Las Vegas is a city world-renowned for glitz, glamour, lavish shows, 24 hour bars and of
course a plethora of luxury hotels and casinos. But over the past 50 years visitors haven’t
flocked to Nevada just to try out some of the Europalace casino games because it’s a city
that has become synonymous with hosting some of the greatest boxing matches in the
sport’s history. With such an incredible back catalogue of bouts to pick from we’ve selected
just some of the best and most memorable Sin City showdowns.
GEORGE FOREMAN vs. RON LYLE – January 24, 1976
Still regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight fights in history this 1976 bout between
Foreman and Lyle was filled with notable highlights that made it a truly thrilling battle. The
fight took place at Caesars Palace in Vegas and it was Foreman’s first time back in the ring
after his famous loss to Muhammad Ali back in 1974. Lyle put in a gutsy performance
against the former champion and by the fourth round, after exchanging numerous punches,
Lyle had managed to knock Foreman to the floor. However, in a dramatic turn of events,
Foreman responded in emphatic fashion, rising quickly from the canvas and flooring Lyle.
One round later and it was curtains for the plucky Lyle as Foreman became inspired and
managed to rattle off punch after punch before delivering the final knock out and winning
the match. Click on the image above to watch the full Foreman v Lyle fight.
MIKE TYSON vs. EVANDER HOLYFIELD – June 28, 1997
In 1996 the MGM Grand Garden Arena played host to a highly anticipated battle between a
somewhat lackluster Holyfield and the incomparable Mike Tyson who returned to winning
ways after serving his 3 year prison sentence. It took 11 rounds for Tyson to grind out
victory but Holyfield left the ring with his credibility in tack and no sooner had the match
finished then all eyes were firmly on a rematch. One year later fans got their wish when the
two heavyweight giants returned to the MGM and boy we really didn’t know what we
would be in for. Following a supposedly unintentional head butt in the 2nd round from
Holyfield, which mirrored a similar event occurring in their previous meeting the year
before, Tyson decided to get even by sinking his teeth into his opponents ear and biting a
piece clean off. A foul that left the vicious Tyson disqualified from the match.
MARVIN HAGLER vs. TOMMY HEARNS – April 15, 1985
If you were lucky enough to be in the city of sin at the Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion back in
the mid 80’s you would have been in for a real boxing treat. Hagler vs. Hearns in 1985 was
an onslaught of energy and action that almost never waned during 8 minutes of frenetic
action. There was nothing here about pre-determined game plans; it was a simple exhibition
of high-energy, pace and pure intensity that resulted in “the War” being won by Hagler after
the match was finally stopped.
FLOYD MAYWEATHER JR vs. RICKY HATTON – December 8, 2007
Whilst the Mayweather vs Hatton fight may not have been the greatest fight of all time, in
fact it wasn’t helped by a break-heavy Joe Cortez who hampered Hatton’s style by not
letting him work on the inside, but the sheer magnitude of the event made it one of the
biggest in Vegas’ history. – Over 30,000 British fans arrived in Vegas to cheer on the Hitman with the roof almost coming off the MGM Grand when their hero arrived to the tune of Blue Moon. However, it was Mayweather who made all the noise in the ring, eventually sending Hatton into the ring post and then the canvas for his 39th successive victory.