When Sergey Kovalev challenges Eleider Alvarez for the WBO Light-Heavyweight Title on Saturday 2nd February, live on BoxNation, he will be out for revenge.
When they met last August, Alvarez was trailing on points but dramatically knocked out the Russian puncher in round seven to claim the WBO strap.
It will be a tough assignment for Kovalev in Texas, but it isn’t mission impossible. Will it be Repeat or Revenge?
Here are our seven magnificent rematches when revenge was gained after losing the first fight:
MUHAMMAD ALI v JOE FRAZIER
[Image credit: The New York Times]
In their 1971 “Fight of the Century’ battle they delivered an epic with Frazier pulling a points win out of the bag when he dropped Ali with a sledgehammer left hook in round 15. The return match almost three years later came after Frazier was hammered by George Foreman. Ali boxed a more clever fight and sealed a deserved points win to set up the ‘Thrilla in Manila’.
ROCKY GRAZIANO v TONY ZALE
[Image credit: The Fight City]
The 1940s rivals' Middleweight wars had a similar pattern. In their first clash it looked like Graziano was going to take the World Title after battering his rival for five rounds, before Zale came back to knockout the challenger in the sixth. When they had the return Zale was on top, but Graziano turned the tables to win in six and finally become Champion. There was a rubber meeting that Zale won easily in three rounds.
JOSE LUIS CASTILLO v DIEGO CORRALES
Their first fight in 2005 was one of the greatest contests in history. Corrales' left eye was almost closed and he was down twice in the tenth round, but after buying time to have his gum shield cleaned he staged an astonishing recovery, stopping Corrales before the round ended.
They met again five months later, where Castillo was fresher but also had a 3.5lbs weight advantage after failing to make Lightweight and won in four rounds.
ARTURO GATTI v MICKY WARD
What a rivalry! Their first fight was one of the most brutal ever, and the ninth round, one of the most breathtaking ever. Ward claimed a points win although Gatti looked unlucky to be in the losing corner. In the return, Gatti improved and controlled much of the action before winning on points, although Ward was always a threat and charged forward throughout.
MANNY PACQUIAO V TIMOTHY BRADLEY
Pacquiao was hell bent on revenge when he lost a controversial split decision to Bradley in June 2012 and surrendered his WBO Welterweight crown. The rematch was a great fight, but the Filipino was another level and there was no controversy when his hand was raised after 12 rounds. Pacman also won a third meeting in April 2016.
LENNOX LEWIS v HASIM RAHMAN
Lewis avenged both his sole career losses against Oliver McCall, and brutally so against Rahman. When they clashed in April 2001 on the outskirts of Johannesburg, Lewis’ camp had been hindered while he was making Oceans Eleven and it showed in the ring when he was KOd in five rounds, losing his IBF and WBC belts.
It was a monumental upset. When they met a few months later he was seven pounds lighter and a different beast smashing Rahman in a vicious performance.
TERRY NORRIS v SIMON BROWN
It was one of the shocks of the 1990s when Norris was dramatically knocked out by the Jamaican puncher in the 11th defence of his WBC Super-Welterweight title. One big right hand put Norris out for the count in the fourth.
They met again in May 1994, six months after their first meeting and Norris had learnt his lesson. The American dominated by producing a boxing masterclass, and coasting home on the judge's cards.