A couple of days ago we reached the 40th anniversary of one of the best calls in sports history. Joe Frazier was coming off a win over Muhammad Ali and then he ran into the beast that was George Forman. Howard Cosell had the call, as he repeated three times: “Down goes Frazier!” It’s one of the all-time great calls in sports.
As for Forman, he looked unbeatable after this fight, but then ran into Ali’s rope-a-dope in another stunning fight.
Boxing generates little buzz these days, but when one of the few “big name” fighters out there gets knocked out, it’s still big news. Juan Manuel Marquez knocked out Manny Pacquiao last night in the sixth round, as Pacquiao literally walked into a straight line right hand punch.
Manny Pacquiao (L) of the Philippines takes a punch from Juan Manuel Marquez of Mexico during their WBO welterweight fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada November 12, 2011. REUTERS/R. Marsh Starks (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BOXING)
Manny Pacquiao defeated Juan Manuel Marquez in a split decision last night in Las Vegas that is already controversial. It was an action-packed fight, but given the potential payday for a fight between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr., it’s not surprising that the decision will be questioned by many.
The reaction from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports will likely be typical from the boxing world:
When the final bell rang, 12 rounds of furious fighting complete, Juan Manuel Marquez lifted his right fist high into the air, turned to the ringside crowd and offered a knowing wink through an eye nearly swollen shut.
Standing in front of him at that very moment, his opponent, Manny Pacquiao, let his head sag as he turned to walk to his corner. Seconds later Marquez was carried around the ring on the shoulders of two of his corner men. Pacquiao was on his knees in prayer.
What Pacquiao lost was clearer – his cloak of invincibility, his reputation for destruction, even, in some ways, a measure of his credibility.
Marquez is 38 years old and was dominated in his fight with Mayweather.
Attention will now turn to that potential blockbuster fight, and this close call probably won’t dampen excitement for that fight too much.
One of the true boxing legends passed away yesterday. Joe Frazier was a great fighter and a class act.
- Every boxing fans should watch the documentary Thrilla in Manilla. You’ll see Frazier’s class along with how despicable Ali was in his racist taunts against Frazier. It’s no wonder Frazier hated Ali’s guts until he recently said he forgave him.