Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Fight of the Century

It has been years, since we saw one of the most significant fights in boxing. There have been gaps wherein boxing has become cold. The last fight however that made a significance in the sport of boxing was the Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. versus Pernell Whitaker match. That fight was the last time a fight has been regarded in utmost importance. It was important, because two of those people have achieved the rating as two of the best fighters of their era. Whitaker, a defensive mastermind versus the slugger in Chavez. The great fights, however, started way back since the days of James Sullivan. Sullivan, was a fighter who totally dismantled all his opponents, was the first fighter to ever hold a title belt in boxing history. He is the first ever heavyweight champion. Throughout the years, boxing has become a staple for people who wants to get their excitement in a combat sport. It then winded down to the days of Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, and Rocky Marciano. Those three, were one of the best fighters of their days, and no wonder they are part of the hall-of-fame and as well as the all-time greats. Then came the days of Sugar Ray Robinson, Henry Armstrong, and Willie Pep. It has been way back in those days, and boxing has already become a very respectable sport. Robinson was the first in their time to receive the first to benefit in pay-per-views. Henry Armstrong, on the other hand got almost half of the boxing title belts. Willie Pep, is one of the all-time greats. Pep had the most victories in boxing than any fighter in the world. Until now, that title still belongs to him. He had 229 victories and a total of 241 fights, a record in boxing history. Those were part of the back and forth existance of the "Golden Age" of boxing. Golden Ages come and go. As great fighters come and go, the age also begins to end and will surely begin again. It is the promise, that brings everyone in boxing believe, that greater days are about to come. As the years goes further after the Robinson Era, a new generation begin to surface. Then came Muhammad Ali, or in the past was Cassius Clay. The Three fights with Frazier was tremendous. The third fight was, to me, the best fight that was made, in the history of boxing. Of course Ali, starting out had to beat the puncher, in Sonny Liston. It was drama in those days, there was the young George Foreman who was sensational in his hay day. Ali was very articulate and he was one of the most influential people in those times, and as well as today. Then there was The Four tigers, as what Top Rank CEO, Bob Arum calls it. It was the era of the eighties. Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, and Marvin Hagler. These four were the greats of the sport in those times. They all have fights on each other, and that was another "Golden Age". Ever heard of the famous sayings, "No mas"? Well, that was the reported words that Roberto Duran said, after he took an embarrassing loss to Leonard. Today, fights that go all-out and non-stop can be compared, defined, and easily associated to the "Hagler-Hearns". In the Eighties it was exciting, although I wasn't yet born, the impact that these four made in boxing is present in our generation. I just love the fights in this era, that I keep watching them. All of the four, are my favorites. In the nineties, however lots of fights took place and the center of it was Oscar De la Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Bernard Hopkins, Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, and Sugar Shane Mosely. These were the names in the nineties that shook the world once again, in the name of boxing. De la Hoya was the most popular as he defeats Chavez. After the De la Hoya-Chavez, Mexicans started hating on Oscar. Then the rise of young heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, who I believe is one of the best punchers in history. Tyson beat Berbick, who was the person who beat the aging Ali. Then comes the fight between Tyson-Holyfield, it was a good fight, but only tarnished by the bad blood, when Tyson bite the ears of Holyfield. Also, the mega-fight between Chavez and Whitaker. Then days come when boxing began to be cold. Then fueled up again with the featherweights in Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales. They were the dominating forces in the 2000's. The three fights of them are a memory in my mind that I cannot forget. Up until, the rise of Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao. Pacquiao beat them all. In those times, the significant fights were, Barrera-Morales, Pacquiao-Marquez, Pacquiao-Morales, Corrales-Castillo, Hopkins-Taylor, and others more I can remember. In present times, there was the mega-fight De la Hoya-Mayweather, Mayweather-Hatton, De la Hoya-Pacquiao, Pacquiao-Hatton, and the very recent Pacquiao-Cotto. It always was a pleasure for me to watch boxing, and until now, it is what keeps me in a good mood. In the recent events where Pacquiao and Mayweather is left as the "ultimate dominating force". It is important to consider their strengths. Pacquiao, is a total offensive genius in the history of boxing, as I would believe. Mayweather, is a total defensive genius in the history of boxing, as I too also believe. These are the two best fighters of their era, that if a clash would happen from them, it will generate millions of dollars in the fight and in pay-per-view. Not only is money the bigger deal, but what matters most are the memories, that will remain in our minds as one of the greatest fights in boxing history. As a boxing fan, I love the idea and would pay a fortune to see them fight. This fight will definitely be one of a kind, and is something that people would talk for ages. I really hope that this fight will happen so that we will feel the excitement once again that the sport creates in itself.

Picture: Floyd "Money" Mayweather on the left, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao on the right.