Fight Night. The top 5 Welterweights fights of the last 50 years

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

Why not join the team at in answering that age-old sporting question. What is the best fight of the last 50 years?

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Now that's a long time ago and there's been a lot of great fights. It's not easy to pick just one. So we're looking to you to help us. Over the next month, in a series of blogs and posts across our social media platforms, we'll be listing and providing links to our top 5 fights in each of the major weight categories.

We know that not everybody is going to agree with our selection, so we're asking you for yours. Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments box below.

At the end of the month, we'll collate your suggestions with our own to create definitive list of top 5 fights over the last 50 years.

In the immortal words of Micheal Buffer "Let's get ready to rumble!"

The Welterweights

We are starting our journey with the Welterweights. The 140 - 147 lb weight class, one of the classic boxing divisions with a history that stretches back to the beginning of sport. There are too many great fighters and fights to even attempt to list but after much discussion and a few heated words we managed to pick out 5 outstanding contests. So here in no particular order are top 5 welterweight fights of the last 50 years:

Aaron Pryor vs.Alexis Arguello 1

Known as The Battle of Champions the fight took place on November 12th 1982. Arguello had previously won three titles (Featherweight, Junior Lightweight and Lightweight) and hoped by adding the Jr. Welterweight title to become the first boxer ever to win world titles in four divisions. The fighters had radically different public images. Arguello was seen as suave, sophisticated, and extremely humble whilst Pryor was fearsome and intimidating. What a tear up!

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Durán for WBC, The Ring and lineal ,Welterweight champion

Billed as The Brawl in Montreal the fight took place on June 20th, 1980. WBC champion "Sugar" Ray Leonard, the golden boy of American boxing against the rough tough brawler and the then number-one ranked welterweight contender Roberto Durán. It was meant to be the matador, Sugar Ray versus the bull Duran but that's not what we got. In the build-up to the fight, Duran made a number of disparaging remarks about Sugar Ray, his wife and his sexual preferences. It didn't go down well with Ray and on the night the fight exploded into a slugfest between two of the greatest fighters of their generation at the peak of their powers.

Julio César Chávez vs. Meldrick Taylor for the WBC and IBF World Junior Welterweight Champion

Titled Thunder Meets Lightning the fight took place on March 17th 1990. It was the punching power of Chávez against the hand speed of Taylor. It was expected to be good but nobody could foresee the intensity of the action, or the lasting fame it would earn due to its dramatic and controversial ending. It would later be named The Ring magazine's Fight of the Year for 1990, and later the "Fight of the Decade" for the 1990s.

Micky Ward v Arturo Gatti - nominee for Fight of the Year for 2002

On May 18, 2002, Arturo Gatti squared off against Micky Ward in one of the greatest non-title fights ever. Both were proven warriors who just kept coming forward. Neither man was a technical wizard, but their styles meshed and the three fight series they put together was quite simply amazing.

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao: non title fight

Billed as The Dream Match, the bout took place on December 6, 2008 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. Although Pacquiao went into the fight as the leading pound-for-pound boxer in the world, some felt that he was too small to win. Boxing pundits speculated that 147 pounds weight limit would be a step too far Pacquiao. They felt that De La Hoya the natural welterweight and the bigger man would simply be too much for him to handle. It was a fight that marked the changing of the guard as a great fighter of one era gave way to one of the great fighters of the next. Perhaps not the all-out war of some of the fights in this list but a master class of hand speed and movement.

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