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.

Benitez vs Leonard – 1979 (VIDEO)

Read about the fight here

Tyson vs. Bruno II 1996

Tyson vs. Bruno II 1996  In what proved to be the last fight of his career, Frank Bruno defended the WBC heavyweight title, which he had won from Oliver McCall six months earlier, against former undisputed world heavyweight champion ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas on March 16, 1996. Tyson was having his third comeback fight after being released from prison, on parole, the previous March, having served less than three years of a six-year sentence for rape.

Nevertheless, the bout, which was billed as ‘The Championship: Part I’, proved to be a distinctly one-sided affair. Despite conceding 3½” in height and 27lb in weight, Tyson wobbled Bruno with a vicious combination towards the end of the first round and opened a deep cut above his left eye. Bruno looked to hold on at every opportunity, which cost him a point in round two, and offered little or nothing offensively.

After an expletive-laden tirade from his corner man George Francis, Bruno was warned for holding by referee Miles Lane earlier in the third round. Bruno continued to try to smother his opponent but, after two more clinches, Tyson cut loose, landing a crushing right hand to the body, followed by a dozen or so powerful punches, culminating in a left hook that left Bruno sitting, helpless, on the bottom strand of the ropes. Lane quickly intervened, stopping the contest and handing victory to Tyson, by technical knockout, after just 0:50 of round three.