With a perfect record of.....how many times have you heard Jimmy Lennon Jr. or Michael Buffer utter those words when introducing a fighter? Why is it such a big deal to be undefeated as a fighter?
On September 21st, 1955, at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, Rocky Marciano Kayoed Archie Moore. Marciano's record at the time was 49-0-0. A few months later, Rocky decides to hang 'em up and 49-0-0 is the standard that remains to this day.
Next stop will be the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The day is May 8th and the year is 1993. The fight - Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Terrence Alli. Julio kayos Terrence for his 87th win without a defeat or draw. Wow, what a record....if Julio had retired after the fight, he would be considered one of the top ten fighters of all time.
87-0-0...unthinkable! Julio decided to keep on fighting as his personal goal was to win 100 fights without a blemish on his scorecard. He eventually lost six fights with two draws on his record. A Mexican legend? Certainly. A top ten fighter of all time? I doubt it. Just imagine for a moment what could have been if he had made the decision to retire after the fight with Terrence Alli?
Let’s go to one more fight…The day is the 21st of September and the year is 1985. We are at the outdoor arena of the Rivera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. By all accounts Larry Holmes is poised to make boxing history by improving his record to 49-0, tied with Rocky Marciano. His is fighting the light heavyweight champion, Michael Spinks. Larry lost a unanimous decision but most will remember the remarks he made after the fight, “Rocky Marciano couldn’t carry my jockstrap.” To his credit, The Easton Assassin eventually apologized for those remarks. Do you think Larry would have retired if he reached the magical numbers of 50-0-0?
A pause for trivia buffs: One of the official judges for the Holmes/Spinks first bout is now working for HBO – Harold Ledderman!
This Saturday, the 13th of September, Floyd Mayweather will try to continue his unbeaten streak in his rematch with Marcos Maidana. If we do the math, a victory for Mayweather would give him a record of 47-0-0. Just three fights away from the magical record established by the great Marciano.
More questions…If Floyd gets to 50-0-0, will he retire and be considered one of the greatest ever? What if he loses before bettering Marciano’s record? What would a loss due to his legacy?
I decided to ask an expert …. Dr. Gordon Marino. Please don’t miss my interview tomorrow as Dr. Marino has some very cerebral answers to these and other questions.
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