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A great night of heavyweight boxing

There’s plenty at stake in the much anticipated heavyweight contest between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko next month as the winner will lift three heavyweight titles: the IBF, IBO and the WBA super championship. To get us in the mood, we’re looking back at three classic boxing contests.

Thrilla in Manilla

Considered the best heavyweight fight of all time, this was the third match between Muhammad Ali and ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier. The two had already produced two thrilling fights in the previous match-ups, but the heavyweight title fight in 1975 in the capital city of the Philippines is described as the greatest ever. Ali was declared the winner by technical knockout in round 14 (title fights were over 15 rounds in those days) when Frazier’s trainer threw in the towel. It’s estimated the temperature in the ring was around 49C during the fight, and Ali – who said it was the closest he’d come to dying – later admitted he was on the verge of quitting himself.

Rumble in the Jungle

Another epic contest involving Ali, this time against the then undefeated world heavyweight champion George Foreman. The fight, over 15 rounds, was staged in 1974, in Kinshasha, Zaire, and watched live by over 60,000. The big hitter Foreman was expected to destroy Ali but by deploying his ‘rope-a-dope’ tactics for seven rounds (leaning back on the ropes), Ali let Foreman tire himself out while absorbing a lot of body punches himself. In round eight, Ali pounced, landing a series of clean punches, including a straight right that sent Foreman to the canvas. Foreman staggered to his feet on the count of nine but was in no fit state to continue and Ali was declared the champion.

Tyson v Trevor Berbick

Although not a great boxing match and over too soon (round 2 knockout), the heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas in 1986 did introduce the youngest – and most ferocious – heavyweight champion of all time. Mike Tyson’s reputation may have been tarnished by his conduct outside the ring since then but when the 20-year-old destroyed the reigning champion Berbick inside two brutal rounds, fight fans knew they were witnessing a boxing phenomenon. The left hook that ended the fight was so powerful that Berbick got to his feet twice before collapsing in a heap again!

Joshua v Klitschko corporate hospitality

If Joshua v Klitschko is anywhere near as thrilling as these classic matches, fight fans are in for an unforgettable night. The Joshua v Klitschko fight takes place on April 29th at Wembley Stadium and promises to be a great night, including an exciting undercard. If you’d like to hear about the corporate hospitality packages we have available for the event, please get in touch.

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