This week in boxing history, PBC looks back at a pair of heavyweight legends defending their crowns, two pulse-raising bouts that were named Fight of the Year and a history-making night in the 154-pound division.
May 15, 1983 – Bobby Chacon defeated Cornelius Boza-Edwards by unanimous decision in a junior lightweight bout at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Chacon was the WBC junior lightweight champion and Boza-Edwards was the top-rated contender heading into their second meeting, but the WBC didn’t sanction the bout because of a contractual dispute. Chacon knocked Boza-Edwards down in the first, second and 12th rounds, and was floored himself in Round 3, but was stripped of his title after winning the bout, which The Ring named Fight of the Year.
May 16, 1975 – Muhammad Ali stopped Ron Lyle in Round 11 to retain his WBA and WBC heavyweight titles at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Lyle was slightly ahead on the judges’ scorecards after 10 rounds as Ali unsuccessfully tried to employ his “rope-a-dope” strategy, but the champ stepped up his attack in the 11th and battered Lyle until referee Ferd Hernandez stopped the fight.
May 18, 2002 – Micky Ward defeated Arturo Gatti by majority decision in a junior welterweight bout at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut.
The first and most thrilling fight in their legendary trilogy was voted Fight of the Year by The Ring, which also named the dramatic ninth round as Round of the Year.
May 20, 1983 – Larry Holmes beat Tim Witherspoon by split decision to retain his WBC heavyweight title at the Dunes Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Holmes was a 6-to-1 favorite entering his 15th title defense, but he struggled to get past the unheralded Witherspoon, who stunned the champ in a spirited ninth round, which The Ring named Round of the Year.
May 21, 2016 – Jermell Charlo knocked out John Jackson in Round 8 to claim the vacant WBC super welterweight title, and Jermall Charlo beat Austin Trout by unanimous decision to retain his IBF super welterweight title in a history-making night at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
In a 154-pound championship tripleheader headlined by Erislandy Lara’s title defense over Vanes Martirosyan, the Charlos became the first twins to hold world championships in the same weight division.