master and Manny Pacquiao a viper-like power puncher, but Hatton, in his pomp, was an unchained brawler that kept you whooping and wincing every second. His 2005 Manchester bout with Tszyu wasn’t beautiful, not much about Hatton is, but it was relentless. And a huge upset. The Australian had been world champ for over a decade but after 11 brutal rounds of uppercuts and underhand incidents that had Hatton leading on all three scorecards, Tszyu’s team threw in the towel, to launch the Brit onto the global stage. Special mention for Hatton’s sickening liver shot that left Mexican Jose Luis Castillo crumpled on the canvas two years later.”

Mike Tyson v Trevor Berbick

Matt Huckle, features writer, says: “In the ring Tyson is remembered as the ferocious bundle-of terror that feasted on Evander Holyfield’s right helix (folded over outside edge of the ear) long before Liverpool’s Luis Suarez brought it back. But behind the wrath was an artfully skilled boxer who made the rest of the division look like lumbering journeymen. In 1986, at the start of the journey, the 20-year-old Tyson dismantled WBC holder Berbick with a stunning right to the body, left hook to the head to become the world's youngest heavyweight champ. It's a destruction but it's the thoughtful, patient way he executes it that makes it so much more frightening.”

Sam Rider

Sam Rider is an experienced freelance journalist, specialising in health, fitness and wellness. For over a decade he's reported on Olympic Games, CrossFit Games and World Cups, and quizzed luminaries of elite sport, nutrition and strength and conditioning. Sam is also a REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer, online coach and founder of Your Daily Fix. Sam is also Coach’s designated reviewer of massage guns and fitness mirrors.