Boxing has been around virtually since the dawn of time; but it only began evolving into a recognized sport in 1681, when the first-documented bare-knuckle boxing match was reported on by the London Protestant Mercury newspaper. From that point on it continued improving in the popularity stakes - but fast forward to the 20th century though, and the world began seeing some of the most legendary and prolific professional boxing matches take place; the kind that will forever be remembered and fondly referred to.
With yet another epic match-up set to take place on 2 May 2015 live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas when Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jrfinally touch gloves before writing another chapter in the history books; now is as good a time as any to revisit some of the greatest boxing clashes ever recorded.
AARON PRYOR VS ALEXIS ARGUELLO: 12 NOVEMBER 1982
Labelled "The Battle of the Champions" by famous boxing promotor Bob Arum, this November 1982 historical fight saw a calm-yet-fierce Alexis "The Matador" Arguello being pitted up against the more arrogant and boastful Aaron "The Hawk" Pryor. Arguello, at the time, was trying to become the first professional boxer in history to concurrently win main titles spread across four different weight classes - and he very nearly succeeded, too.
However, just when everybody thought that Pryor was all but done for, he amazingly sprung to action in the match's final rounds, throwing spirited punches until the fight was stopped in a dramatic manner. In the aftermath of this surprise win, Pryor's trainer (Panama Lewis, who was later brought into disrepute) was thrust into the media spotlight after it was noted that Lewis had been prompting "The Hawk" to drink from a suspicious-looking black bottle between rounds. These claims of an unfair advantage brought the outcome of the match into question; but ten months later, Pryor silenced the critics once and for all by soundly beating Arguello in another match up.
MUHAMMAD ALI VS GEORGE FOREMAN: 30 OCTOBER 1974
Back in 1974, George Foreman was pretty much hell on earth and undisputed king of the ring; a walking, talking, devastating force of nature which you'd take great care to avoid conflict with at all costs. This massively powerful puncher was famed for embarrassing WBC heavyweight champion Ken "The Jaw Breaker" Norton after only two rounds; and also made mincemeat out of Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion Joe Frazier, before it was revealed that Foreman would be taking on Muhammad Ali in Zaire.
The proposed fight would go on to be nicknamed "The Rumble in the Jungle"; a phrase that continues to remain popular even to this very day. As impressive as his boxing prowess was, Ali was still seen as the fight's underdog quite simply because Foreman had the physical advantage – he was just too big and powerful. During an intense, action-packed match, Ali famously covered himself up against the ropes; taunting Foreman while allowing him to throw relentless punches until he eventually wore himself out. By the time the eighth round started, Foreman was left completely drained, allowing Ali to take full advantage of the situation; throwing a hard right that knocked Foreman out, subsequently solidifying his reputation as "The Greatest". Watch how it all went down:
MARVIN HAGLER VS THOMAS HEARNS: 15 APRIL 1985
Arguably one of the best ever witnessed, this battle went on for a mere three rounds - but for some reason, this eight minute free-for-all between Thomas "Hit Man" Hearns and "Marvellous" Marvin Hagler contained more drama, action and pressure than any other fight in boxing history! Both were formidable knock-out artists, and faced off against each other at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas after a great deal of hype had been generated around this match, dubbed "The War".
And what a war it was, with both boxers presenting a display that has been hailed as the greatest rounds ever seen in boxing history. Hagler and Hearns traded equally-devastating blows, but neither refused to back down or submit. Such was their level of spirited exchanges, that by the third round (and after only three minutes) both athletes were left depleted - but they both continued to forge ahead until a bloodied Hagler tasted sweet victory after throwing a savage right hook which was swiftly followed by two uppercuts - downing Hearns for good, and thus winning the match by knock out.
THE BIGGEST FIGHT IN HISTORY - FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR VS MANNY PACQUIAO: 2 MAY 2015
Looking ahead at the upcoming match scheduled to take place on 2 May 2015 live in Las Vegas, the world's sporting media has already been whipped up into a frenzy at the prospect of finally witnessing what has been billed as "The Fight Of The Century". Rightly so; it's been a long time coming!
There is no doubt that this match will be the most lucrative in the history of the sport, as it has already been valued at nearly R3 billion! Pacquiao, a 36-year old Filipino has a 57-5-2 record and is the only fighter in history to win eight world titles in as many weight divisions. On the other hand, 38-year old Mayweather Jr is one of the highest-paid athletes in the world; and comes with a perfect professional boxing career - 47 fights, 47 wins. With both fighters laying their career's pride on the line, it's bound to be an unbelievably epic match - and LottoStar is giving you the opportunity to witness history in the making when the boxing bell sounds for the first time!
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