Top Rank To Air Top Ali, Tyson Fights In A Tuesday Marathon Event
ESPN and Top Rank are doing everything to help fight fans get their fix of fights and sports in general. With the coronavirus postponing a majority of events until at least the next few months, ESPN appears to be the place to be.
The following fights will be shown in a marathon today, Tuesday, April 7:
- 7 p.m. ET – Muhammad Ali v. George Foreman (10/30/74)
- 8 p.m. ET – Ali v. Joe Frazier III (10/1/75)
- 9:30 p.m. ET – Ali v. Leon Spinks II (9/15/78)
- 10:30 p.m. ET – Mike Tyson v. Trevor Berbick (11/22/86)
- 11 p.m. ET – Tyson v. Larry Holmes (1/22/88)
- 11:30 p.m. ET – Tyson v. Michael Spinks (6/27/88)
- Wednesday, 12 a.m. ET – Tyson v. James “Buster” Douglas (2/11/90)
- Wednesday 1 a.m. ET – George Foreman v. Evander Holyfield (4/19/91)
Known as “The Rumble in the Jungle”, Muhammad Ali v. George Foreman was watched by over 1 billion viewers, a major record at the time. Ali came in as a 4-1 underdog as Foreman (40-1 at the time) was in the prime of his career. This was one of the major showings of the “rope-a-dope” tactic, which threw Foreman off. In the latter part of his career, Ali ended up winning the fight by KO in the eighth. He survived an onslaught by Foreman, and a rematch never took place.
Known as the “Thrilla in Manila”, this was the end of one of the greatest rivalries in boxing. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier went to war with one another, with both giving it their all. Ali would damage the eyes of Frazier, making it hard for him to see. Frazier’s corner would not let him continue, allowing Ali to win via TKO. Both fighters were on the verge of collapsing as a chapter of boxing was coming to a close.
In only his seventh pro fight, Leon Spinks faced Ali in what was almost the end of Ali’s career. Beating Foreman for the WBA, WBC, The Ring and lineal Heavyweight Titles, Ali held onto it from 1974 until 1978. Spinks won the first fight via split decision. Ali ended up getting an automatic rematch and won via unanimous decision. He became the first man to win the Heavyweight World Title three times.
In a fight that really started the legend of Mike Tyson, “Iron” Mike beat Trevor Berbick in his 28th pro fight to win the WBC heavyweight Title. It was a dominant performance in which it only took the second round to knock the champion out. As a result, Tyson became the youngest man to win a heavyweight title.
In the fifth fight since beating Berbick, Tyson faced one of the best in Larry Holmes in 1988. Tyson knocked him out in four rounds, the only time Holmes was knocked out.
The height of Tyson’s dangerous run was against Leon Spinks. In a fight considered the richest in boxing history in 1988 at a $70 million gross, Tyson and Spinks fought to decide who the true heavyweight champion was. In the end, Tyson didn’t need to sweat, as he attacked early and never looked back. The fight was over after 91 seconds.
One of the biggest upsets in boxing history, Tyson’s loss to Buster Douglas in Tokyo continues to be one of the most-talked about moments today. A 42-to-1 underdog, Douglas knocked out Tyson in the tenth round.
Although he wasn’t given a shot by many, George Foreman managed to keep Evander Holyfield on his toes. Holyfield, the WBA, WBC, IBF and lineal heavyweight Champion won via unanimous decision but Foreman proved that even at 42 he still had something left in the tank. He showed that two+ years later by becoming world champion at 45.