LOOKING BACK AT A FEW MEMORABLE DRAWS
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
21 Sep 2017
The scores of Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin will continue to be discussed in the days to come. The fight will surely go down as one of the more contentious draws in championship history. The records of the squared ring are filled with controversial deadlocks and here a few that come to mind:
MANNY PACQUIAO vs JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ I (2004)
- This was the first chapter of an epic four fight series that spanned eight years. Pacquiao at that point in time was coming off his stunning 11th round TKO win of Marco Antonio Barrera and winning the Ring magazine lineal featherweight title. Marquez had the WBA and IBF featherweight belts.
- Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in round one. Marquez survived and gave a brilliant boxing display and got a split draw.
- The scorecards: John Stewart – 115-110 Pacquiao, Guy Gutras – 115-110 Marquez, Burt Clements – 113-113.
- Clements scored the first round 10-7; both Stewart and Gutras had it 10-6. If Clements had written 10-6, Pacquiao would have been the split decision winner.
- There are fans and writers who till this day, argue over who really won.
- Two more close fights followed, a split verdict win by Pacquiao in 2008 and a majority decision win in 2011 before Marquez got his revenge in 2012 by 6th round KO.
LENNOX LEWIS vs EVANDER HOLYFIELD I (1999)
- A much anticipated heavyweight unification between the WBC champ Lewis and the WBA/IBF champ Holyfield. Going into this fight Holyfield was riding on a tidal wave of fame, having beaten Mike Tyson by TKO in 1996 and the infamous ‘Bite Fight’ of 1997. Lewis had notable wins against Tommy Morrison, Andrew Golota and won the lineal title against Shannon Briggs.
- The scores: Stanley Christodoulou – 116-113 Lewis, Eugenia Williams – 115-113 Holyfield, Larry O’Connell – 115-115.
- The result sparked an uproar and the consensus was Lewis won the fight. Fight stats showed Lewis had a wide lead in punches and jabs landed.
- The rematch happened eight months later with Lewis winning by unanimous decision and became the first undisputed heavyweight champ since 1992.
- Both Holyfield and Lewis are enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
PERNELL WHITAKER vs JULIO CESAR CHAVEZ (1993)
- Whitaker’s career defining fight marred by a bad decision. Chavez was widely considered as the best pound for pound boxer in the world at the time. He was unbeaten and moving up after winning titles at 130,135 and 140lbs.
- Whitaker was defending his WBC world welterweight title and at that point was also a three division champ.
- Whitaker’s quickness and slick boxing befuddled Chavez all night
- The scores – Jack Woodruff – 115-113 for Whitaker, Mickey Vann and Franz Marti – 115-115.
- No rematch happened despite the overwhelming public opinion in favor of Whitaker.
- Both boxers are also in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
- Whitaker is widely considered to be one of the best defensive boxers in history. Chavez is beloved in his native Mexico as their greatest champion.
SUGAR RAY LEONARD vs THOMAS HEARNS II (1989)
- Fans had to wait eight years for the return bout of the classic welterweight unification fight that saw Leonard fighting through a swollen left eye and behind on points rallying to stop Hearns in the fourteenth round.
- They were fighting as super middleweights in a scheduled twelve rounder, with Leonard holding the WBC belt and Hearns the WBO version. Both were already past their best but they gave another memorable battle.
- Hearns knocked down Leonard in rounds three and eleven. Leonard saved himself with a strong finish with Hearns looking like he was ready to fall in the final round.
- The scores – Tom Kaczmarek – 113-112 Leonard, Jerry Roth – 113-112 Hearns, Dalby Shirley – 112-112.
- The verdict was not popular, many thought Hearns won. But a third fight never happened.
- Both boxers are Hall of Famers and together with Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran, made the 1980’s a decade to remember for fight fans.
HENRY ARMSTRONG vs CEFERINO GARCIA II (1940)
- The Filipino Bolo Puncher lost to Armstrong by fifteen round unanimous decision in a 1938 welterweight contest. In their second encounter, Garcia was the world middleweight champion while Armstrong was gunning for his fourth division world title.
- The fight was set for ten rounds and recognized as a title fight by the California State Athletic Commission. The referee, George Blake, was also the only judge of the fight.
- Most ringsiders felt Armstrong won but the fight was declared a draw. This prevented Armstrong from making another historic feat.
- Armstrong is widely considered among the best boxers pound for pound in history. He held the featherweight, welterweight and lightweight titles simultaneously in an era when there was only one world champion and eight weight divisions. Most historians rank him in their top five all-time greatest boxers.
- Garcia is often referred to as the man who invented the Bolo Punch. He is the only Filipino to reign as world middleweight champion.
- Armstrong is in the International Boxing Hall of Fame but Garcia has not been inducted.
PHOTO – Top row left to right – Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao, Lennox Lewis, Bottom row left to right – Evander Holyfield, Pernell Whitaker, Julio Cesar Chavez
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