We had historical heavy hitters go down in flames and surprising upstarts stick it to well-polished champs. Now who can bring the heat in the Sweet Science 16?
You slugged it out in the round of 32, and dropped a few surprises on us. Now we've got eight matches for your voting pleasure as we continue our pound-for-pound rumble through history and fiction.
Voting starts now and continues through Friday night. Come back Monday for our Elite Eight-Count, and check back throughout the NCAA tournament as we ramp up to our championship match. If you're in the market for a printable bracket? Fire up your printer and share it with your friends.
Sugar Ray Robinson vs. Julio Cesar Chavez: Robinson enjoyed a comfortable win over Roy Jones, Jr. in the first round, but Chavez barely squeaked by Joe Frazier in the tightest bout of the week, decided by just 76 votes. Can Chavez get any separation against the man often ranked as the greatest fighter in history?
Rocky Marciano vs. Manny Pacquiao: Pacquiao scored a big upset over Apollo Creed to get here with 65 percent of the vote, but Marciano cleared Street Fighter's Balrog with 85 percent. With a career 49-0 mark, Marciano should prove a significantly tougher test for Pacman. Fighting guys starring in—or named for—video games is apparently Marciano's thing.
Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Oscar De La Hoya: The Million Dollar Baby was no Cinderella in the first round: Leonard dusted Maggie Fitzgerald, who managed a meager 73 votes. Now he gets De La Hoya, who cruised past Raging Bull Jake LaMotta, in a fight that everyone wishes could somehow happen in real life.
Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield: Speaking of real-life fights: Holyfield handed Tyson a pair of losses when they faced each other in 1996 and '97. The first was a late stoppage for Holyfield, and you know how the second one turned out. But what would happen if Tyson wasn't snacking on Holyfield for two rounds?
Thomas Hearns vs. Bernard Hopkins: Hopkins came with the massive upset in the first round, eliminating historical great Jack Johnson with 56 percent of the vote. Hearns did the same, pulling 57 percent to send Jack Dempsey packing. Both men competed in their careers at 160, 168 and 175 pounds, making this an exciting one to think about. Plus, "The Hitman" vs. "The Executioner" makes this the runaway winner in sinister overtones.
George Foreman vs. Archie Moore: Foreman didn't start his career as a crafty fighter, but he developed plenty of veteran savvy deep into his twilight years. He'd need it against the guile of Moore. It's a battle for Old Man supremacy between Moore, who fought until the age of 46, and Foreman, who kept going until he was nearly 49. Ironically, Moore helped train Foreman for the Rumble in the Jungle with Muhammad Ali in 1974, then went back to train Foreman again in the '90s.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Ivan Drago: Drago might be a serious threat to Mayweather's unbeaten record, but we feel like Money's insistence on strict drug testing would prevent this fight from ever being made.
Joe Louis vs. Roberto Duran: Marvin Hagler gave the Brown Bomber surprisingly stiff competition in the first round, with a 64-36 percent split; while John L. Sullivan didn't give Duran nearly as much trouble as he and his unbeatable mustache should have.
Thanks for voting! Don't forget to return March 30 to help select PBC's all-time pound-for-pound champion.
- Beyond the ring