This week in boxing history, PBC highlights two of our own champions, honors two Fights of the Year, recaps the final chapter of a four-fight rivalry and celebrates a four-division world champion.
February 27, 2016 – Carl Frampton beat Scott Quigg by split decision to unify super bantamweight world titles in Manchester, England; and Leo Santa Cruz stopped Kiko Martinez in Round 5 to retain his featherweight championship in Anaheim, California.
After their title defenses, Frampton moved up to 126 pounds and defeated Santa Cruz by majority decision in a Fight of the Year contender in July to become a two-division world champion. Santa Cruz then avenged the defeat last month, also by majority decision.
February 28, 2009 – Juan Manuel Marquez stopped Juan Diaz in the ninth round to claim the vacant WBA and WBO lightweight titles at the Toyota Center in Houston.
Marquez opened a cut above Diaz’s right eye and wobbled him in Round 8 before knocking him down twice in the ninth to end the bout, which The Ring named Fight of the Year.
March 1, 2008 – Israel Vazquez edged Rafael Marquez by split decision to retain his WBC super bantamweight title at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Clashing for the third time in their thrilling four-bout rivalry, the Mexican champions slugged away for 12 rounds to produce The Ring’s Fight of the Year for the second straight year.
March 4, 1961 – Gene Fullmer beat Sugar Ray Robinson by 15-round unanimous decision to retain his National Boxing Association world championship at the Las Vegas Convention Center in their fourth and final meeting.
Fullmer, who was a decade younger than the 39-year-old Robinson, finished with a 2-1-1 edge in their series. The “Cyclone” defended his title (the NBA became the World Boxing Association in 1962) twice more in 1961, and was subsequently named the Boxing Writers Association of America’s Fighter of the Year.
March 4, 1995 – Pernell Whitaker defeated Julio Cesar Vasquez by unanimous decision to earn the WBA super welterweight title at the Atlantic City Convention Center.
Vasquez, who was making the 11th defense of his crown, floored the showboating Whitaker in Round 4. However, “Sweet Pea” pulled away in the late rounds to become just the fourth boxer to win world championships in four divisions, following Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.