Ranking The Top 30 Heavyweight Boxing Matches Of All-Time

Darren - February 28, 2020

Ranking The Top 30 Heavyweight Boxing Matches Of All-Time

Darren - February 28, 2020

Mandatory Credit: The Times

6. Tyson Fury vs, Deontay Wilder 1

We’d argue that the original was much, much better than the sequel. Fury perhaps shouldn’t have even been fighting in this one. Only one year earlier he weighed 400 pounds and was suicidal. However, he got himself into fighting shape to take on the hardest hitter in combat sports. It looked like he should have won too, outpointing Wilder across 12 rounds.

Mandatory Credit: The Independent

But two knockdowns sealed the draw for the champion. The second in the twelfth round was ridiculous. Fury looked out cold when he hit the ground but he rose from the dead like Lazarus, a truly iconic moment. In the end, the judges controversially awarded the fighters a draw. But what a fight it was.

Mandatory Credit: New Statesman

5. The Rumble In The Jungle

Ali fought Foreman in Zaire in 1974. This was an older Ali taking on the hardest heavyweight puncher of all time. It looked like Foreman would be too much for a potentially over-the-hill Ali. But Ali defied his underdog status again to put on a masterful performance.

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His plan was to exhaust Foreman with rope-a-dope, sticking and moving around the ring. It worked to perfection. Although Ali absorbed some brutal shots, he was able to hang on and finish him with a fast combination in the eighth in a stunning victory for Ali.

Mandatory Credit: The Times

4. Jack Dempsey vs. Luis Firpo

The oldest fight on this list was unbelievably insane. 90,000 were in attendance at the Polo Grounds with another 25,000 standing outside. Dempsey stormed in but Firpo stunned everybody watching by dropping him with a right hand. Things just got crazier from then on.

Mandatory Credit: Eurosport

Dempsey came back, knocking Firpo down a ridiculous seven times. This was a different era. Then Firpo sent Dempsey crashing through the ropes. Finally, Dempsey came back in with a massive cut and dominated the challenger until he got the finish.

Mandatory Credit: eCRATER

3. Rocky Marciano vs.  Jersey Joe Walcott

Marciano famously went 49 fights unbeaten before he finally retired. But Walcott was the man who came closest to beating him. In September 1952, Walcott was the champion and put a technical beatdown on Marciano for 12 rounds. He even knocked Marciano down in the first round.

Mandatory Credit: Pinterest / Manos Athanasiadis

But you could never count Marciano out. His right hand was a piston and he made it count in the 13th round. Walcott was sailing towards a decision win when he made a fatal error. He dropped his hands when Marciano let fly with a vicious right that smashed him into oblivion.

Mandatory Credit: Getty Iris

2. The Fight Of The Century

It’s rare that a hyped heavyweight fight exceeds expectations. But that’s exactly what happened in Madison Square Garden when Ali met Frazier with the heavyweight title on the line. It was a war of attrition. Ali took the early rounds as Frazier took punishment to gauge his opponent’s timing. From then on it was all about wearing Ali down and battering him.

Mandatory Credit: Considerable

But Frazier left the judges in no doubt with one of the most iconic left hooks of all time. He dropped Ali in the fifteenth round. The Ring and lineal champion rose back to his feet, showing tremendous heart. Both men became legends that day. They’d fight two more times in iconic clashes.

Mandatory Credit: Lars Karlsson

1. The Thrilla In Manila

This savage war is definitely the greatest heavyweight clash of them all. Ali fought Frazier for the second time in a battle that lasted for a brutal 14 rounds. Everything was at stake in this trilogy fight with the winner taking the bragging rights.

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Ali started strong with his jab but then halfway through Frazier put in ferocious work to the body. Towards the end of the fight, Ali regained control, and eventually, the swelling around Frazier’s eye was too much. It definitely shortened both men’s careers. But as far as classic heavyweight fights go, this one was, is, and will be definitive.