For boxing fans, there is one fight that everyone wants to see in 2021. Of course, we are talking about Anthony Joshua against Tyson Fury.
The two British athletes have established themselves as the best in the division, and it really will be a bout that will be talked about fora long time. As well as being top-class operators, the duo are huge figures in the world of sport, not just boxing. Fury is a larger-than-life character that appeals to the general public, with his popularity evident by the fact he is fourth favourite in the Sports Personality of the Year 2020 odds.
Meanwhile, Joshua has also built a huge fan base for his humble attitude and dedication to the sport. So, it’s a fight that will attract huge viewing figures from across the world, and it will be the contest that defines this era – if it happens.
With that in mind, we look at three of the most memorable heavyweight fights over the years.
Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier, 1975
[email protected]’ countdown of the best heavyweight bouts in history continues with Ali v Frazier: The Thrilla in Manila with 14 rounds of suffering https://t.co/vrg9OOjkhp pic.twitter.com/SZGF4dK5MW
— Times Sport (@TimesSport) March 29, 2018
Known as the ‘Thriller in Manila’, this was the third time the two greats had come together in the ring. Yet, they produced a classic that is still spoken about 45 years later.
Ali, regarded as one of the best sportsmen of all time, would get a late knockout to win the bout, but that didn’t tell the whole story at all. The two landed ferocious punches at a remarkable intensity from the start, with both showing incredible courage to keep going in this epic battle that was watched by over one billion people.
Larry Holmes vs Ken Norton, 1978
The 70s was a great era for boxing, and these two superb fighters produced a classic in Las Vegas. Norton was a fine competitor, having a win over Ali on his resume, whilst Holmes was a rising star of the sport. Ultimately, Holmes landed a split-decision win, evidencing the fact it was such a tight fight to call.
That was backed up with the scorecards, as only one point separated them on all three cards. The 15th round is remembered, as the two battled it out in the hope of victory, with Holmes getting the narrow call.
Buster Douglas vs Mike Tyson, 1990
It’s been 30 years since one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
Look back at the time Mike Tyson – then-undefeated, undisputed heavyweight champion – was knocked out by underdog Buster Douglas.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) February 11, 2020
This fight produced one of the biggest shocks in the history of sport. In 1990, Tyson was the self-proclaimed ‘baddest man on the planet’, and that reputation was justified. He was knocking people out for fun.
Meanwhile, Douglas was not rated at world level, and many felt this would be a formality for Iron Mike in Tokyo. However, the 42-1 outsider would emerge victorious. After weathering an early onslaught, Douglas stayed in the fight and a few great punches saw him pull off the unthinkable upset.
Whether Fury and Joshua can produce a fight that is talked about like those three remains to be seen. But, it certainly has the potential to do just that, and all fans of the sport will be hoping to see the two titans clash next year.