Since the Dempsey era, boxing has seen some great fights. While the fights in boxing depend upon skill-set and determination of the fighters, there is no disputing the fact that rivalries add character to the fight.
A one-sided match is pleasant to watch but it is the bitter rivalry between two equal caliber fighters that satisfy the blood-lust of the fight fans.
The 'bad-blood' between the fighters can force fans of the sweet-science(experts and amateurs alike) to choose camps between the two fighters. There is a great amount of pride on the line and great rivalries show us why boxing is all about 'heart'.
There have been many legendary rivalries like Sugar Ray Robinson vs Jake Lamotta, Pacquiao vs Marquez, Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns, Tyson vs Holyfield etc. but here we are talking only about trilogies.
#5 Manny Pacquiao vs. Erik Morales
When Pacquiao and Morales met for the first time Manny Pacquiao was The Ring World featherweight champion and Morales was ranked No. 2. Manny had defeated Barrera to clinch the world featherweight title and Morales was defeated two out of three times by Barrera in one of the most brutal trilogies (also in this list).
So if Morales could defeat Pacquiao, he would regain his lost honor amongst the boxing community.
Pacquiao upto this point, relied heavily on his left hand and was too dependent on his straight left.
Morales being the more experienced fighter took full advantage and by the 12th round, Pacquiao’s face was bloodied with a cut above the right eye. Morales won by unanimous decision.
The rematch happened 10 months later and by that time Pacquiao had only one goal in mind – to develop power in the right hand. In the second fight, Pacquaio gave Morales the beating of his career knocking him down twice.
In a beautiful display of boxing, Pacquiao threw punches from every angle and didn’t stop punching till the fight was stopped in the 10th round.
In their third encounter, both fighters charged into each other like bulls and punches were flying all around.
But soon it became one-sided when Pacquaio knocked down Morales in the first round. Morales was knocked down again in the second and finally, his heart gave away and he quit after getting knocked down for the third time in Round 3.
Pacquiao won two of the 3 bouts of one of the greatest modern-day rivalries and became a household name.