Repeat or revenge: A look at 10 rematches

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by Mike Mesey, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Mike Mesey

    Mike Mesey Amateur Fighter

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    One boxing adage would have you believe that if a boxer stops an opponent, he will usually do so again in a rematch, perhaps earlier in the fight. The reasoning: The boxer who does the stopping has the psychological advantage; he knows he can hurt his opponent and get him out of the fight. Thus, the theory goes, he enters the rematch with great confidence, whereas the other man might be beset by doubts.



    It doesn't always work out like this, of course. A fighter who gets stopped might be able to work out what went wrong, correct mistakes and perhaps ratchet up his levels of conditioning and alertness. And revenge can be a powerful motivating force.



    Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz meet in a pay-per-view repeat-or-revenge fight Saturday. Marquez can gain comfort from the knowledge that he knocked out Diaz in their fiercely contested bout 17 months ago. Diaz believes that a change in tactics -- smarter boxing, less slugging -- will lead to a different result. Boxing history offers comfort to both fighters. Here is a look at 10 rematches, five in which the KO winner in the initial fight won the second bout, five where fortunes were reversed:




    Repeat



    Rocky Marciano versus Jersey Joe Walcott



    Marciano's heavyweight championship victory over Walcott on Sept. 23, 1952, was hard earned. Walcott, at 38 the oldest heavyweight champion in history up to that time, was clever and courageous. He knocked down Marciano in the first round and led on points before the Brockton Blockbuster froze him in the 13th round with one of boxing's most celebrated right-hand punches. The rematch eight months later was a one-round disappointment. Dropped by a right uppercut, Walcott seemed to misjudge the count. He scrambled to his feet just as referee Frank Sikora counted "10." The Walcott camp protested that the ex-champion had been given a fast count, and many agreed. "Scores of fans, many of whom paid the $50 top price, streamed to ringside to protest the knockdown count," reported the Associated Press. Walcott had clearly been hurt, though, and with 35 seconds remaining in the round, he might not have survived Marciano's follow-up onslaught. Walcott never boxed again.



    Gerald McClellan versus Julian Jackson



    In a clash of middleweight big hitters, the undefeated McClellan stopped the more experienced Jackson in the fifth round to win the title May 8, 1993. It was touch and go, however. McClellan seemed to have been hurt in the second round, and he backed up as Jackson attacked confidently. "Gerald is looking scared; this is what you call intimidation," TV analyst Ferdie Pacheco informed viewers. Behind on points, McClellan rallied to floor Jackson twice in a thrilling fifth-round finish. "I let my emotions get in the way of my skills," McClellan later told me in an interview for Boxing Monthly. "That was the worst, the sloppiest fight I've had in my whole career." In the rematch a year later, a controlled and icy McClellan blasted through Jackson in 83 seconds. In his next fight, though, the seemingly unstoppable McClellan suffered life-altering injuries in a battle with Nigel Benn in London.



    Iran Barkley versus Thomas Hearns



    Battered and bloodied, seemingly on the brink of being stopped, Barkley dramatically turned things around by landing a huge right hand in the third round of his middleweight title fight against the heavily favored Hearns in June 1988. Barkley was again the underdog for the rematch in March 1992, this time with the light heavy title at stake. The brave and belligerent slugger from New York's south Bronx won again, though, this time on a split decision. A knockdown scored in the fourth round gave Barkley his narrow victory. "Hearns surprised everyone by staying inside and fighting toe to toe," I reported ringside from the Caesars Palace for Boxing Monthly. "Also surprising, perhaps, was that Hearns' suspect chin stood up to Barkley's bombs." It was the only fight that Hearns ever lost on points.



    Aaron Pryor versus Alexis Arguello


    Pryor and Arguello waged two unforgettable wars for the 140-pound title in the 1980s, with the fast-punching and furious Cincinnati Hawk winning by knockout each time. The first meeting, at Miami's Orange Bowl on Nov. 12, 1982, was one of boxing's classic fights. Arguello, skilled and dangerous, landed some huge right hands, but Pryor wore him down and overpowered the great Nicaraguan boxer in the 14th round. Pryor's win was somewhat tainted by the well-chronicled "black bottle" controversy, with the suspicion that trainer Panama Lewis had concocted a mixture not entirely within commission guidelines. In the rematch in Las Vegas, however, Pryor confirmed that he was simply the better fighter, overpowering Arguello in the 10th round. "Mr. Pryor demonstrated why he's the toughest, baddest, meanest, craziest and maybe even craftiest fighter now residing on the planet," Doug Krikorian reported in The Los Angeles Herald Examiner. "I don't think I hurt him at all," Arguello said in the postfight news conference. "He was too strong."



    Carmen Basilio versus Tony DeMarco



    The two welterweight championship wars between Basilio and DeMarco were prime examples of the man who imposed his will in the first fight doing the same in the rematch. Basilio captured the title on his home turf of Syracuse, N.Y., on June 10, 1955, and retained the title in DeMarco's hometown of Boston five months later, each bout ending in the 12th round. DeMarco fought valiantly and well each time and came close to winning the second bout when a seventh-round bombardment "sent the defending champion rubber-legged, halfway across the ring," in the words of New York Times reporter Joseph C. Nichols. Basilio rallied, though, and "whittled down the hometown boy with a systematic, sharp-punching attack."



    Revenge


    Jose Luis Castillo versus Diego Corrales



    The first fight between Castillo and Corrales, in May 2005, was simply amazing, an all-time-great war for the lightweight title. Corrales, his left eye swollen and closing, appeared to be out of the fight when he suffered two knockdowns in the 10th round. He gained valuable moments of recovery time when discarding his mouthpiece, which was rinsed and replaced, and astonishingly rallied to hurt and halt Castillo with 54 seconds remaining in the round. Castillo went into the rematch five months later with an unfair advantage, coming in as the heavier man by 3
     
  2. Mike Mesey

    Mike Mesey Amateur Fighter

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    Joe Louis versus Max Schmeling



    Surely the most popular payback win in ring history came when Louis annihilated Schmeling in their rematch for the heavyweight title at Yankee Stadium on June 22, 1938. Two years earlier, Schmeling had knocked out Louis in 12 rounds in the same arena, giving the young Brown Bomber his first defeat. A more mature Louis, determined and powerful, was favored to win the rematch over a 33-year-old Schmeling, who had boxed only three times in the two years since the first fight. With Schmeling seen as representing Hitler's Germany, there was enormous emotional support for Louis. A win for Louis was not considered a formality, though. Former champion Jack Johnson picked Schmeling, citing Louis' "poor craftsmanship." Writers for the New York Times, New York Daily News and New York Post tipped Schmeling. Louis was a mere 2-1 betting favorite. In the event, the fight turned out to be brutally one-sided as Louis blazed through the ex-champion, proving to be "an incomparable destroyer" in the words of the Associated Press' Gayle Talbot.
     
  3. Mike Mesey

    Mike Mesey Amateur Fighter

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    Well,i thought it was a good read.
     
  4. Sum

    Sum theres a lot of things that can kill a man

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    Such a great injustice to Schmeling that even now a lot of people consider him a Nazi representative.
     
  5. Sum

    Sum theres a lot of things that can kill a man

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    It was a good read. I had it last in a list of tabbed threads I was reading through and just now got to it. Really interesting stuff.

    I think JMM/Diaz will fall into the first category.
     
  6. Mike Mesey

    Mike Mesey Amateur Fighter

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    Schmelling was a beast,if we has from a different country and time,i think he would be more recognized.
     
  7. Sum

    Sum theres a lot of things that can kill a man

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    Definitely. I've had to point out to uneducated fools that he and Louis were friends...he even helped pay for Louis' bills and funeral. Some people get too caught up in the hype of the moment. It had to have an effect on his career. Being hated for something you don't support must have been heartbreaking.
     
  8. Mike Mesey

    Mike Mesey Amateur Fighter

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    Yep.
    He wasnt Hitler and wasnt a soldier but because he was German he was billed as anti american sometimes due to the way German athletes were "fighting the rest of the world to prove aryan superiority" at the time.From what i ve read about Schmelling he did like to represent his country but did not share in nazi ideals.
     
  9. Krackle

    Krackle Yellow Belt

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    Nice read, thanks for posting it. Just had to rewatch JMM-Diaz after that.
    It was really unfortunate that Diaz got cut in the 8th, it seemed to affect him a lot and we missed out on a couple of additional great rounds.
    Unfortunately I haven't seen most of the fights in your post, it would have been fun to try to draw parallels to the Marquez - Diaz rematch.
    Anyway, the only win I can imagine for Diaz is by KO and I don't think he has the power to achieve that by boxing Marquez, so he would have to swarm him but that will just get him beat up, especially to the body, again (=loss). So he will box more this time. Wide UD or late TKO Marquez.
     
  10. z_zen

    z_zen Green Belt

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    Yes, I thought it was a good read. I have JMM repeating.
     
  11. Mike Mesey

    Mike Mesey Amateur Fighter

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    I agree and i think he will catch him earlier in the fight this time.
     

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