Top 10 Boxing Heavyweight Rematches of all time

Usyk/Joshua II, although an enjoyable fight, will not make this list of Top 10 Rematches. Criteria for inclusion on this list include both how good a fight was as well as historical relevance - factors that made Ali/Spinks 2 and Tunney/Dempsey 2 standouts on it. People will undoubtedly take issue with Fury/Wilder 3 not being on here but that is fine as well - an exciting fight that would likely have made this list without historical implications associated with numbers 9 and 10.

10.) Muhammad Ali Vs Leon Spinks II

Although Muhammad Ali's prime had long since passed, the 1978 rematch against Leon Spinks marked another exceptional moment in Ali's career. Spinks, an ex-Olympic champion entering his ninth professional fight, won by split decision against Ali in February 1978. Ali came back stronger than ever during their rematch at the Superdome that September and managed to outbox and outwit Spinks at outbox his younger opponent before winning by wide decision; though not one of Ali's finest performances it was integral part of his game plan and it marked one of boxing's most iconic figures before they passed on into eternity.

9.) Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey II

Tunney/Dempsey was famously known as the "Long Count Fight", and Tunney made his first defense after beating Dempsey in their initial encounter. Round 7 at Soldier Field in September 1927 proved decisive as Dempsey dropped Tunney but remained above him, delaying the referee's count due to new rules that require it only when Dempsey moves off into an neutral corner; Tunney lay on the canvas for 14 seconds before rising at nine in the officialcount official; this episode overshadowed everything else as Tunney knocked Dempsey once more in Round 8 before losing only one round from this 10-round decision overall.

8.) Muhammad Ali Vs Ken Norton III

Ali-Norton III took place at Yankee Stadium during a New York City Police strike in September 1976 and ended in controversy as with its two predecessors. Ali was not as active in his third Norton bout, which allowed his ever-game opponent to have a chance to win the rubber match. Ali managed several late comeback rounds to stand toe-toe with Norton until their final, action-packed and violent 13th and 14th stanzas where judges unanimously sided with Ali's rally denying Norton his place in history.

7.) James Jeffries Vs Bob Fitzsimmons II

Jeffries-Fitzsimmons II began as an 15-round fight, but their San Francisco eight-round sequel quickly descended into a brutal, bloody war. Jeffries had won Fitzsimmons' belt in 1899 after beating him in 11 rounds. 39 year-old Fitzsimmons opened with an aggressive and brutal beating on Jeffries, leaving breaks to both nose and eyes, before breaking both hands in Round 8.

6.) Floyd Patterson Vs Ingemar Johansson III

This trilogy of bouts featured 13 combined knockdowns, three occurring within the opening round of this third encounter. Patterson, who weighed 194 pounds, was knocked down twice after receiving two right hands from Johansson in Round 1. But after four rounds of brawling between these two sides, Cus D'Amato-trained Patterson won their rubber match by landing an emphatic right-hand combination win with which he ended their series and held onto his championship until losing it against Sonny Liston after two absolutely devastating bouts where he looked doomed from the start!

5.) Evander Holyfield Vs Riddick Bowe III

Following Holyfield's 1994 loss to Michael Moorer, cardiac problems surfaced; Bowe was dominating Holyfield. HBO commentator Foreman suggested stopping it, prompting Holyfield to go into overdrive; after knocking Bowe down in round six before Bowe rebounded to stop Holyfield in round 8.

4.) Joe Louis Vs Jersey Joe Walcott II

Louis was awarded a controversial victory against Walcott just prior to ending his eleven-year reign as heavyweight champion in 1947, but in their subsequent rematch at Yankee Stadium on June 4th 1948 Walcott managed to knock Louis down early. Louis then rallied and battered Walcott into submission before finishing him off in round eleven to retain his crown.

3.) Muhammad Ali Vs Ken Norton II

This non-title bout occurred shortly after Norton broke Ali's jaw in their first fight -- Ali's second loss. Ali faced off against muscular slugger Norton at the Great Western Forum, winning in 12 rounds by split decision victory with an 11th round awakening giving him enough momentum to regain the fight and keep title hopes alive. I believe Ali won this one out of three fights! This fight was truly remarkable!

2.) Evander Holyfield Vs Riddick Bowe II

Holyfield-Bowe II often goes underrated because of the "Fan Man" incident. But this should not be overlooked: Bowe was 11 pounds heavier than Holyfield at 246, yet had begun closing Holyfield's lead before this happened. In their rematch in Las Vegas that same year, both heavyweights went toe-to-toe until Round 12 when Holyfield trainer Emanuel Steward intervened to stop a melee; ultimately Holyfield prevailed with a majority decision win and took back his crown for good.

1.) Muhammad Ali Vs. Joe Frazier III

October 1975's "Thrilla in Manila" came long after Frazier had experienced his best years. Ali camp was unprepared for what lay ahead; Ali won the first round and continued operating at an unprecedented level of ferocity against Frazier's relentlessness and left hooks; eventually Ali would defeat Frazier by leaping out of his corner during Round 13 to unleash a devastating display of accuracy that saw Eddie Futch, Frazier's trainer, call off the fight before reaching its conclusion; after this extraordinary night in Manila, neither fighter would ever again be the same again!

Honorable Mentions

Although not all big matches was mentioned in the TSFJ top 10 boxing series, we still have some honorable mentions below:
Wilder vs Fury 3 III
Spinks vs Holmes II
Marciano vs Charles II
Lewis vs Rahman II
Holmes vs Shavers II

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