The original bout between these two heavyweight powerhouses was arguably the biggest fight of that year. The fight was Fury’s first big bout after having his titles stripped and battling with drugs and mental health.
How the Gypsy King returned was remarkable. The truth was no-one knew how he would perform. He was up against the biggest puncher in heavyweight history and hadn’t faced a serious opponent since 2015’s victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
The fight was built-up, as usual, through multiple press conferences and interviews but there seemed to be a big level of respect between both men. On the surface, it looked as if, at some points, they were mates.
However, underneath there were severe mind games and workings meant to get under the skin of the other fighter. It was incredible to watch and culminated in one of the best boxing matches in recent history.
The rematch takes place on February 22nd with Wilder the current favourite in the betting and that seems like a great excuse to take a look back at some of the other most anticipated heavyweight fights of all time.
Joe Frazier v Muhammed Ali
The two undefeated heavyweights were set to square off in New York inside Madison Square Garden. Ali had previously lost his heavyweight championship in 1967 after refusing to be drafted into America’s armed forces.
He had won the belt from Sonny Liston in 1964 and successfully defended it up until was stripped.
In Ali’s absence, Joe Frazier was staking his claim in the heavyweight division. He managed to win two heavyweight championship belts and was a strong claim to be the best heavyweight in the world.
With both fighters putting their undefeated records on the line, as well as fighting for the championship, it was set to be a huge fight.
Frazier won this fight through a unanimous decision and so kick-started one of the best boxing trilogies the world has ever seen.
Evander Holyfield v Mike Tyson
The first boxing match between this pair was simply billed ‘finally’. Mike Tyson was a household name by the time this match came around and was easily the biggest name in boxing at the time.
This fight even came after Tyson lost to James Douglas, but Tyson was considered one of the best in the world. The fight was delayed due to Tyson being convicted of rape and his injuries in the build-ups.
Going into the fight, Holyfield was 34 and considered to be ‘washed up’. A big underdog with a point to prove. He went on to beat Tyson in this bout and even won the rematch in what could be the most famous boxing match of all time.
The rematch ended in disqualification as Tyson took a chunk of Holyfield’s ear while biting it on two separate occasions.
Mike Tyson v Lennox Lewis
This was one of the most anticipated fights the world has ever seen. The build up was phenomenal and the tension was immense. The two boxers hated each other, and you could feel it in every word they spoke. It all came to a tipping point during the 2002 press conference that took place in the Hudson Theatre, New York.
Both men were to step on a podium across the stage from each other, but as soon as Lennox Lewis entered and stood on his, ‘Iron’ Mike aggressively made his way over. Lewis’ security guard tried stopping Tyson but was greeted with a strong left hook which luckily missed.
Lewis then got involved swinging at Tyson and all hell broke loose. One reported shouted from the crowd ‘put him in a straight jacket’, aimed at Tyson, only to be met with a barrage of sexual and racial abuse.
However ugly the build-up was, it only stood to build up hype for the fight more. Lewis went on to win the gruelling brawl that followed.
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