BOXING TRILOGIES IN HISTORY
By Alex P. Vidal
Thu, 16 Nov 2006
ILOILO CITY -- The Nov. 19 ?Grand Finale? showdown between Emmanuel ?Pacman? Pacquiao and Erik ?El Terible? Morales is being dubbed as one of the biggest boxing trilogies in the history.
The series now stands at one win apiece going to perhaps the last and ultimate showdown between the category?s most destructive ring gladiators.
The intensity of the ?Akoh ang tahtahposh? conflict can be felt even in the remotest barangays in the country due to the massive and non-stop publicity being poured on the event by the country?s largest media networks and broadsheets.
The Pacman-El Terible trilogy can be compared to the trilogy of the following pairs:
-- Ruben Olivares versus Chuchu Castillo
-- Nino Benvenuti versus Emile Griffith
-- Tony Zale versus Rocky Graciano
-- Tony canzoneri versus Lou Ambers
-- Manuel Ortiz versus Luis Castillo
-- Archie Moore versus Joey Maxim
-- Dick Tiger versus Gene Fulmer
-- Stanley Ketchel versus Joe Thomas
OLIVARES VS CASTLLO
On April 18, 1970 in Los Angeles, California, Ruben Olivares defeated via unanimous decision Chuchu Castillo for the world bantamweight title after 15 rounds. In their rematch on October 16, 1970, Castillo scored a shock technical knockout (TKO) win in the 14 round to snatch the title. In their ?grand finale?, Olivares made sure who?s the boss by pounding out a unanimous decision in 15 rounds.
BENVENUTI VS GRIFFITH
On April 17, 1967, Italian beakbuster Benvenuti invaded New York City to topple the world middleweight crown off Emile Griffith?s head with an impressive unanimous decision in 15 rounds. In their rematch on Sept. 29, 1967, Griffith avenged the loss with a similar unanimous decision win also in 15 rounds. When the ?grand finale? was set, Benvenuti romped off with a 15-round points victory.
ZALE VS GRACIANO
They were two of the most charismatic personalities in the post-war era of the fight business. Their trilogy is perhaps the most dramatic if not the best rivalry in the history of professional boxing. It all started when on September 27, 1946
in New York City, Tony Zale shocked the world with a savage 6th round disposal of the popular and part-time actor Rocky Graciano for the middleweight championship of the world. In a rematch on July 16, 1947 in Chicago, Graciano scored a stunning reversal of their first encounter: he knocked out cold Zale in the 6th round to regain the crown. In their ?grand finale? on June 10, 1948, Zale settled the debate with a smashing third round knockout. In their three-series duel, many experts agreed the third meeting was the most brutal with Graciano unable to lift even his fingers after Zale deposited him in the canvas with a laser-laced right uppercut and a picture-perfect left hook.
ARCHIE MOORE VS. JOEY MAXIM
In this trilogy, Moore, the oldest heavyweight to capture the world title at 38 (his record was erased by George Foreman who bulldozed Michael Moorer to crown himself the oldest heavyweight ruler at 45 years old!), dominated Maxim and won all their three fights on December 17, 1952; June 24, 1953; and January 27, 1954. Score: 3-0.
CANZONERI VS. LOU AMBERS
The lightweight world championship matches between Tony Canzoneri and Lou Ambers were all fought in New York City. In their first meeting on May 10, 1935, Canzoneri outduked Ambers on points in a scheduled 15 rounds. In their rematch on September 3. 1936, Ambers outpointed Canzoneri also in 15 rounds. In their deciding match on May 7, 1937, Ambers ambushed his nemesis and scored anew a points verdict via the same route.
TIGER VS FULLMER
Middleweight champion Dick Tiger outshuttled Gene Fullmer in their first meeting on October 23, 1962. Their rematch on February 23, 1963 ended in draw. In their final meeting on August 10, 1963, Tiger devoured Fullmer in seven rounds, scoring
a technical knockout (TKO) win.
THE ?FLASH? ALSO HAD A TRILOGY
The much admired former WBC junior lightweight champion Gabriel ?Flash? Elorde also had a piece of trilogy during his 20-year reign as a fistic terror in 1951 to 1971. On June 29, 1954 in Tokyo, Elorde was foiled in his bid to win the Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) featherweight crown when he lost on points to Shigeji Kaneko in 12 rounds. In their rematch on October 3, 1955 also in Tokyo, Kaneko repeated his mastery over the future Filipino world champion by another points win in a 10-round non-title tiff. And finally on September 24, 1957 also in Tokyo, Kaneko scored another 10-round unanimous decision in a non-title duel.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Alex P. Vidal.
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