BACK in 1925, heavyweight contender Gene Tunney – handsome in both looks and boxing skills – was chasing a shot at formidable king, Jack Dempsey. On June 5 1925 he was matched with ageing but dangerous Tommy Gibbons, who was enjoying an unbeaten streak since losing a 15-round decision to Dempsey two years before. This proved to be a heck of a test for Tunney as he was dazed by his hard-punching rival in the eighth before knocking him out in the 12th. Press play on the clip below, crack open a can of cool lager, and wash it down with the magic of one of boxing’s finest ever technicians.
BY 1952 the heavyweights were trying to come to terms with the end of the Joe Louis era, and unknowingly preparing for the arrival of Rocky Marciano. Sandwiched between those reigns was the rivalry between Jersey Joe Walcott and Ezzard Charles. Two gifted fighters who deserve their place among the finest of all-time clashed for a fourth time on this day in 1952, with Charles leading by two fights to one. But Jersey Joe, who had caused a shock by knocking out Charles last time, by edging the decision to level the series.
MOVING on to this day in 1956, and a vintage performance from the greatest light-heavyweight of all-time, Archie Moore. The Mississippi fighter had been flirting with the heavyweight division – losing to the aforementioned Marciano – by the time he took a trip to London to take on tough Trinidad and Tobago star, Yolande Pompey. Behind on points after eight, “The Ol’ Mongoose” then decided it was time to beat Pompey up.
FAST forward to the end of the century, and this day in 1999. By then there was a new breed of legend, one who many fans – both old and young – were calling the greatest light-heavyweight of all-time. He went by the name of Roy Jones Jnr and on June 5, he went in against Reggie Johnson. It might be time to reach for another cold one. Enjoy.
WHICH brings us to the 21st century, and one of the current era’s most accomplished and impressive boxers. Step forward Puerto Rico’s Miguel Cotto, who on June 5 2010, was trying to prove he was not finished after gruelling losses to Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. Standing in his way was WBC light-middleweight champion, Yuri Foreman.