The Top 20 Boxing Matches of the 1980’s
20) Livingstone Bramble TKO14 Ray Mancini
Mancini had his moments early on in this fight and it appeared his pressure might break down Bramble. But Mancini began to slow his pace around the 6th round or so and Bramble just started unloading combinations on Mancini. Boom Boom knew only one way to fight and just kept coming, hoping to catch Bramble with something that could turn the ride but never did. Bramble would later win a close 15-round decision in the rematch and Mancini’s career was basically over. The second fight was just as good as the first fight check it out below.
19) Steve Cruz W15 Barry McGuigan
This fight was fought in the sweltering Las Vegas heat and would have a lot to do with an unknown Steve Cruz ruining the American debut of Barry McGuigan. McGuigan pushed the fight and led after 12 rounds. The problems came in the thirteenth round and continued until the end of the fight as McGuigan had nothing left to fend Cruz off. Cruz dominated the “Championship rounds” en route to a 15-round decision win.
18) Ray Mancini KO13 Deuk Koo-Kim
This was a forgotten great because of the tragic ending of this fight. Kim was a huge underdog and stood toe to toe with Mancini for thirteen brutal rounds. Mancini was never the same after this fight.
17) Ray Leonard TKO14 Thomas Hearns 1
This was a skillful, high-intensity battle, but it was not a fight filled with sustained action.
16) Julio Cesar Chavez W12 Juan Laporte
Laporte was a tough SOB and on this night he gave the great Chavez all he could handle. Many people had Laporte winning the decision and many others scored the fight a draw.
15) Frank Fletcher W12 Clint Jackson
Some of you may ask who these guys are; simply put both of these guys were warriors! This was a back and forth war. If you have never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it.
14) Caveman Lee KO5 John Locicero
Much like the previous fight, if you haven’t seen this fight you need to! Legendary ESPN Fight.
13) Matthew Hilton W15 Buster Drayton
Matthew Hilton was a beast during this fight and looked to be a future boxing superstar. Drayton was an underdog who became a champion late in his career and he did not relinquish his title without a fight.
12) Simon Brown TKO14 Tyrone Trice
Great back and forth fight between two warriors. The first eleven rounds were great, but round twelve was unbelievable and helped put this fight high on this list.
11) Jeff Harding W12 Dennis Andries 1
Harding won the title with a relentless, brutal body attack. This looked like the old rock’em sock’em robots in real action as both men left it all in the ring.
10) Roberto Duran W12 Iran Barkley
This was a fight that no one really gave Duran a chance in, but Duran in the 80’s had a tendency to surprise people, and that is just what he did in this fight against the bigger, stronger, and younger champion.
9) Salvador Sanchez TKO15 Azumah Nelson
Sanchez was in his prime and Nelson had not yet seen his, but Nelson proved to be just about all Sanchez could handle.
8) Wilfredo Gomez TKO14 Lupe Pintor
Gomez redeemed himself for the beating he received at the hands of Salvador Sanchez the year before this fight.
7) Marvin Hagler KO3 Thomas Hearns
The greatest first round in boxing history, but I think this fight is slightly overrated as rounds two and three were Hagler dominating Hearns.
6) Matthew Saad Muhammad TKO14 Yaqui Lopez 2
This was a brutal give and take battle that would see Lopez come up on the short end of a title fight yet again. Lopez is one of the greatest Light Heavyweights to never win a world title.
5) Bobby Chacon W12 Boza Edwards
The only bad thing about this fight was listening to Ferdie Pacheco try to call it. As always Ferdie looked like a fool while two great fighters battled it out.
4) Evander Holyfield W15 Dwight Muhammad Qawi 1
Holyfield in only his twelfth pro fight wins a 15-round war over a veteran champion. Everybody should have known Holyfield was special that day.
3) Bobby Chacon W15 Bazooka Limon IV
No words, just watch.
2) Roberto Duran W15 Sugar Ray Leonard
This was a super-fight that lived up to the hype.
1) Aaron Pryor TKO14 Alexis Arguello
A sensational war between two legends.