Boxing has its triumphs and its lows, the moments when pugilists demonstrate valiance and the occasional bizarre moments when a boxer breaks up on the ring or a fan lands in the middle of the ring with a paraglider. We have decided to explore the history of boxing from its strangest angle and come up with a list of the most embarrassing, funniest moments that the sport has seen.
1. Evander Holyfield – Riddick Bowe II: Fan Man Steals the Thunder
The year is 1993 and the place is Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, the U.S. There is a fight going between Riddick Bowe and Evander Holyfield who are contesting the heavyweight title, and the stakes are naturally high. Suddenly, there is an object hurtling towards the ring.
It’s not a plane, nor a bird – it’s Jarrett Miller, a Maryland native who fast-approaches the ring before the mesmerized gazes of the audience and unwitting boxers. With a heartfelt inaccuracy, Miller lands just beside the ring, becoming all tangled up with the lighting.
Miller is quickly spirited away by the guards and boxers’ teams who don’t hesitate to throw in a few punches all for good measure, knocking him unconscious. Later, it becomes known that one of the security guards hasn’t been sparing much in the way of haymakers, landing as many as 20 punches in the senseless Miller.
Looking back at the fight, the Bowe – Holyfield title contest wasn’t anything exceptional in itself, right up to the moment where Miller lands and causes the hell of a commotion. While the fight probably meant a lot for the boxers, their names are taking the back seat because this event will forever be remembered as the Fan Man Fight.
2. Lennox Lewis vs Oliver McCall: Why Did McCall Cried and Refuse to Fight?
Talking about strange boxing matches, you may have heard about the Lennox Lewis vs Oliver McCall fight that took place on February 7, 1997. The pair were contesting the WBC Heavyweight title in what turned out to be a very brief match.
The fight began with Lewis establishing dominance and aggressively landing punches throughout the first three rounds of the fight. McCall had barely responded with some 26 punches back. It was after the third round that the truly strange thing happened.
Instead of retreating to his corner, McCall kept walking around the ring until the forth round began. At this point the boxers were supposed to engage back, but McCall just kept walking around and didn’t fight back. A puzzled Lewis tried to approach him, but McCall just covered and continued walking, leaving Lewis in a perplexed state of mind.
Round four was over and McCall finally agreed to go back to his corner. The referee intervened asking him if he would want to continue fighting. McCall responded in the affirmative, but after the fifth round unfolded in the same way, the referee called the game in favor of Lewis who won by technical knockout.
3. Mike Tyson – Evander Holyfield: Eye for an Eye, Ear for an…?
You don’t have to be the biggest boxing fan to have heard about Mike Tyson. The man is legendary not only because he topped the summits of the boxing world, but also for his proclivities to pull off the occasional mean trick. In this case – he bit a piece of Evander Holyfield’s ear. Two pieces to be precise.
If there is one lesson to learn here, it’s that you don’t want to be on Tyson’s naughty list. Why would he bite Holyfield’s ear off? Well, the match that was eventually dubbed “The Bite Fight,” in June 1997 has its own special history.
The fight was part of the WBA Heavyweight Championship with the stakes high and it seemed like all was going well until Evander had the misfortune to headbutt Tyson. Known for his boisterous youth, Tyson didn’t hesitate to reciprocate – by digging his teeth into Holyfield’s ear and taking a piece of it clean out.
You would think that that was the end of it. Well, not entirely. Referee Mills Lane waited for the medical opinion of the ring doctor who determined that Holyfield was in a physical condition that allowed him to continue fighting.
Tyson was penalized two points and the match continued. Remember when we said it was called “The Bite Fight”? Well, you certainly didn’t think that the match would earn this moniker because of one single bite, certainly?
Upon returning to the ring, Tyson didn’t hesitate to get a bite out of Holyfield’s left ear as well, which led to the game being stopped and Tyson being suspended from boxing indefinitely. About a year later, he appealed in court and he got his license back. Holyfield and Tyson are good friends these days.
After all, there is no need to be biblical about it. An ear is just an ear if you ask Holyfield.
4. Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz – Talk about a Knockout
This may not be called bizarre, but it sure as hell has a great entertainment value. The ring will enter Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz, two fighters who have quite the history. The fight takes place on September 17, 2011 with both Ortiz and Mayweather determined to win.
Moments before the game ends, Mayweather is on the ropes, defending against a frenzied Ortiz who lands 15 haymakers missing every time with Mayweather’s defense proving impregnable. In the heat of the moment, Ortiz lands a headbutt which is immediately called out by the referee.
What happens next is one of the funniest knockouts boxing history has seen. Ortiz walks over to apologize, but the referee has sounded off the fighting signal, which leads to two quick powerful punches coming in the face of the unwitting Ortiz who never recovers and the game is called.
5. Tyson Fury vs Lee Swaby: Take This One, Mate
Tyson Fury is one of the most iconic boxers of his generation and his antics are often the object of media attention. With a flamboyant dress sense and a lot of internal strife, Fury’s matches and press conferences are quite memorable.
One particularly strange match was when young Fury was facing off Lee Swaby. Not entirely happy with what Swaby was showing on the ring, Fury started throwing in the extra punch – in his own face, as if to level the playfield.
Many thought that Fury wasn’t quite alright, but that was just one of those moments that would go on to define his entire career moving forward. Fury was quite convincing in throwing in the hooks that ended up in his face to the amazement and perhaps amusement of the audience.
This has been just one of those memorable Fury moments that will certainly will be remembered in boxing history.