20. DEONTAY WILDER draw pts 12 TYSON FURY, Los Angeles, 2018
NOT exactly a slugfest but astonishingly engrossing. Fury seemed to box his way to an early lead as Wilder – the renowned puncher – stalked and tried to find an opening. One came in the ninth and he dropped the Englishman only for Fury to ease back into contention. In the 12th, Fury’s head was positioned with a jab and then cannoned into dreamland with a right hand and left hook. It looked like the end until Fury woke up on the canvas, beat the count and somehow finished the stronger.
19. ROCKY MARCIANO w pts 15 EZZARD CHARLES, New York, 1954
“TWO more game or gallant fighters never fought for the title,” said legendary commentator Don Dunphy from his ringside position as the action ebbed and flowed. Charles, past his peak but the better technician, did his best to keep the swarming Marciano off him. The styles meshed to form a 15-round classic that Marciano edged on points.
18. LEOTIS MARTIN w rsf 9 THAD SPENCER, London, 1968
THIS cult classic, which wasn’t filmed, is still talked about by those who were there to witness it inside the Royal Albert Hall. Martin started fast, dropping Spencer in the opening round before the slick-boxing Thad gained control during the middle round during some hellacious exchanges. Spencer looked to be on the brink of victory in the eighth before Martin summoned the defining assault in the ninth.