Boxing

Past trilogy seems to be a thing of the past!


Via Ken Hisner: Former heavyweight champion Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali has had several trios. There were three with “Smokin” Joe Frazier and Ken Norton.

There were days when the martial artists fought against each other more than three times. Some of the more famous series are Ted Kid Lewis, who met Jack Britton 20 times. Sam Langford has met Sam McVey 15 times, Harry Wills 18 times, Joe Jeanette 14 times, Jeff Clark 13 times and Jim Barry 12 times.

In modern times, Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao met Tim Bradley, Jr. 3 times, won 2 and lost controversially. He has met Juan Manuel Marquez 4 times, 2-1-1 and eliminated in their last meeting.

Going back to Ali and Frazier, they first met at one of the biggest events of modern boxing in March 1971. Ali returned to the ring almost three years after he scored the first two goals. Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena (only time stops in 53 fights).

Ali was 31-0 and Frazier was 26-0, and both were former Olympic Gold Medalists when they first met. Ali lost in the Olympic heavyweight challenges to Percy Price despite not being shown on the rec box. Then he dropped to light heavyweight, winning the trials. Frazier lost to Buster Mathis in the trials, but Mathis broke his thumb so Frazier took his place.

Entering the final round of the first meeting, Frazier led 8-6, 7-6 and 10-4, scoring the knockdown in the fifteenth and final innings. Rumor has it that Frazier himself went to the hospital while Ali had swelling on the side of his face the size of an orange.

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They didn’t have their second match until January 1974, and then Frazier lost the title to “Big” George Foreman in January 1973. Ali, on the other hand, lost to Norton in March 1973. , broke his jaw when losing the decision. Ali won the rematch for the NABF belt and defended it against Frazier, beating him 6-5, 7-4 and 8-4.

In Ali’s loss to Norton, it was a split decision with the scores 7-4, 5-4 and 6-5 for Ali, with Ali’s jaw broken in the first half of the match. It was held at the Sports Arena in San Diego, California, Norton’s hometown. In the rematch six months later, Ali won decisively 7-5 and 6-5, while Norton won 6-5. It was held at the Forum in Inglewood, California.

In their third match in October 1975 in the Philippines, called “The Thrilla in Manila,” Ali won when Frazier failed to make it to the finals. Ali later said it was the closest he had ever felt to death. Ali took the lead after fourteen rounds with scores of 66-60, 66-62 and 67-62 and was awarded Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year.

Ali’s world title is at stake because he won by stopping Foreman in a match known as “The Jungle Rumble” in Africa in October 1974.

Another famous trio is between “Irish” Mickey Ward and Arturo “Thunder” Gatti. The first was in May 2002 at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut. Gatti, 34–5, penalized a point in the fourth round for a low hit and was knocked out by Ward, 37–11 in the ninth round, losing by majority decision.

In their second encounter in November at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Gatti won by a margin of 98-90 and 98-91 twice.

Their third and final game again at Boardwalk Hall in June 2003, Gatti won 97-92 and 96-93, ending Ward’s career twice. Gatti would fight until July 2007, with a score of 4-3, blocked in his last two matches.

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