Monday, May 10, 2010
The weirdest endings in ring history
By Graham Houston
Does this look like a man who wants to share the ring with Vitali Klitschko?
When Kermit Cintron went flying through the ropes on Saturday it produced one of the weirdest endings in ring history.
There have been other strange ones, though. Here's a sampling.
Evander Holyfield DQ end of 3 Mike Tyson: MGM Grand, Las Vegas (June 28, 1997)
No one had seen anything like it as Tyson savagely bit Holyfield on both ears in their heavyweight championship rematch. Referee Mills Lane told the judges to take two points from Tyson's score after the ex-champ bit Holyfield's right ear (and followed up with a two-handed push). Tyson was disqualified after the second bite, this time with Holyfield's left ear targeted. Lane initially hesitated. "Disqualification is the biggest penalty in boxing and I thought it over," Lane said. "I did what was right and let the chips fall where they may."
Muhammad Ali KO1 Sonny Liston: Lewiston, Maine (May 25, 1965)
Some called it the "phantom punch" fight as heavyweight champ Ali dropped Liston with a short right hand that seemed more a flick of the wrist than a solid blow. There was considerable confusion. Liston got to his feet and referee Jersey Joe Walcott waved the boxers to continue, only for veteran fight writer Nat Fleischer to yell to him that the timekeeper had reached the 10 count. Many in the 4,280 crowd yelled "fix" and "fake" while Canadian heavyweight iron man George Chuvalo was quoted as saying: "My baby could have taken that punch."
Sugar Ray Leonard TKO8 Roberto Duran: Superdome, New Orleans, (Nov. 25, 1980)
Fans in the arena and watching on closed-circuit TV were mystified when Duran, a fighter noted for toughness and ferocity, suddenly turned away and waved a glove in surrender in the eighth round of his welterweight title rematch against Leonard in what came to be known as the "no mas" (no more) fight. Duran claimed he was suffering from stomach cramps -- but he was starting to get outboxed badly. Many believe that Duran was feeling humiliated by Leonard's taunting, but all shared the view of Sports Illustrated writer William Nack that Duran's surrender was "incomprehensible."
Bernard Hopkins No Contest 4 Robert Allen: The Hilton in Las Vegas (Aug. 28, 1988)
Middleweight champ Hopkins and southpaw challenger Allen got tied up in so many clinches that it frustrated referee Mills Lane as much as it did the crowd. Allen had Hopkins in a headlock in the fourth round when an exasperated Lane pushed the fighters apart. "Hopkins lost his balance and the momentum sent him clear out of the ring," I reported from ringside for Boxing Monthly. With Hopkins grimacing in pain and saying he had hurt his ankle too badly to continue, the bout was ruled a no contest.
Future heavyweight champion Bowe dropped Tillery in the opening round and then things got crazy, with the two continuing to fight after the bell. Tillery kicked at Bowe, whose manager, Rock Newman, got into the ring and wrestled Tillery through the ropes. Referee Karl Milligan disqualified Tillery.
Lennox Lewis TKO5 Oliver McCall: The Hilton in Las Vegas (Feb. 7, 1997)
To the amazement of everyone watching the bizarre proceedings, McCall broke down in tears in the fifth round of his rematch with heavyweight champion Lewis. McCall was making no attempt to fight, nor to defend himself, when referee Mills Lane waved the finish. McCall's psychological state had been questioned before the fight. He had been arrested for out-of-control behavior at a Nashville hotel less than two months before the bout, and he had been in drug rehabilitation therapy while in training. "McCall simply should not have been in the ring tonight," Lou DiBella, then HBO vice president of sports, told the press afterward. "He should have been declared unavailable when his problems in late December emerged, when it was clear his problems with substance abuse were there again."
Virgil Hill W Tech Decision 11 Adolpho Washington: Fargo, N.D. (Feb. 20, 1993)
Light heavyweight champion Hill was comfortably outboxing Washington when, as the 11th round ended, the challenger from Kentucky turned to sit on his stool and a swollen area over his left eye was sliced open by the tip of a video camera. "I've never seen anything like it," referee Steve Smoger said afterward. The ringside doctor decided that Washington was cut too badly to come out for the last round and the fight went to the scorecards, with Hill a widely scored winner.