Patience Is a Virtue: Like Taylor vs. Catterall II, these 10 rematches took their time to materialise

1) Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins (17 years and one month between fight one and two)

It’s hard to believe there were 17 years between Jones and Hopkins sharing the ring for the first time in 1993 and the second time, but it’s the truth. With Jones keen to travel up the weights, and Hopkins destined to spend most of his career at middleweight, it wasn’t until 2010 that the pair reunited.

2) Ray Leonard and Thomas Hearns (seven years and nine months)

Whereas the first fight between Leonard and Hearns in 1981 is a bona fide classic and as good as it gets in boxing, the rematch eight years later is not so revered. Both were at super-middleweight by then, no longer welterweights, and the fight ended in a draw.

3) Julio Cesar Chavez and Meldrick Taylor (four years and six months)

Given the controversial nature of the first fight in 1990, it was a surprise it took Chavez and Taylor as long as it did to reconvene. It wasn’t until 1994, in fact, that Chavez was able to beat Taylor more convincingly, this time stopping a shell of the Philadelphian in eight rounds.

4) Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez (three years and 10 months)

They fought a total of four times, yet still there was a significant four-year gap between fights one and two; this despite the fact the first fight in 2004 ended in a draw. Marquez, floored three times in round one, battled back to push Pacquiao all the way that night, but wouldn’t get his satisfaction until fight four.

5) George Foreman and Joe Frazier (three years and five months)

Rarely do you see a fighter stopped inside two rounds secure a rematch with their conqueror three years later, but that’s what happened with Frazier and Foreman. In hindsight, the last thing Frazier needed after Ali in Manila was Foreman and another stoppage defeat in ’76.

George Foreman attacks Joe Frazier during their heavyweight fight at National Stadium. Kingston, Jamaica in 1973 (Herb Scharfman /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

6) Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn (two years and 11 months)

In a rather unusual twist on the theme, the controversial fight in the Benn vs. Eubank rivalry proved to be the rematch rather than the first fight. The 1993 rematch ended in a draw, whereas the first fight, in 1990, was finished by Eubank in nine rounds.

7) Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier (two years and 10 months)

They combined to produce arguably the greatest heavyweight fight of all time in 1971, and yet the world would have to wait almost three years to see Ali, beaten first time around, and Frazier, beaten second time around, have their rematch.

8) Lennox Lewis and Oliver McCall (two years and five months)

After getting stopped by McCall in quite the upset in 1994, Lewis embarked on a period of rehabilitation, beating the likes of Tommy Morrison and Ray Mercer before fighting McCall again in ’97 and this time winning inside five rounds.

9) Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley (two years)

As controversial as it was, the decision Bradley received against Pacquaio in 2012 would not be rectified until they met again two years later. By that time Pacquiao had been stopped by Juan Manuel Marquez, which made the Bradley revenge win all the more impressive.

10) Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder (one year and three months)

The first fight between Fury and Wilder in 2018 ended in a draw and seemingly set up an immediate rematch. However, Fury, before stopping Wilder in the return, would fight Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin, leaving Wilder to fight Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz.

Tyson Fury lands a right hand on Deontay Wilder in their rematch

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