While Las Vegas, also known as ‘Sin City’, is one of the most popular cities in the world when it comes to gambling, it is also well-known for hosting the biggest and best boxing matches in the world. Vegas’ status as one of the premier entertainment cities in the world means that fights such as these always draw a lot of attention, with sold-out arenas as well as a lot of action at some of the best online casinos.
There have been a number of important and entertaining boxing bouts in Vegas over the last century or so, and here we will try to remember some of the best of the lot.
Riddick Bowe vs Evander Holyfield (November 1992)
This is an event from nearly 30 years ago, which underlines just how much time has passed and how much of a changed world we live in today. For context, Bill Clintion had been elected President just 10 days before this bout, with the Berlin Wall having fallen and the Gulf War having just taken place as well.
This was the backdrop for this epic fight, the first of three between these two, and it is regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight title fights of all time. Bowe was extremely impressive, winning on the night and reminding a lot of older fans of the classic bouts between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali.
Diego Corrales vs Jose Luis Castillo (May 2005)
This fight has to be one of the best in the history of Vegas, just due to the non-stop action as well as last-round excitement that fans got to witness here. Both fighters traded big, powerful blows all night, and by round 10, both of Corrales’ eyes were swollen to the point where he was probably having trouble seeing.
Castillo went on the offensive from the start of that round, getting him twice with big body shots with over two minutes still remaining. However, Corrales made a stunning comeback, when he caught Castillo with a perfect right hand and then a powerful left hook to leave him sagging on the ropes, and the referee stepped in to end things and give Corrales the win through TKO.
Larry Holmes vs Ken Norton (June 1978)
Holmes and Norton met in Vegas to contest for the WBC title at a time when Ali had retired temporarily, and this match was billed as the decider for who would get to be his heir as well.
The bout went till Round 15, with both men pushing through their physical limits to keep fighting. Holmes had arguably the best jab in the history of heavyweight boxing, while Norton’s athleticism and power kept him in the game and stretched Holmes to the limit. Holmes was able to sneak through and win, and this would be the catalyst for his reign that would last for seven years.
Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns (September 1981)
In terms of dramatic ebb and flow and historical significance, you can make a strong argument that the first fight between Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns deserves to be ranked as the greatest fight in the history of Las Vegas.
It’s one of the most important fights for two of the most important fighters of the past half-century. It was the performance where “The Hitman” Thomas Hearns demonstrated that he could match the best of the best as a scientific boxer.
And it was the fight where Sugar Ray Leonard proved that, despite his television-friendly, golden boy persona, inside his chest beat the heart of a ruthless assassin.
Hearns started strong and seemingly won the first five rounds. Leonard battled back through the middle rounds, but Hearns began to reassert control as the fight approached the home stretch. Entering the championship rounds, it was clear that Leonard would need a stoppage to win.
With his eye swelling shut, Leonard pushed the pace desperately in Round 13 and managed to knock Hearns down. A badly hurt Hearns came out for Round 14 and Leonard finished him off.
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