Top 10 Boxing Rematches Ending in the Same Result
British boxing is set for the year of the rematch: Carl Froch v George Groves, Tyson Fury v Dereck Chisora and Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew being the highest profile. The men vanquished in the first bouts are all desperate for a second shot, but here are 10 cases of boxers wishing they had not gone back for more punishment from the same foe.
10. Julio Cesar Chavez v Roger Mayweather
These two first met in 1985 when Chavez was defending his WBC super featherweight title against Mayweather. It was a straight forward victory for the Mexican legend who knocked the American out in the second round.
Four years later they met again, this time with the Black Mamba’s WBC light welterweight strap on the line. This was much closer but Mayweather was retired after the 10th and Chavez took his record to 62-0.
9. Hector Camacho v Roberto Duran
The legendary Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran was well past his best when he fought Hector Camacho for the first time in 1996, losing out to a, reasonably close, but unanimous decision. Duran was certainly past his sell-by date when the rematch occurred shortly after his 50th birthday in 2001. The result was the same, but the scorecards showed a much greater disparity and the man from Panama was sent into retirement.
8. Floyd Mayweather Jr v Jose Luis Castillo
Castillo had two cracks at breaking the “Mayvinci Code” in 2002, coming close on both occasions but not quite managing it on either. Both contests went to the judges’ cards and both results were mighty close, but Floyd came away with an unanimous decision each time. Many thought Castillo won the first, but there was little doubt that the correct decision was made in the second.
7. Jermain Taylor v Bernard Hopkins
Taylor was the significant underdog coming into the first of his two fights with Hopkins in 2005. The Executioner had not lost in 12 years and was the undisputed middleweight champion of the world. It was a little controversial, but in a close contest Taylor dethroned the champ via split decision.
Hopkins got his wish and a rematch was scheduled for just five months later, the result was even worse second time around, though. Taylor earned an unanimous decision and kept hold of the belts.
6. Muhammad Ali v Henry Cooper
Glorious defeat for Cooper in the first bout between the two became simply defeat in their second three years later. The Londoner famously felled Ali (then Cassius Clay) in their first contest at Wembley in 1963, but was subsequently stopped on cuts in the fifth.
In 1963, despite losing twice in the meantime, Cooper gets another crack at Ali, this time at Highbury. There was no knockdown this time, but “Our ’Enry” was again cut badly and the fight was over in the sixth.
5. Sugar Ray Robinson v Bobo Olsen
Olsen was a world champion in his own right and is in the Hall of Fame, but his continual challenges to the great Sugar Ray Robinson never came good. Olsen fought Robinson on four occasions from 1950-56, three of which were for the world middleweight title. Sugar Ray scored KO victories in three of these and a unanimous decision in the other.
Sometimes, no matter how many times you test two men out, one is simply better than the other.
4. Steve Collins v Chris Eubank
Eubank was a rampant re-matcher and this is not the only time he features on this list. However, this double-header did not go his way as he suffered the first and second defeats of his career to the same man.
In the first clash in 1995 both men hit the canvas but Collins grabbed a close, but unanimous decision to strip Eubank of his WBO super middleweight title. They were at it again just six months later, this time it was even closer but the Irishman took a split decision and that was the beginning of the end for Mr Eubank’s illustrious career.
3. Muhammad Ali v Sonny Liston
Liston would have preferred to be on this list for his back-to-back first round knockouts of Floyd Patterson, but unfortunately he is better remembered for consecutive losses to the Louisville Lip.
Liston was the world heavyweight champion going into their first bout in 1964, but was forced to retire on his stool at the end of the sixth round due to an injured shoulder. Quite rightly Ali gave him the rematch, but this was not to last long with the champ knocking out his challenger in the first round. The iconic image of Ali stood over a fallen Liston is emblazoned on posters and t-shirts across the globe.
2. Evander Holyfield v Mike Tyson
Tyson was the hot favourite going into their first bout in 1996; he was the heavyweight champion and Holyfield had lost two of his last four bouts. However, “The Real Deal” proved his alias to be correct as he scored a TKO in the 11th. In truth the fight was over in the 10th, but Iron Mike was saved by the bell and the referee called it off in the next.
Their next fight will always be the more famous as Tyson chewed off a piece of Holyfield’s ear, earning himself a disqualification. However it happened, Tyson lost both bouts and never regained the heavyweight crown.
1. Chris Eubank v Michael Watson
The rivalry between Eubank and Nigel Benn is arguably more well-known, but the pair of victories for Eubank over Michael Watson were just as thrilling and had horrific consequences.
Their initial clash in June 1991 was a brilliant contest which Eubank took on a majority decision, it was certainly tight enough for a rematch to be immediately scheduled. Just three months later that came to pass and Watson took control of the match, out-boxing his opponent convincingly.
Watson was ahead on all three cards and had Eubank down in the bout, but back came Chris to knock down Michael and score a stunning 12th round TKO. That result had tragic consequences as Watson fell into a coma, but it will nevertheless go down as a classic British bout.