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Opinion

10 of the best boxing trilogies

Riddick Bowe boxing trilogies
As Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder prepare to complete their trilogy, here are 10 other trilogies celebrated for both their drama and momentum swings
  1. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier
    The first 1971 fight between Ali and Frazier was known as the ‘Fight of the Century’, the second saw Ali avenge his first pro loss, and the third, the ‘Thrilla in Manila’, might be the most iconic and brutal fight in heavyweight history.
  2. Arturo Gatti vs Micky Ward
    Some may look down on Gatti and Ward for not being world-class fighters at the time of their trilogy, but the action they produced between 2002 and 2003 ensured they would forever be linked and forever revered by those lucky enough to watch.
  3. Marco Antonio Barrera vs Érik Morales
    Bitter rivals back then, Mexicans Barrera and Morales participated in one of the greatest fights of all-time in February 2000, a fight won by Morales, who then tried repeating the trick twice more in 2002 and 2004.
  4. Emile Griffith vs Benny Paret
    Undoubtedly the most tragic of boxing’s trilogies, Griffith and Paret fought three times within a year between 1961 and 1962, with the last fight sadly costing Paret his life.
  5. Floyd Patterson vs Ingemar Johansson
    After being stunned by Johansson inside three rounds in their first fight in 1959, Patterson came roaring back to beat the Swede in back-to-back fights, stopping him inside the distance both times.
  6. Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield
    Holyfield and Bowe went back and forth three times between 1992 and 1995, with some of the most explosive and unexpected scenes witnessed in heavyweight history, including the ‘Fan Man’ incident.
  7. Manny Pacquiao vs Érik Morales
    In the space of 18 months, Morales went from having Pacquiao’s number in 2005 to being broken down and stopped not once but twice by the Filipino in 2006.
  8. Humberto GonzÁlez vs Michael Carbajal
    In 1993, Carbajal and González were the first junior-flyweights to partake in a million-dollar fight and headline a pay-per-view and they produced a classic, too, which they then repeated twice.
  9. Tony Zale vs Rocky Graziano
    Middleweight punchers Zale and Graziano went for the knockout every time they fought and alternated stoppage victories in 1946, 1947, and 1948, with Zale ultimately coming out on top via a score of 2-1.
  10. Barney Ross vs Jimmy McLarnin
    Junior-welterweight Ross moved up to dethrone welterweight champion McLarnin in 1934, who won the return. Ross won the third fight – a 15-round decision.

We explore the three best heavyweight trilogies in boxing history here

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