I was doing my normal blog-browsing and came across a piece on No Mas about the death of Diego Corrales. I thought it was an extremely insightful take on his passing. When athletes die, or any public figure for that matter, the mainstream media typically glosses over any negative aspects of their life. Maybe it’s out of respect for the deceased and their family, but it’s always seemed odd to me. Especially since many of the same people spend a lot of time criticizing and digging up dirt on the same people only days before. The folks over at No Mas did an excellent job here, please check it out.
Out of respect for what the man contributed in the ring, here are my personal Top 3 Boxing Matches:
1. Corrales-Castillo I:
One that I’ll tell my Grandkids about, if boxing is still around. It was like a Rocky movie more than a boxing match: a knock down, drag out slugfest that never failed to disappoint. This was exactly what everyone wants boxing to be. This wasn’t about the money or the fame, it was about defeating your opponent.
2. De la Hoya-Chavez:
I’ll never forget the hype surrounding this one. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles largely populated by first generation immigrants from Mexico, so this fight was a huge generational clash. The kids all rooted for “The Golden Boy” while their parents backed the iconic Julio Cesar Chavez. The fight didn’t disappoint, for the youngsters at least. Probably De la Hoya’s finest performance.
I truly don’t think people that didn’t live through it could possibly understand the Mike Tyson era in the ring. Rarely has an athlete, particularly a boxer, seemed as invincible as Tyson did in his prime. He was even unbeatable in video game form. To watch him knocked out was nearly incomprehensible to my young mind, particularly by someone I’d never heard of (if it was The Sandman or little Mac, I might’ve bought it). A truly memorable experience, as the image of Tyson blindly searching for his mouthpiece on the canvas is etched in my mind forever.