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Dublin: 17 °C Saturday 20 September, 2014

The Magnificent Seven: Boxing brawls (outside the ring)

When pre-fight press conferences get a little too heated…

WE’VE LISTENED ALL week to the fall-out from last Saturday night’s violent scenes between Dereck Chisora and David Haye in Munich.

And while the actions of the two men in question and their entourages were clearly indefensible, they are not the first such incidents to occur between boxers and certainly won’t be the last.

1.) Larry Holmes v Trevor Berbick

A ongoing feud between Holmes and the late Berbick begin in 1981 when the former won a unanimous 15 round decision. Ten years on, Jamaican-Canadian fighter Berbick attended his rival’s bout with Tim Anderson, which Holmes won thanks to a first round knockout. During the press conference that followed, the animosity was reignited when Holmes questioned the nationality of Berbick.

The pair then clashed on Miami’s Ocean Drive later that night, with Holmes landing a drop-kick to the chest of a stunned Berbick.



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2) Mike Tyson v Mitch Green

Iron Mike beat Mitch “Blood” Green at Madison Square Garden in May 1986 when Green complained about the discrepancy between what each fighter was paid – but he is best known for the what happened outside the ring two years later. The story goes that Tyson was out clothes shopping with a friend in Harlem at 4am when Green turned up looking for a rematch.

They soon came to blows and Green wound up with a black eye, while Tyson fractured his hand. Assault charges were made against the heavyweight champion, but later dropped. The footage is out of sync, but it’s the best there is, sadly.



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3) Fernando Vargas v Ricardo Mayorga

Don King announced the meeting of Fernando Vargas and Ricardo Mayorga at a press conference at LA’s Staples Center right before Mayorga began verbally laying into his opponent (via his translator), who he addressed as “fatty”. The Nicarguan mentioned Vargas’ wife, then lashed out before taking a couple of right hooks in return as all hell broke loose.



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4) Riddick Bowe v Larry Donald

Riddick Bowe met Larry Donald in 1994 but before they could even get started in the ring, Bowe gave his opponent a little preview with a two-punch combination in the build-up. It was a cheap shot but proved a sign of things to come as Bowe went on to win the actual fight at Caesar’s Palace.



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5) Vitali Klitschko v Ukranian parliament

Vitali Klitschko may have sat calmly while Haye and Chisora went at it last weekend but he certainly gets worked up here during a visit to the Ukrainian parliament. The WBC heavyweight champion, who ran for mayor of Kiev and has campaigned for anti-corruption in the past, decides to interrupt proceedings because of his displeasure at the house’s failure to pass a land redistribution act which he had supported.



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6) Lennox Lewis v Mike Tyson

The infamously short-tempered Tyson came face-to-face with Lennox Lewis in New York ten years ago, having told him in the past that he wanted to “eat his children”. The two fighters walked onto the podium but it didn’t take long before a mass brawl broke out between both sets of entourages. Tyson then decided to have a go at the media and finally turned his attention to random members of the crowd.

The fight itself, which was meant to take place in Vegas but had to be moved to Memphis because of Tyson’s impending sexual assault charge, ended in an eighth-round win for IBF, IBO and WBC heavyweight champion Lewis.



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7) Muhammad Ali v Joe Frazier

One of the greatest rivalries of boxing history had its second instalment in 1974 when Muhamma Ali took on ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden. In the run-up to the fight, however, both agreed to review the so-called ‘Fight of the Century’, in which Frazier had won three years previously, alongside Howard Cosell on ABC’s Wide World of Sports. Frazier takes offence to being called “ignorant” by Ali and a scuffle breaks out in the middle of the studio.



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