By Ken Hissner – With this long coming rematch (four years) in the upcoming third fight between IBF and WBA world middleweight champion Gennadiy “GGG’ Golovkin and IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO world super middleweight champion Saul “Canelo” Alvarez for his titles on September 17th at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, I started thinking of how few trilogy matches there have been during modern times.
I go to my “The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Boxing” Book under “Boxing Facts and Feats” and come up with the following under “Famous series:
Ted Kid Lewis vs Jack Britton (20 meetings), Sam Langford vs Sam McVey (15), Langford vs Harry Wills (18), Joe Jeanette (14), Jeff Clark (13) and Jim Barry (12). Langford was the king of trilogy fights.
In running this over with a boxing fan recently he brought to light a series of fights I forgot about. There have been many rematches but a third fight during say the last twenty years or so?
I thought of world heavyweight champion Muhammad “The Greatest” Ali and “Smokin” Joe Frazier along with Ali’s fights with Ken Norton both three times.
I remember that two division world champion “Sugar” Ray Robinson and middleweight champion Jake “Bronx Bull” LaMotta fighting six times with Robinson winning five of them. Robinson also fought Gene Fullmer four times going 1-2-1, while LaMotta fought Fritzie Zivic three times.
The first one to come to mind in modern times was between “Irish” Micky Ward and two division world champion Arturo “Thunder” Gatti who not only fought each other three times but three fights in a row in 2002 and 2003 of which were Ward’s final three fights before retiring. To top it off they became good friends in the end.
Six division world champion Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao and four division world champion Juan Manuel Marquez fought each other four times. I thought it was the only time “Pac Man” was stopped until I see it was the third time but first after becoming a world champion. He also fought two division world champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley, Jr., three times. The lone loss to Bradley I felt was a disputed decision. Same for Pac Man’s loss to Australia’s Jeff “The Hornet” Horn, another disputed decision.
A friend of mine out of Philadelphia the world light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson lost four out of five to the knockout king light heavyweight champion Archie “Old Mongoose” Moore.
There was world heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson and Sweden’s Ingemar Johansson that almost had Patterson’s loss bringing former world champion Rocky Marciano out of retirement.
I’m sure readers will come up with many others upon reading this article that I will think “now I remember those!”