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Home Boxing GREAT FIGHTS NIXED BY DEATH
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GREAT FIGHTS NIXED BY DEATH

boxing_ring_02I'd like to look at three big fights throughout history, that boxing fans would have likely seen, had one of the participants not perished young:
 
Marcel Cerdan vs. Sugar Ray Robinson
While Jake La Motta was always a tough assignment, I think most would agree he lucked into the Middleweight title when Marcel Cerdan injured his shoulder in their 1949 title fight.  Sadly, before the rematch could be fought, Cerdan was killed in a plane crash.  Had he not died, however, the Frenchman would have been a favorite to regain his crown.  The following is all specualtion, but it is not unrealistic to suggest that we could have been robbed of a great Middlewieght title fight between two all-time greats.  Cerdan was aging, but likely would have overcome countryman Laurent Dauthille, which would have set up the Robinson match.  Sugar Ray was barely past his peak at this time, and likely would have won, but a shot La Motta did little more in their February 14 fight than show his legendary durability.  He was not nearly as competitve as he had been in their previous five matchups.  Cerdan would have probably pushed Sugar Ray to hell and back, and before you doubt me, remember this: Cerdan was never legitimately beaten.  He lost on a lousy decision, which he avenged.  He lost on the injury to La Motta, and two DQ's.  Those account for his only four losses in 110 fights.  I am not saying Sugar could not have done it, but it would have taken everything he had, and an upset was not out of the question.  We can blame primitive aeronautical technology for the fact that we never found out.
 
Zab Judah vs. Diego Corrales
Both men had good power, skill, and will... but couldn't quite overcome that top level with regularity.  Championship level fighters, in very strong divisions, who could box or slug it out.  Personable, but tortured souls.  Huge egos in nice personas.  Also, both men were behind their best days, and hovering between 140-147lbs when they lost that remaining spark.  This would have been a brawl for as long as it lasted, and effectively finished off both combatants as serious contenders, while earning a great paycheck for each.  Think of it as a Gatti-Ward on a bit higher level.  We might even have seen a trilogy here, throughout 2007-2008.  Instead Judah will likely keep trying, and keep getting close, until he ultimately embarrasses himself.  If Diego could have made better decisions outside the ring, each man may have had a better end.
 
George Foreman vs. Sonny Liston
Like Joe Louis vs. Rocky Marciano, or Mike Tyson vs. Larry Holmes, the torch is always best passed man to man.  For these two heavyweight greats, it would not have been the torch of control... Frazier and Ali enjoyed that at the time of Listons' mysterious death.  It would have been the coronation of the new bad-ass.  Young lion against old lion.  Who wouldnt have paid just to watch the staredown at the pre-fight instructions?  Perhaps Foreman would have been saddened (as was Marciano) that he had to knock out the man he modeled himself after, but it would have been a nice paycheck for Liston (who apparently owed some scary people money).  It also would have been the ego boost Foreman needed to realize himself a serious threat.  The result is very likely an early-to-middle round stoppage win for Foreman, should the fight have taken place in 1971 or 1972.  Unfortunately some of those unidentified "scary people" made sure we would never get to see it.
 
Chris Strait
www.convictedartist.com

 

Chris Strait Video Boxing Predictions
www.str8boxing.com

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