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Old 12-07-2009, 09:25 PM   #1
My2Sense
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Default Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

What are some examples of fights that were in position to happen at one point, but didn't happen until sometime later? Perhaps in making the fight, there was an old score or some long running debate over who was better that needed to be settled.


Two of the most notable examples to happen in modern memory were Tyson's fights with Holyfield and Lewis. Each fight was poised to happen several years before it ultimately did, but circumstances foiled it each time. In the meanwhile, both fights' potential outcomes remained the focus of rampant talk and speculation until they finally happened.

Another example would be Lewis against Holyfield, which could've happened as a big unification fight in the early '90s when both fighters were much younger and more vibrant. However, each time Holy lost first to Bowe, then to Moorer, and then retired for sometime.

Calzaghe's fights with Jones and Hopkins follow in a similar vein as the ones above.

Antonio Tarver was twice in position to fight Roy Jones before they eventually did. The first time, Jones requested that a final eliminator be set up between Tarver and Harding, which Tarver lost and Harding got the shot instead; and the second time, Jones opted to vacate one of his titles (which Tarver then won) and make the big fight with Ruiz instead.

Whitaker-Chavez was another fight that was talked about for some time before finally happening, as there had always been a long running debate over which one was really "P4P #1".

Going back in time, Floyd Patterson and Eddie Machen essentially fought to settle an old score, as Machen had been among Floyd's leading title challengers back when he was the champ but never got a shot at the title. Very similarly, Joe Louis fought Jimmy Bivins late in both men's careers, as Bivins had been prevented from getting a title shot during his tenure as the #1 contender due to Louis' years in the army. In each case, the ex-champ dominated his once would-be challenger.

Ezzard Charles and Rex Layne could've/should've fought sometime earlier when Charles was the champ and Layne was one of his top contenders. Instead, Charles bypassed Layne and gave two shots to Walcott (who Layne had decisively beaten). Eventually, Charles lost his title to Walcott and Layne lost his top ranking to Marciano, when each was KO'd by one punch. Funny enough, they then met each other in their next fight in a "crossroads" fight to determine which would regain his ranking as a top contender, and Charles proved his superiority by pounding Layne into a late round stoppage.

At one point, Nino Benvenuti was Dick Tiger's top contender and was being considered for a title shot, but Tiger opted instead for a big money megafight with welter champ Emile Griffith (perhaps also figuring the "smaller" Griffith would be an easier fight as well). This may have worked out well for Benvenuti, as Tiger lost to Griffith and Nino then beat Griffith 2 out of 3 for the title. After that, Benvenuti met a now-ancient Tiger in a non-title fight and was surprisingly outclassed.

Gene Tunney was one of a number of top American LHWs who was unable to get a shot at the world title when Georges Carpentier was the champ, and were forced to fight each other (ie: Greb, Loughran) in an endless series round robins for the "American LHW title". Tunney finally got his crack at Carpentier after he had lost the title and made good on it by pounding him into a late stoppage.

Eder Jofre and Vicente Saldivar were possibly on the verge of meeting in 1965 for Saldivar's FW title - provided Jofre got by Harada, which of course didn't happen. Oddly enough, the fight did eventually come off several years later, when both were past their primes - and this time with Jofre as the FW champ.


What are some other examples?
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

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Originally Posted by My2Sense View Post
What are some examples of fights that were in position to happen at one point, but didn't happen until sometime later? Perhaps in making the fight, there was an old score or some long running debate over who was better that needed to be settled.


Two of the most notable examples to happen in modern memory were Tyson's fights with Holyfield and Lewis. Each fight was poised to happen several years before it ultimately did, but circumstances foiled it each time. In the meanwhile, both fights' potential outcomes remained the focus of rampant talk and speculation until they finally happened.

Another example would be Lewis against Holyfield, which could've happened as a big unification fight in the early '90s when both fighters were much younger and more vibrant. However, each time Holy lost first to Bowe, then to Moorer, and then retired for sometime.

Calzaghe's fights with Jones and Hopkins follow in a similar vein as the ones above.

Antonio Tarver was twice in position to fight Roy Jones before they eventually did. The first time, Jones requested that a final eliminator be set up between Tarver and Harding, which Tarver lost and Harding got the shot instead; and the second time, Jones opted to vacate one of his titles (which Tarver then won) and make the big fight with Ruiz instead.

Whitaker-Chavez was another fight that was talked about for some time before finally happening, as there had always been a long running debate over which one was really "P4P #1".

Going back in time, Floyd Patterson and Eddie Machen essentially fought to settle an old score, as Machen had been among Floyd's leading title challengers back when he was the champ but never got a shot at the title. Very similarly, Joe Louis fought Jimmy Bivins late in both men's careers, as Bivins had been prevented from getting a title shot during his tenure as the #1 contender due to Louis' years in the army. In each case, the ex-champ dominated his once would-be challenger.

Ezzard Charles and Rex Layne could've/should've fought sometime earlier when Charles was the champ and Layne was one of his top contenders. Instead, Charles bypassed Layne and gave two shots to Walcott (who Layne had decisively beaten). Eventually, Charles lost his title to Walcott and Layne lost his top ranking to Marciano, when each was KO'd by one punch. Funny enough, they then met each other in their next fight in a "crossroads" fight to determine which would regain his ranking as a top contender, and Charles proved his superiority by pounding Layne into a late round stoppage.

At one point, Nino Benvenuti was Dick Tiger's top contender and was being considered for a title shot, but Tiger opted instead for a big money megafight with welter champ Emile Griffith (perhaps also figuring the "smaller" Griffith would be an easier fight as well). This may have worked out well for Benvenuti, as Tiger lost to Griffith and Nino then beat Griffith 2 out of 3 for the title. After that, Benvenuti met a now-ancient Tiger in a non-title fight and was surprisingly outclassed.

Gene Tunney was one of a number of top American LHWs who was unable to get a shot at the world title when Georges Carpentier was the champ, and were forced to fight each other (ie: Greb, Loughran) in an endless series round robins for the "American LHW title". Tunney finally got his crack at Carpentier after he had lost the title and made good on it by pounding him into a late stoppage.

Eder Jofre and Vicente Saldivar were possibly on the verge of meeting in 1965 for Saldivar's FW title - provided Jofre got by Harada, which of course didn't happen. Oddly enough, the fight did eventually come off several years later, when both were past their primes - and this time with Jofre as the FW champ.


What are some other examples?
Hamed vs Barrera.

There was talks of this fight happening as early as 1996. Marco was getting regular coverage over in the UK, and of course, he was wowing everyone, looking like nobody could possibly beat him at 122lbs. Hamed, obviously, was knocking everyone out, and was looking like the next big British superstar. Jones defeated Marco so the fight wouldn't happen until much later, in 2001. The score was well and truly settled. I think for Marco's fight with Wenton, he even had "Naz is next" across his shorts.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

Leonard/Hagler is one.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

Trinidad vs jones was ment to happen in 2001, but hopkins got in the way.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

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Trinidad vs jones was ment to happen in 2001, but hopkins got in the way.
Lucky for Tito, Jones would have murdered him at that stage.

Mismatch of the highest order.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

Buster Douglas spoiled probably one of the best heavyweight matches ever.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

I'll also add...

DeLaHoya vs. MA Gonzalez - Both had been distinguished lightweight champs at the same time, but never met in what would've been a big unification fight. However, they met sometime later at jr. welter after both had vacated their LW titles.

Azumah Nelson vs. Genaro Hernandez - Both were jr. lightweight champs in the early '90s when they were at or near their peaks, but didn't meet until sometime later after much water had passed under the bridge.

Winky Wright vs. Mosley & Tito - Winky and Mosley had reportedly been in position to fight some time earlier, but Winky turned it down over a dispute over money. Winky had also called out Tito quite often back when Tito was at the height of his career. All three were aging veterans by the time they finally met.

DeLaHoya vs. Vargas - Vargas had trashtalked and called out Hoya for some time before Hoya finally agreed to fight him.
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Old 12-10-2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

IIRC Lennox Lewis wanted another shot at Tyrell Biggs ever since Biggs beat Lewis in the 1984 Olympics. The fight eventually happened in 1991. . . Also Jonnhy Tapia vs. Danny Romero was another one that took a while to make.
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Old 12-12-2009, 08:00 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

I can't believe I forgot two of the best examples of all...

Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries - Johnson had been emerging as one of Jeffries' foremost contenders before losing to Marvin Hart, and had been clamoring for shot at Jeffries. Years later, Jeffries came out of retirement to settle some unfinished business, but it turned out the business finished him.

Duran vs. Cuevas - They both were hanging around the welter division at the same time in the late '70s / early '80s, and a fight between them at that time would've been classic. As it is, the fight didn't happen until several years later as a "comeback" fight for both men up at jr. middle, and was perhaps only a microcosm of what could've been.


Also, perhaps to a lesser extent...

Zivic vs. Armstrong - Zivic had been one of Armstrong's leading WW contenders a year or so before they eventually fought, and was earnestly being considered for a title shot until losses to Charley Burley and Milt Aron displaced him from the upper echelon. Later, Zivic upset lightweight champ Angott in an "eliminator" and was given a title shot based on that.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:53 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

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Hamed vs Barrera.

There was talks of this fight happening as early as 1996. Marco was getting regular coverage over in the UK, and of course, he was wowing everyone, looking like nobody could possibly beat him at 122lbs. Hamed, obviously, was knocking everyone out, and was looking like the next big British superstar. Jones defeated Marco so the fight wouldn't happen until much later, in 2001. The score was well and truly settled. I think for Marco's fight with Wenton, he even had "Naz is next" across his shorts.
For me, Hamed was too awkward and destructive and Barrera too gung-ho at that stage. However, if someone was going to be able to get through Naz's shots and beat him senseless around that time it probably would've been Barrera.

Barrera had supreme ring smarts by the time he faced Hamed, and had developed into possibly the best P4P fighter. He cemented by beating Hamed, who was still in the top 10 P4P was seemed lacklustre by then.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

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For me, Hamed was too awkward and destructive and Barrera too gung-ho at that stage. However, if someone was going to be able to get through Naz's shots and beat him senseless around that time it probably would've been Barrera.

Barrera had supreme ring smarts by the time he faced Hamed, and had developed into possibly the best P4P fighter. He cemented by beating Hamed, who was still in the top 10 P4P was seemed lacklustre by then.
Yes, I think Naz would have beat the pre Jones Barrera, anyone with an open defence would be in a world of shit vs peak Naz, I know MAB had a brilliant chin but Naz hit harder than Jones, way harder IMO, you do the math.

Ps. The Barrera after Jones right up until Tapia was a much better fighter tho, I cant see even the Naz that beat Robinson beating that version of Barrera, brilliant fighter in that time frame, right up there with Morales as the best of the era from 126 lbs downwards.
(was gonna say 130 downwards then I remembered Mayweather)
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:13 AM   #12
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Default Re: Fights intended to settle an old score or matter of legacy

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Yes, I think Naz would have beat the pre Jones Barrera, anyone with an open defence would be in a world of shit vs peak Naz, I know MAB had a brilliant chin but Naz hit harder than Jones, way harder IMO, you do the math.

Ps. The Barrera after Jones right up until Tapia was a much better fighter tho, I cant see even the Naz that beat Robinson beating that version of Barrera, brilliant fighter in that time frame, right up there with Morales as the best of the era from 126 lbs downwards.
(was gonna say 130 downwards then I remembered Mayweather)
This is the way I see it. Peak Naz beats the mid-90's Barrera.

THAT version of Barrera that beat Naz would beat peak Naz, no doubt.
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