The most one-sided rematches in boxing history

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Danny Howard

February 26th, 2020

One good boxing match deserves another, and many of boxing’s best stories come from rematches and trilogy bouts.

Rematches continue a competitive narrative that can define a generation, yet there are instances where rematches don’t further a story—they just emphasize one fighter’s clear superiority.

Here are five of the most one-sided rematches in boxing history. 

Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Juan Diaz II

The first Marquez-Diaz fight was voted Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year in 2009, and it is a classic, but  their rematch was uneventful.

Diaz succumbed to Marquez’s counter punching in the first fight, so Diaz did what he could to avoid Marquez’s power. With Diaz opting to box and Marquez taking no issue, Marquez won a lopsided decision that disappointed fans who were thirsty for another bloodletting.

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran III

The third bout between Leonard and Duran is best left forgotten. The rivalry that bookmarked the decade did not meet the high drama or brutality of their previous bouts.

An older, slower, and undersized Duran was soundly outboxed by Leonard, who pitched a virtual shutout on the cards in their final encounter. This fight signified the end of the era of the fabled "Four Kings."

Evander Holyfield vs. Michael Moorer II

Moorer shocked the world when he defeated Holyfield to become the second light heavyweight champion to win heavyweight gold, but lost his title in his next fight—a historic upset to 45-year-old George Foreman.

Three years later Moorer and Holyfield met again, after Holyfield’s win over Mike Tyson, and Moorer did not stand a chance. Holyfield battered Moorer and sent him down five times, before the ringside doctor had to intervene and call an end to the bout.

George Foreman vs. Joe Frazier II

Foreman’s savage beating of Frazier in their first fight is still talked about today, but Foreman gave Frazier the chance to settle unfinished business three years later. Frazier fared no better in the rematch.

Frazier immediately retreated, as soon as Foreman charged forward, and fought defensively for the first four rounds. In the fifth Foreman broke Frazier’s defense and viciously floored him twice in the round. Eddie Futch had seen enough and stopped the fight to save Frazier from more punishment.

Sergey Kovalev vs. Jean Pascal II

The first time these two light heavyweight champions met up, Kovalev left no doubt as to who was the better man. He outlanded Pascal 2-to-1 and doled out a horrific beating on his way to an eighth-round stoppage.

Their rematch was even more one-sided. Kovalev beat Pascal even worse, landed 165 punches to Pascal’s 30, and Pascal’s corner needed to stop the fight. Considering Kovalev killed a man in the ring four years earlier, it was probably a good idea.

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