Tyson vs Bruno I – 1989

Tyson vs Bruno I - 1989  Straight off the back of a White Hart Lane win against Joe Bugner, Frank Bruno stepped onto the world stage against a ferocious  Mike Tyson at the Las Vegas Hilton, Hilton Center, Las Vegas. Tyson was, at the time, undefeated and prizing the WBC, WBA and IBF belts from his grip, was never going to be an easy talk. That said, Bruno was entering the fight in prime condition (weighing in at 228 lbs vs Tysons 218lbs), putting himself the best position possible going into the fight. Tyson not so much after breaking his hand in a street fight against boxer Mitch Green in August the year prior.

What followed was five rounds of memorable action, with underdog Bruno certainly having his moments and giving it his best. Live on HBO with Tyson’s earning $7 million, and Bruno a healthy $3.6 million. Bruno went down early, receiving s standing 8 count, and later in the round had a point taken away for hitting Tyson on the back of the head. However Bruno then caught Tyson with a right hand, followed by a left hook and clearly rocked the champion (something that was a rarity in Tyson’s world). Unfortunately Bruno’s skillset was geared more towards power than speed and he couldn’t capitalise on his moment.  Bruno took the best Tyson had to offer with the fight being called off in the fifth round after he had received four or five powerful blows to the head. Tyson remained undefeated, but the first left many wondering whether still the unstoppable force that he was viewed by many to be.

 

Mike Tyson vs. Frank Bruno – I (VIDEO)

Read about the fight here

Chavez vs. Taylor 1990

Chavez vs. Taylor 1990  On St. Patrick’s Day, 1990, in what would later be named ‘Fight of the Year’ by ‘The Ring’ magazine, WBC light welterweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez fought IBF light welterweight champion Meldrick Taylor in a unification bout, billed as ‘Thunder Meets Lightning’, at the Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas. In a contest fought at a furious pace, Taylor took advantage of superior hand speed to throw, and land, lightning-fast combinations, while Chavez continued in dogged, determined pursuit of his younger, less experienced opponent.

The fight followed a similar pattern until round ten, by which time Chavez was so far behind on points that a knockout was his only hope of victory. The Mexican increased his work rate, inflicting more damage on a tiring Taylor in the tenth and eleventh rounds than he had in the preceding nine. In round twelve, Chavez continued on the attack, trapping Taylor in a corner late on and landing a left-right combination, followed by a tremendous right hand that knocked him to the floor. With the aid of the ropes, Taylor regained his footing but, following a mandatory eight-count, was unresponsive when asked, more than once, by referee Richard Steele, if he was fit to continue. Left with little choice, Steele signalled the end of the fight with just two seconds on the clock, handing victory to Chavez by technical knockout.

Benitez vs Leonard – 1979

Benitez vs Leonard - 1979  This WBC title fight match-up Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas was a real treat for boxing fans in that it pitted two very technically gifted fighters against one another. Both entered the fight undefeated and it’s a rare thing in boxing to get two fighters taking each other on at the top of their game. Feints, footwork, defense and counter-punching all at top level, a real boxing fans fight.

Benitez entered the ring as champion (and was only 21 years of age) but also as the underdog. He had been champion before, and was actually the youngest fighter to win a World Championship, at the age of just 17 against Antonio Cervantes. Leonard, and olympic gold medalist entered the fight with a record of 25-0.

The bout itself was tactic to the extreme, with Leonard taking control in the early rounds resulting in a knockdown. However far from ending the champions chances it appeared to wake him from his slumber. Later in the bout Leonard regained control issuing a flurry of ounches with Benitez on the ropes. Round 15 (remember those days!) had it all though, with both fighters entering the tank in dramatic fashion. In the final seconds of the fight Leonard against floored Benitez but he rose to his feet. Leonard claimed his first world championship and Benitez certainly did himself justice. Two titans, head to head.