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Old 11-09-2007, 05:19 PM   #1
CzarKyle
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Default Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

I'll start it off, here's mine:

March 31st, 1980
John Tate (20-0-0) Vs. Mike Weaver (21-9-0)
Weaver wins WBA crown in the beginning of the last minute of the 15th round.
Watching this fight you see John Tate put on a standard boxing clinic piling up winning rounds against the underdog, Weaver. The interesting thing about this fight isn't that it's a slugfest the whole whole way through, but you get to see how well of a fighter Tate actually was. It's almost like Big John has been lost in the archives of heavyweight history, but during his short title reign he had the attention of Muhammad Ali for a comeback if he could put away Weaver in front of his hometown crowd in Knoxville, Tennessee. However Weaver had other plans. In later rounds Weaver keeps plugging away with his heavy left hooks landing some important shots.
Best Round: The fifteenth round had Weaver charging out at Tate and bullying Big John into the ropes while working his inside game, while Tate would spin out from the ropes in a clinch and bring it back his fighting style and trying to outland Weaver with three shot combos. Weaver eventually lands the decisive left hook to take the scoring out of the judges hands (Tate was up on all three cards).

May 20th, 1983
Larry Holmes (42-0-0) Vs. Tim Witherspoon (15-0-0)
A young Witherspoon takes on an experienced Holmes
Holmes defending the WBC Title for the 15th time against a green, but very hungry Tim Witherspoon in Las Vegas. From all the Witherspoon fights I've seen, this is my favorite. Sticking to his game plan (avoiding the jab, right hooks to the body, and switching southpaw occasionally) Tim makes Larry look terrible for the first part of the match. However, Holmes managed to stay close with Tim, landing good right hands on the Terrible One on certain occasions as well as keeping his jab out there. I honestly think the judges could have scored this one either way, When I've scored this fight I've had Tim winning by a round, but I'm not a real judge. Luckily for Holmes he was able to pull away the with the win in the judges eyes (118-111 & 115-113 for Holmes and 115-114 for Witherspoon). Either way this fight is one of my favorites. Not only is this one of my favorite Holmes fights, but I'd say this is Witherspoon's finest technical showing (even though it was a loss). After this Holmes went on to fight the pathetic Scott Frank in a thumbtastic showing (with a really lame musical tribute to the Holmes/Ali fight with the lyrics saying something like "No Mercy! No Quarter!" in the American airing with a a young Marv Alberts as one of the commentators), and moving on to the IBF era after smashing Marvin Frazier in a lineal bout. While Witherspoon fought back to attain the WBC title against Greg Page in 1984, in a fairly boring fight. I'll also say Tim never looked this great again, but still managed to attain two heavyweight titles against a slightly lower level of opposition.
Best Round: Tim Witherspoon stuns Holmes twice in the 9th and almost has the referee, Mills Lane, come in to stop the fight. This would have happened if Holmes didn't have such a fighting spirit and landing some very clutch combinations to stay in the match.

March 11, 1989
Evander Holyfield (20-0-0) Vs. Michael Dokes (37-1-2)
A comebacking Dokes takes on a young Holyfield
Holyfield looked fresh and Dokes looked game. It was a match of youthful aggression versus determined experience. It's been a while since I've seen this fight, and I've been trying to get my hands on a copy, but from what I remember it was a great fight. Dokes got to prove he had something in him, and Holyfield got to make a bigger splash in the heavyweights by looking impressive in getting the 10th round KO. This was the last good fight that Dokes had. After that he became known for getting pounded by Razor Ruddock's smash in the following year in a fourth round loss. Holyfield went on towards his peak in the heavyweights with a potential Tyson fight on the way. Unfortunately Tyson went to jail, but Holyfield still had his best years from 1989 to 1993 becoming heavyweight champ. The combos were great and constant and both fighters had their guts intact.
Best Round: Honestly, I'd have to watch the fight one more time. I still have seen it a couple years ago, and this fight is great.

Honorable Mention: Mike Tyson Vs. Tyrell Biggs
If you watch all the fight buildup coverage and listen to some of the experts they were predicting a Biggs win during that time. Tyson had one of his best fights and we got to see Biggs put to the test. It wasn't Biggs best loss though, I think his effort against Bowe was a little more impressive.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Holmes-Cooney (1982)

Holmes-Berbick (1981)

Tyson-Berbick (1986)
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:47 PM   #3
CzarKyle
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Another good one would be Gerrie Coetzee Vs. Michael Dokes. Didn't really see the upset coming.
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Old 11-12-2007, 02:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Among the three that you listed, the Holyfield-Dokes fight not only the best heavyweight fight of the 80's for me, but possibly one of the best heavyweight fights that I've ever seen period. What a tremendous bout.
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Old 11-12-2007, 03:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Holyfield vs Dokes ('89)
Tyson vs Berbick ('86)
Holmes vs Cooney ('82)
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Old 11-12-2007, 04:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Holmes-Cobb

Weaver-Coetzee

Marvis Frazier-James Broad (Marvis avenges the fastest amateur knockout loss in boxing history, hurting Broad and outjabbing him from long range. Standing 6'4", Broad was in the best shape of his career at 228, yet 6'2" 198 pound Marvis beat him inside, outside and in between.)
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maurice
Any tyson or hagler fights!
Hagler/Whitherspoon of course standing out.
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Old 11-12-2007, 05:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Bruno/Whitherspoon: Because I was there.

Tyson/Spinks: The biggest build up to a fight (with no Brits in) in my time.

Holmes/SpinksI: The first time I was old enough to kind of understand what was at stake; parity with Marciano's record or the first reigning 175lbs World Champ, to win The Heavyweight Championship of the World...
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Old 11-12-2007, 06:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBooze
Bruno/Whitherspoon: Because I was there.

Tyson/Spinks: The biggest build up to a fight (with no Brits in) in my time.

Holmes/SpinksI: The first time I was old enough to kind of understand what was at stake; parity with Marciano's record or the first reigning 175lbs World Champ, to win The Heavyweight Championship of the World...
Very good picks.. Bruno was the uncrowned king of the heavyweights according to many in 84 and Tim came and taught us all not to make judgements on appearences.. Tim had loose fitting physique and a good overhand right , he disposed of Frank in a slick crafty way that i respect to this very day..

Spinks Tyson.. (once and for all) A fight that was hyped as large as any in history, an almost all heavyweight card that was headded by perhaps the most curious someones 0 must go since Ali v Frazier 1.

I remember the undercard. a great card..
Buster Douglas v Mike Williams..
Trevor Berbick v Carl Williams ....IBF Eliminator
Razor Ruddock v Reggie Gross
Mo Blocker and Bruce Johnson also appearing.. great memories..
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

My favorite three, not that I was at any of them, damn it, would be.

1. Holyfield vs. Dokes
just a great fight.

2. Holmes vs. Witherspoon
even knowing the outcome, I still thought that Witherspoon was going to do it.

3. Tyson vs. Berbick
"and we have a new era in boxing"
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:46 PM   #11
CzarKyle
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duodenum
Holmes-Cobb

Weaver-Coetzee

Marvis Frazier-James Broad (Marvis avenges the fastest amateur knockout loss in boxing history, hurting Broad and outjabbing him from long range. Standing 6'4", Broad was in the best shape of his career at 228, yet 6'2" 198 pound Marvis beat him inside, outside and in between.)
What's the reason for Holmes-Cobb? I've watched that one a couple of times recently. And listening to Cosell throw in the towel is an interesting moment.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:17 AM   #12
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Page - Coetzee
Page - Snipes
Page - Tillis

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Old 11-13-2007, 02:19 AM   #13
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBooze
Hagler/Whitherspoon of course standing out.





Then again, maybe we've cracked the 'middleweight who knocked Tim out" conundrum at last?
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Old 11-14-2007, 09:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
Page - Coetzee
Page - Snipes
Page - Tillis

Those were nice, especially Page-Tillis, which could have ended in the first round if Page was in the right shape.:(
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Your Three Favorite Heavyweight Fights of the 1980s

Quote:
Originally Posted by CzarKyle
What's the reason for Holmes-Cobb? I've watched that one a couple of times recently. And listening to Cosell throw in the towel is an interesting moment.
Nobody really expected that bout to end in a stoppage. Neither was considered to have the necessary firepower to punch the other down and out. But Cobb was a credible challenger, having only lost two split decisions to Norton and Dokes, and had defeated deadly punching Jeff Shelburg, Earnie Shavers and Bernado Mercado. Larry's showing exposed his ridiculous superiority over the rest of the heavyweight division at that stage of his career.

I did not consider the performance of Larry and Tex in the same negative light that Cosell did, but rather in the frame of high praise with which Malcolm "Flash" Gordon described it in his legendary "underground" newsletter, "Tonight's Boxing Program & Weekly Report." (I believe I still have Flash's account stashed away somewhere.)

Holmes was suspected by some to have declining legs and stamina at this stage of his career, despite having just deconstructed the Cooney myth. How would he respond in a situation where he would certainly have to go the 15 round distance?

Going into the championship rounds, Tex was banking on his advancing rope-a-dope to make Larry arm and leg weary. Then, he made his move when LeDoux was earlier planning on making his (in all liklihood). But as he tried to step up the pace, so did Holmes, proving retroactively that LeDoux also would have failed decisively had he gone the scheduled limit.

Tex never stopped trying, never took a backwards step, but Larry's footwork was masterful, and his sustained punching was a tremendous display of muscular endurance. It generallly requires more energy to retreat than it does to advance, and Holmes demonstrated it in spades.

Larry's apparent fatigue at the end of Weaver I and Shavers II was the genesis for the notion that he was rapidly aging prematurely. Cobb gave Holmes the occasion to prove that rumours of his early boxing demise was the true premature assumption. (Likewise, Chuvalo gave Ali the opportunity to establish his character of endurance over the 15 round distance.)

Yes, Holmes had earlier shut out Berbick over 15 rounds, but he was coming off what he has described as his peak performance against Cooney to produce what in my estimation was the most evolved display of boxing skill and endurance during his prime years.

Finally, in a hypothetical matchup between the very best of all-time, I believe such contests will go the distance, romantic fantasies to the contrary. Therefore, Holmes/Cobb is the demonstration of how well Larry could compete over a full 15 rounds. (Likewise, I regard Ali/Terrell in the same context. Ditto for Dempsey/Gibbons, Marciano/Charles I, Louis/Farr, and Louis/Godoy I.)

Coming off his dominant win over Cooney, Larry finally enjoyed complete public acceptance as THE unquestioned heavyweight champion of the world. Mike Weaver was then the WBA titlist, but had the candor to acknowledge Holmes as the number one heavyweight. This was the moment in time when the ESPN desk anchors could say:

"You can take the WBA title, and put it over 'there.' Holmes is the champion. There's no one close, really, and it doesn't look like anybody will be able to mount a serious challenge anytime soon."

Cosell was simply bitter over the fact he wasn't going to be able to spend Thanksgiving with his wife. When he could have been praising the abilities of Holmes and the grit and determination of Cobb, he instead did the unprofessional thing and railed against the sport which made him famous and able to retire in ill intentioned disgrace. By walking away as he did, he also fed his monstrous ego by partially stealing the spotlight for himself which Holmes and Cobb deserved. As I stated before, I eschewed Cosell's rhetoric, and embraced Gordon's plaudits of both participants. (Cosell was hoping it would end quickly so he could catch an early flight home. He really turned against the bout as it became apparent Tex would not cooperate.)

If Holmes/Cobb had been scheduled for that Monday instead (as nearly was done), then he would have been extolling the virtues of both gladiators. (Did it ever occur to Howard that Larry was also missing out on Thanksgiving with his family as well?)

The fact that the acrimony between Holmes and Cooney was totally absent with Larry and Tex made that event as pleasant for me as Holyfield/Foreman would later be. (As long as I ignored Cosell the way "Flash" rightly did.)

Reporter to Cobb: "Tex, will you try fighting Larry on the inside?"
Tex: "No. I'm going to stand outside and throw rocks!"

Cobb, after the decision was announced: "It's party time! Let's party!"

Tex to Larry after the fight: "Larry, I sure would have liked to fight you in a phone booth!" Holmes: "We can do that by telephone! I'll call you!"

Cosell to Cobb: "You know, because of your fight, I may miss Thanksgiving with my wife!" Tex to Cosell: "I know. Your wife sent me a 'thank you' note!"
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