With ‘Day Of Reckoning Beckoning, One Guy’s 12 Best Fight Cards



With ‘Day Of Reckoning Beckoning, One Guy’s 12 Best Fight Cards

This is a generation that seems blown away by modest doings. It almost seems the more access it has to information, the less appreciative it is of truly great achievements.

Take this weekend as an example.

Saturday is the (supposed) “Day of Reckoning” – a star-studded card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia that includes four attractive fights: Anthony Joshua-Otto Wallin, Deontay Wilder-Joseph Parker, Daniel Debois-Jarrell Miller and Dmitry Bivol-Lydon Arthur.

Make no mistake, it is a big card by today’s standards where main events are often supported by nonsense. But don’t buy the hyperbole that it is the “biggest card of all time.

It’s mostly an appetizer dressed up as an entrée: four fights that are precursors to bigger fights down the road.

There are bound to be upsets, but yes, there are arguably too many too-wide odds bouts for this to be labeled a “super-card.” Photo: Mark Robinson, Matchroom Boxing

But this being a watered-down era of boxing, it qualifies as a supercard.

Real super-cards are below, however.

1. REVENGE: THE REMATCHES, Saturday, May 7, 1994, MGM Grand, Las Vegas


Frankie Randall (champion), 49-2-1 (39 KOs) vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., (challenger), 89-1-1 (77 KOs), WBC junior welterweight title.


Simon Brown (champion), 39-2 (29 KOs) vs. Terry Norris (challenger), 36-4 (22 KOs), WBC junior middleweight title

Gerald McClellan (champion), 28-2 (27 KOs) vs. Julian Jackson, 46-2 (43 KOs), (challenger), WBC middleweight title

Azumah Nelson (champion), 36-2-2 (26 KOs) vs. Jesse James Leija (challenger), 26-0-2 (12 KOs), WBC junior lightweight title.:


Chavez W technical decision 8 Randall

Norris W 12 Brown

McClellan TKO 1 Jackson

Leija W 12 Nelson

Don King promoted the card


This is the fight card by which all other fight cards should strive.

It was a show made up entirely of rematches of the most tantalizing variety. The main event could’ve gone all by itself, as it was the great Chavez getting another shot at the guy who dropped him for the first time in his career and handed him his first official loss in 90 professional fights.

The main supports were revenge fights never to be topped.

This one had everything: legends in great, difficult matchups that produced thrilling, unpredictable and controversial results.

2. UNFINISHED BUSINESS, Saturday, Sept. 17, 1994, MGM Grand, Las Vegas


Julio Cesar Chavez (champion), 91-1-1 (79 KOs) vs. Meldrick Taylor, 32-3-1 (18 KOs) (challenger), WBC junior welterweight title


Felix Trinidad (champion), 23-0 (19 KOs) vs. Yori Boy Campas (challenger), 56-0 (50 KOs), IBF welterweight title

Jesse James Leija (champion), 28-0-2 (13 KOs) vs. Gabriel Ruelas (challenger), 38-2 (21 KOs), WBC junior lightweight title

Juan Martin Coggi (champion), 67-2-2 (42 KOs) vs. Frankie Randall (challenger), 49-3-1 (39 KOs) WBA junior welterweight title

Gianfranco Rosi (champion), 57-3-1 (17 KOs) vs. Vincent Pettway (challenger), 36-4-1-1 (29 KOs), IBF junior middleweight title

Ricardo Lopez (champion), 37-0 (27 KOs), vs. Surachai Saengmorakot (challenger), 10-0 (4 KOs), WBC minimumweight title


Chavez TKO 8 Taylor

Trinidad TKO 4 Campas

Randall W 12 Coggi

Pettway KO 4 Rosi

Lopez TKO 1 Saengmorokot


With Mike Tyson in prison, Don King knew he had to get to work and put on supershows featuring the best talent in his stable. And so he did. And the fans rejoiced.

The names Chavez and Taylor were magic on a fight poster as it was a rematch of the 1990 classic that Chavez won in the final two seconds of the fight.

Trinidad (23-0) vs. Campas (56-0) was worth the price of admission on its own.

And you had three Hall of Famers (Chavez, Trinidad and Lopez) and a ton of outstanding talent to go around.

3. GRAND SLAM OF BOXING, Saturday, Feb. 20, 1993, Estadio Azteca, Mexico City


Julio Cesar Chavez (champion), 85-0 (71 KO’s) vs. Greg Haugen (challenger), 32-4-1 (15 KOs), WBC junior welterweight title.


Terry Norris (champion), 33-3 (19 KOs), vs. Maurice Blocker (challenger), 24-2 (18 KOs), WBC junior middleweight title

Azumah Nelson (champion), 36-2-1 (26 KOs) vs. Gabriel Ruelas (challenger), 33-1 (16 KOs) WBC junior lightweight title

Michael Nunn (champion) 39-1 (25 KOs) vs. Dan Morgan (challenger), 41-2 (30 KOs), WBA super middleweight title


Chavez TKO 5 Haugen

Norris TKO 2 Blocker

Nelson W 12 Ruelas

Nunn KO 1 Morgan


This was the Don King card that started a flurry of supercard madness.

Tyson had been put behind bars a year earlier, and King knew Chavez would be his calling card – with some legendary help.

Nunn vs. Morgan was an awful mismatch but it was a last-minute replacement for Julian Jackson vs. Gerald McClellan (which probably would've put this card at the top).

Ultimately, 132,247 people packed into Estadio Azteca to see Haugen pay for his multitude of Chavez insults. It remains the largest outdoor event in boxing history.

4. WILFRED BENITEZ VS. SUGAR RAY LEONARD, Nov. 30, 1979, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas


Wilfred Benitez (champion), 38-0-1 (23 KOs) vs. Sugar Ray Leonard (challenger), 25-0 (16 KOs)


Vito Antuofermo, (champion), 45-3-1 (18 KOs) vs. Marvin Hagler (challenger), 46-2-1 (35 KOs)


Leonard TKO 15 Benitez

Antuofermo D 15 Hagler


This was only two fights – but what fights they were.

Not only did this card start an unbelievable era of boxing between 147-160 pounds – establishing a path of greatness for both fighters – it also was the beginning of one of the greatest rivalries in boxing history – Leonard vs. Hagler.

5. THE CHAMPIONSHIP, PART I, Saturday, March 16, 1996, MGM Grand, Las Vegas


Frank Bruno (champion), 40-4 (38 KOs) vs. Mike Tyson (challenger), 43-1 (37 KOs), WBC heavyweight title


Bernard Hopkins (champion), 26-2-1 (21 KOs) vs. Joe Lipsey (challenger), 25-0 (20 KOs) IBF middleweight title

Christy Martin, 28-1-2 (23 KOs) vs. Deirdre Gogarty, 8–3–2 (7 KOs), lightweights,

Quincy Taylor (champion), 26-4 (21 KOs), vs. Keith Holmes (challenger), 28-1 (18 KOs), WBC middleweight title

Michael Carbajal (champion), 39-2 (25 KOs) vs. Melchor Cob Castro (challenger), 45-4-4 (19 KOs), IBF light flyweight title

Ricardo Lopez (champion), 40-0 (30 KOs), vs. Ale Villamor (challenger), 29-1-1 (26 KOs), WBC minimumweight title


Tyson TKO 3 Bruno

Martin W 6 Gogarty

Holmes TKO 9 Taylor

Carbajal W 12 Castro

Lopez KO 8 Villamor


Not only a stacked card with fights on Showtime pay-per-view and ABC – a historic card.

A week later, Martin was the first female fighter to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated after her all-out, bloody war with Diedre Gogarty.

Christy Martin is a Hall of Famer

She, Tyson, Lopez and Carbajal all ended up in the HOF.

6. BURDEN OF PROOF, April 8, 1995, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas


Oliver McCall (champion), 25–5 (18 KOs), vs. Larry Holmes (challenger), 61-4 (40 KOs)


Bruce Seldon (champion), 31-3 (27 KOs) vs. Tony Tucker (challenger), 52-2 1 NC (43 KOs), vacant WBA heavyweight title

Julio Cesar Chavez (champion), 93-1-1 (80 KOs), vs. Giovanni Parisi (challenger), 29-1 (21 KOs), WBC junior welterweight title

Felix Trinidad (champion), 25-0 (21 KOs) vs. Roger Turner (challenger), 29-2 (27 KOs), IBF welterweight title

Luis Santana (champion), 39-15-2 (29 KOs), vs. Terry Norris (challenger), 38-5 (23 KOs), WBC junior middleweight title


McCall W 12 Holmes

Seldon TKO 7 Tucker

Chavez W 12 Parisi

Trinidad TKO 2 Turner

Santana W DQ 3 Norris


Holmes came within a couple of points of regaining a piece of the title he’d lost a decade earlier.
Other Hall of Famers doing their thing. And Norris shockingly getting DQd for the second time vs. Santana.

7. NIGHT OF CHAMPIONS, Saturday, Dec. 10, 1994, Estadio de Beisbol, Monterrey, Mexico


Julio Cesar Chavez (champion), 92-1-1 (79 KOs), vs. Tony Lopez (challenger), 45-4-1 (32 KOs), WBC junior welterweight title


Felix Trinidad (champion), 24-0 (20 KOs), vs. Oba Carr (challenger), 32-0 (20 KOs), IBF welterweight title

Jorge Castro (champion), 95-4-2 (66 KOs), vs. John David Jackson (challenger), 33-0 (19 KOs), vs. WBA junior middleweight title

Frankie Randall (champion), 50-3-1 (39 KOs), vs. Rodney Moore (challenger), 34-8-2 (16 KOs), WBA junior welterweight title

Ricardo Lopez (champion), 39-0 (29 KOs), vs. Yamil Caraballo (challenger), 13-4-1 (5 KOs), WBC minimumweight title


Chavez TKO 10 Lopez

Trinidad TKO 8 Carr

Castro TKO 9 Jackson

Randall TKO 7 Moore

Lopez TKO 1 Caraballo


This was a celebration of Chavez in a baseball stadium in Monterrey, and all his friends – and enemies (Randall) – showed up.

8. THE CROWN AFFAIR, May 20, 1983, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas


Larry Holmes (champion), 42-0 (30 KOs) vs. Tim Witherspoon (challenger), 15-0 (11 KOs), WBC heavyweight title


Michael Dokes (champion), 26-0-1 (15 KOs) vs. Mike Weaver (challenger), 24-10 (16 KOs), WBA heavyweight title

Greg Page, 21-1 (17 KOs), vs. Renaldo Snipes, 23-2-1 (11 KOs), heavyweights

Ossie Ocasio (champion), 17-3-1 (10 KOs), vs. Randy Stephens (challenger), 24-7 (16 KOs), WBA cruiserweight title


Holmes W 12 Witherspoon

Dokes D 15 Weaver

Page W 12 Snipes

Ocasio W 15 Stephens


This card featured two heavyweight unification fights (both of which were highly controversial) but also four of the top six heavyweights on the planet, and a cruiserweight title fight to boot.

9. BATTLE OF CHAMPIONS, Friday, Dec. 3, 1982, Superdome, New Orleans

MAIN EVENT: Wilfred Benitez (champion), 43-1-1 (26 KOs), vs. Thomas Hearns (challenger), 35-1 (32 KOs), WBC junior middleweight title


Wilfredo Gomez (champion), 37-1-1 (37 KOs) vs. Lupe Pintor (challenger), 49-1-1 (38 KOs), WBC junior featherweight title


Hearns W 15 Benitez

Gomez TKO 14 Pintor


Again, this was only two fights. But all four are superstar Hall of Famers participating in tough fights for which they ultimately built their reputations and careers.

While Hearns and Benitez was a tactical extravaganza for purists, Gomez-Pintor was one of the greatest pure brawls in the history of boxing.

10. MIKE TYSON VS. RAZOR RUDDOCK, March 19, 1991, Mirage, Las Vegas


Mike Tyson, 39-1 (35 KOs), vs. Razor Ruddock, 25-1-1 (19 KOs), heavyweights


Simon Brown (IBF champ), 33-1 (25 KOs), vs. Maurice Blocker (WBC champ), 32-1 (18 KOs), welterweights

Julio Cesar Chavez (champion), 73-0 (60 KOs), vs. John Duplessis (challenger), 36-1 (25 KOs), WBC/IBF junior welterweight title

Pat Lawlor, 14-1 (4 KOs), vs. Roberto Duran, 86-8 (60 KOs), super middleweights


Tyson TKO 7 Ruddock

Brown TKO 10 Blocker

Chavez TKO 4 Duplessis

Lawlor TKO 6 Duran


Besides the long-awaited heavyweight battle between Tyson and Ruddock – Tyson’s first real test after losing to Buster Douglas – there was a unification battle between “best friends” Brown and Blocker that turned into a Fight of the Year candidate.

Also, Chavez and Duran, who lost to trialhorse Lawlor in what looked like the end (it wasn’t).

11. STAR SPANGLED GLORY, Saturday, May 8, 1993, Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas


Lennox Lewis (champion), 22-0 (19 KOs), vs. Tony Tucker (challenger), 48-1, 1 NC (39 KOs), WBC heavyweight title


Julio Cesar Chavez (champion), 86-0 (74 KOs), vs. Terrence Alli (challenger), 50-7-2 (21 KOs), WBC junior welterweight title

Julian Jackson (champion), 46-1 (43 KOs), vs. Gerald McClellan (challenger), 27-2 (25 KOs), WBC middleweight title


Lewis W 12 Tucker

Chavez TKO 6 Alli

McClellan TKO 5 Jackson


The first Lennox Lewis fight after a devastating destruction of Razor Ruddock, it was also the first time many American fans saw him.

Also… Chavez in the last prime fight of his career. And an absolute corker between McClellan and Jackson that had no business being an undercard to anything.

12. LARRY HOLMES VS. EARNIE SHAVERS, Friday, Sept. 28, 1979, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas


Larry Holmes (champion), 31-0 (22 KOs), vs. Earnie Shavers (challenger), 59-7-1 (57 KOs), WBC heavyweight title


Wilfredo Gomez (champion), 25-0-1 (25 KOs), vs. Carlos Mendoza, 38-12-4 (29 KOs), WBC junior featherweight title

Sugar Ray Leonard, 24-0 (15 KOs), vs. Andy Price, 36-5-3, welterweights

Roberto Duran, 68-1 (54 KOs), vs. Zeferino Gonzalez, 19-2-1 (5 KOs), welterweights

Michael Dokes, 14-0 (5 KOs), vs. Jimmy Young, 23-8-2 (7 KOs), heavyweights


Holmes TKO 11 Shavers

Gomez TKO 10 Mendoza

Leonard TKO 1 Price

Duran W 10 Gonzalez

Dokes W 10 Young


One of the first of Don King’s “supercards,” it had Holmes coming off the canvas for a scintillating victory, plus Leonard scoring the biggest win of his career at that point, and Hall of Famers Gomez and Duran.