A History of Grudge Rematches at 154 Pounds

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A look back at some of the best rematches at 154-pounds ahead of Saturday night's anticipated sequel between WBC World Super Welterweight Champion Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo, live on FOX.

There have been many memorable fights at 154 pounds, including a number of rematches. Another classic might be on the horizon Saturday night. That’s when bitter rivals WBC World Super Welterweight Champion Tony Harrison and former titlist Jermell Charlo, meet for a second time at Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, live on on FOX and FOX Deportes (8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT).

Harrison (28-2, 21 KOs) defeated Charlo (32-1, 16 KOs) by a unanimous decision to take Charlo’s WBC super welterweight title last December in Brooklyn, a bout Charlo believes he won. The build-up to the rematch hearkens back to the classic grudge matches of years past. Here’s a look at five unforgettable rematches at 154-pounds.


Date / Location: Sept. 13, 2008 / MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Result of first fight: Mora MD 12
Result of rematch: Forrest UD 12
Records at time of rematch: Forrest 40-3, Mora 21-0-1

Forrest lost the momentum he had built in his two impressive victories over Shane Mosley by losing back-to-back fights to the strong and colorful Ricardo Mayorga in 2003. Still, after regaining a 154-pound title and winning five in a row, he was a big favorite to beat Mora in their first fight in June 2008.

Surprise, surprise.

Mora, an excellent technician, outboxed a lethargic Forrest to win by scores of 116-112, 115-113 and 114-114. They met again three months later. This time, a more-energized Forrest showed up. He outboxed and outworked his rival to win going away – 119-108, 118-109 and 117-110 – and demonstrate that he had plenty left at the age of 37. 

"Now you see the difference between a contender and a real champion," Forrest said. "My better was better than his. I had a bad night in the first fight. I was flat. Tonight, it was basic Boxing 101 – jab, jab, jab."

Mora, who had trouble making weight, also had a hard time accepting defeat. “This guy’s old,” he said. “I should have won.” Sadly, the rematch with Mora was Forrest’s last fight. He was shot to death fighting off a robber at a gas station the following year.


Date / Location: Nov. 20, 2004 / Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas
Result of first fight: Wright UD 12
Result of rematch: Wright MD 12
Records going into rematch: Wright 47-3; Mosley 39-3

Mosley had already met his kryptonite – Vernon Forrest – by the time he fought Wright for the first time in March 2004. “Sugar” Shane was coming off a big victory, though, his second over Oscar De La Hoya in September 2003. He had some momentum. And then Wright, a master technician, gave him a boxing lesson to win a wide unanimous decision and take Mosley’s three 154-pound titles in March 2004.

The rematch between the two future Hall of Famers took place eight months later. Mosley was fighting not only to regain his titles but also to rebuild his reputation as one of the best fighters in the world. After all, he had lost three of his previous four fights (not including a no-contest). The well-prepared former three-division titleholder fought with focus and passion…and it still wasn’t enough. Mosley performed better than he did in the first fight – particularly on the inside – but Wright essentially outboxed him again, winning by scores of 115-113, 115-113 and 114-114. Mosley might’ve landed more eye-catching blows but Wright landed many more punches overall, at least according to the punch stats.

"He was a great fighter,” Wright said. “I caught him with more shots. He deserved the rematch, though. He came to fight."

Mosley took solace where he could. "I showed the fans tonight when I fight, I give 100 percent," he said. "I banged with him, I boxed with him. I got the better, cleaner shots." In the end, both fighters had more success going forward.


Date / Location: Sept. 13, 2003 / MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Result of first fight: Mosley SD 12
Result of rematch: Mosley UD 12
Records at time of rematch: Mosley 38-2, De La Hoya 36-2

The first Mosley-De La Hoya fight, at welterweight, was a monstrous event in June 2000. De La Hoya had lost a controversial decision to Felix Trinidad but was still the biggest star in the sport. Mosley, unbeaten at the time and a Los Angeles-area rival, was climbing the pound-for-pound ladder. It was the first event at the newly completed Staples Center. The close, give-and-take fight lived up the hype. De La Hoya seemed to gain an advantage early and the fade in the later rounds, allowing Mosley to rally. The final scores: 116-112 and 115-113 for Mosley, 115-113 for De La Hoya.

The rematch took place three years later yet resembled the initial meeting. De La Hoya again got off to a strong start and led after seven rounds but, as in the first fight, Mosley picked up steam late to pull out a unanimous decision. All three judges had it 115-113 even though De La Hoya had a big edge in punch stats.

The Golden Boy was outraged. "Obviously, I thought I won the fight. I didn't think it was close," he said.


Date / Location: May 7, 1994 / MGM Grand, Las Vegas
Result of first fight: Brown KO 4
Result of rematch: Norris UD 12
Records at time of rematch: Norris 37-4; Brown 41-2

Norris, a Hall of Famer, was a brilliant all-around fighter. His one glaring weakness? His chin, which was exposed in the first meeting with Brown in December 1993 in Mexico. The Jamaican put Norris down in the first, hurt him in both the second and third and knocked him out in the fourth with a big right hand, thus taking the WBC 154-pound title Norris had won in 1990.

Norris got his rematch less than five months later on a stacked card that featured the second Gerald McClellan-Julian Jackson fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. This time, the San Diego-based Texan would throw bravado out the window and rely almost exclusively on his impressive skill set and athleticism. The strategy worked. The champion tried to chase down the cautious challenger but Norris was too clever and his feet were too quick. And he consistently beat Brown to the punch, making the judges’ job easy on this night. The scores were 119-109, 117-111, 116-112 in favor Norris, who regained his belt. He was never better than he was on the night he dominated his conqueror.

"I knew if I could outbox Simon and outmove him, I could win,” Norris said. Said Brown: "My strategy was to cut him off. He kept moving. I knew he was going to do that. He wouldn't stand still and fight. He did a heck of a job. I take my hat off to him.”


Date / Location: Dec. 3, 2011 / Madison Square Garden, New York City
Result of first fight: Margarito TKO 11
Result of rematch: Cotto TKO 9
Records going into rematch: Cotto 36-2; Margarito 38-7

Margarito was found to have had a plaster-like substance in his gloves before his fight with Shane Mosley in January 2009, which raised many questions. One of them: Were Margarito’s gloves also loaded for his brutal knockout that left Cotto’s face battered and swollen in a knockout victory at welterweight in July 2008?

Many, including Cotto, wonder to this day. The Puerto Rican received his shot at revenge three years later, after Margarito was stopped by Mosley and beat up by Manny Pacquiao. He also needed a Doctor’s OK because of a right eye damaged in the Pacquiao fight. The Mexican was ripe for a beating before a packed house of Cotto fans. And that’s what happened. Cotto outboxed his bitter rival from the beginning and dished out plenty of punishment for good measure, ultimately closing and bloodying the aforementioned eye. Margarito, overmatched but proud, didn’t want to quite but a determined Cotto gave him no choice. The ring doctor stopped the fight after the ninth round to prevent further damage.

"My face now is a lot different than last time," said Cotto immediately afterward, savoring his revenge. Margarito didn’t fight again for more than four years and then won three in a row in a comeback. He appears to be finished. Cotto last fought in 2017. He’ll be going to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in the near future. Perhaps, so too will the winner of Saturday night’s rematch between Tony Harrison and Jermell Charlo.

For a closer look at Harrison vs Charlo 2, check out our fight night page.

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