RCM Historical Boxing: Ten Bouts Where One Last Punch Made A Difference
By Robert Brizel, Head Real Combat Media Boxing Correspondent
When a fight hear its final round conclusion, not every fighter makes it or wins.
Every second counts. Here are a few of my favorite wild endings:
Two: Shane Mosley versus Ricardo Mayorga I. Moseley knocked out Mayorga at 2:59 of the twelfth round, retaining his WBA Inter-Continental Welterweight title. A rematch years later, Moseley knocked out Mayorga at 2:59 of round six, the most unlikely coincidence of one fighter finishing his opponent twice.
Three: Shannon Briggs versus Siarhei Liakhovich. Briggs knocked Liakhovich out of the ring, where he was 20 counted out at 2:59 of the twelfth and final round, enabling Briggs to win the WBO World Heavyweight title.
Four: Julio Cesar Chavez versus Meldrick Taylor I. Mexican warrior champion Chavez, having lost the bout on the cards, went to 69-0 and retained his WBC and IBF World Super Lightweight titles. After dropping Taylor late in the twelfth and final round. Taylor got up, and referee Ricard Steele stopped the bout with two seconds left in the contest. Taylor’s trainer Lou Duva went bananas in the ring in protest. Chavez stopped Taylor in the eighth round of a rematch, settling the dispute.
Five: Jermain Taylor. The former middleweight champion lost twice controversially in 2009, getting knocked down and stopped by Carl Froch at 2:54 of the twelfth and final round in a WBC World Super Middleweight title bout, and then losing by knocked to Arthur Abraham at 2:54 of the twelfth round. The combined records of his opponents was 54-0. Five years later, Taylor miraculously won the IBF World Middleweight title by 12 round decision over Sam Soliman. Subsequently arrested due to troubles with the law.
Seven: Larry Holmes Win 10 Eric Esch. Holmes got dropped in the final seconds of the tenth round by Esch, better known as ‘Butterbean’, in his final bout. Retirement was definitely in order at that point for ‘The Easton Assassin’.
Nine: Salvador Sanchez versus Azumah Nelson. Sanchez stopped Nelson at 1:49 of round 15 to retain his WBC World Featherweight title for the tenth and final time at Madison Square Garden. Sanchez died in a one car accident in Mexico shortly after this bout.
Ten: Muhammad Ali TKO 15 Chuck Wepner. After regaining the world heavyweight title by knocking out George Foreman, Ali came off the canvas to drop Chuck Wepner in the fifteenth and final round. Wepner got up, but the bout was stopped at 2:41. Many years later, it later became known Wepner’s inspiring losing performance against Ali served as the inspiration and basis for the ‘Rocky’ film series written by and starring Sylvester Stallone. Wepner sued in 2003 when this fact became known, and received an out of court settlement in U.S. District Court in 2006.