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The Dirtiest Boxing Matches of All Time

Updated on August 10, 2014

Sandy Saddler and Willie Pep Fought Dirty

Sandy Saddler and Willie Pep boxed four times with the last two bouts being amongst the most foul filled in history.
Sandy Saddler and Willie Pep boxed four times with the last two bouts being amongst the most foul filled in history. | Source

Who?

Who is the dirtiest boxer?

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Sandy Saddler KO9 Willie Pep 4 (September 26, 1951)

These two featherweight greats fought four times with this matchup being the fourth and final encounter. In all of their bouts especially the final two their was constant fouls being committed.

This was the dirtiest of their bouts and both men were at fault. Saddler is a legend but he known for being dirty at times. He turned Pep into a rule breaker as well. Pep actually had two good rounds before Saddler began elbowing, head butting, throwing low blows and even tackling Pep several times. Both boxers hit low and hut on the break a lot but Saddler landed illegal blows and legal bombs all fight long. In the end it was to much for Pep who quit on his stool after the ninth round.

Billy Collins After Luis Resto Pummeled Him

Luis Resto and his corner an Panama Lewis were sent to prison for removing stuffing from boxing gloves which resulted in Collins being severely injured.
Luis Resto and his corner an Panama Lewis were sent to prison for removing stuffing from boxing gloves which resulted in Collins being severely injured. | Source

What Happened?


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Luis Resto ND10 Billy Collins (June 16, 1983)

Perhaps the worst illegal happening in a boxing ring ever proven. Luis Resto and head corner an Panama Lewis were convicted of taking large amounts of padding out of the boxers gloves before his match with Collins. It's actually hard to talk about this bout so I'll just say that Collins fought with a heart of a lion and Resto was a coward who cheated by using plaster of Paris on his hand wraps and padding took out of his gloves.

Collins had permanent blurry vision after this bout and Resto and his trainer were sentenced to prison terms for their role.

The Bite Fight (Tyson/Holyfield 2) Final Round

Iron Mike Did Not Play By The Rules

Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield twice and tried to break his arm during their rematch in 1997.
Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield twice and tried to break his arm during their rematch in 1997. | Source

Evander Holyfield DQ3 Mike Tyson 2 (June 28, 1997)

These two heavyweights squared off twice in the 1990s. This is about the second fight, the bite fight.

The first round was close but Holyfield won it. In the second round Tyson tried to break Holyfield's left arm twice in clinches. Also, Tyson used elbows and even a forearm in the second. Iron Mike earned permanent infamy in the sport for what transpired in round three. Tyson left his corner without his mouthpiece. Hmmm. The ref caught it and made him put it in. Tyson then unleashed his best flurry of the bout but The Real Deal blocked and slipped most of it. Then during a clinch Tyson bit Evander on the ear and tore a piece off. Then, after getting a two point deduction for this infraction Tyson proceeded to bite Holyfield on the other ear. Tyson was disqualified. Tyson also pushed Holyfield from behind during the bout.


Location of Tyson/Holyfield 2 (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Andrew Golota Was a Foul Filled Fighter

Andrew Golota hit Riddick Bowe behind the head, head butted and elbowed him but most of all he just kept throwing low blows.
Andrew Golota hit Riddick Bowe behind the head, head butted and elbowed him but most of all he just kept throwing low blows. | Source

Riddick Bowe DQ7 Andrew Golota 1 (July 11, 1996)

Andrew Golota entered the ring at Madison Square as a big underdog but he was actually winning his bout with Bowe pretty easily until he decided to cheat. The Polish boxer used his elbows, forearms and his thead at every turn and he was penalized four points for low blows before the ref had enough and DQ'd Golota. These low blows were very low and looked deliberate.

After the bout was stopped the corners started to fight and then the audience inside Madison Square Garden did likewise resulting in several arrests and injuries as people in the stands began to punch, kick, throw things and more at innocent bystanders.

Fritzie Zivic vs. Bummy Davis

Zivic was always involved in dirty fights but this time Davis took it to him.
Zivic was always involved in dirty fights but this time Davis took it to him. | Source

Fritzie Zivic DQ2 Al "Bummy" Davis (November 15, 1940)

Zivic, the welterweight champion, waded into Bummy Davis in the first round and even scored a flash knockdown to close out the session. In round two things took a turn for the worse for Davis.

Davis constantly tossed left hooks and uppercuts to the groin of Zivic. After several points were docked the ref warned Bummy five times that he would disqualify him but Davis kept tossing low shots and when Zivic tied up Davis, Davis would come up and head utt Zivic on the chin. The worst part is that it was clear and obvious that Bummy Davis was trying to get fouled out.

Riddick Bowe Lands Big Right on Andrew Golota

Riddick Bowe LANs a huge right hand to the head of Andrew Golota. The fight had lots of back and forth action and also it was a foulfest.
Riddick Bowe LANs a huge right hand to the head of Andrew Golota. The fight had lots of back and forth action and also it was a foulfest. | Source

Andrew Golota vs. Riddick Bowe 2 (December 14, 1996)

It's hard to believe but Golota did it again. Not only did he elbow, rabbit punch and headbut but yes he launched about ten low blows really hard and far below the belt. Both boxers tasted the canvas from punches and both men took serious damage from punches and over the top fouls.

It is a crying shame because once again the Polish fighter was winning when he was disqualified. Golota controlled the bout with his jab and every illegal tactic he could use. Bowe, who is no stranger to fouls himself, remained on the straight and narrow for the most part and fought hard.

5th Round of Andrew Golota vs Riddick Bowe 2

Sandy Saddler TKO8 Willie Pep 3 (September 8, 1950)

The first time these two Hall of Famers fought Saddler knocked Pep out and took his featherweight title. In the rematch, Pep boxed beautifully and won a decision and his title back. But in their third encounter both boxers turned into rule breaking outlaws. Pep used his feet and Saddler chased but whenever they got close, Saddler would eye gouge Pep or Pep would throw Saddler to the canvas. Saddler also tripped Pep twice in this pathetic contest.

After 8 rounds The Will of the Wisp was ahead of Saddler on the scorecards but he had to quit in his corner because of very deep cuts over his eyes which were mainly the cause of horrid elbows that he got hit with.

Prince Naseem vs. Cesar Soto

The Prince and Soto engaged in some illegal tactics in their boxing battle.
The Prince and Soto engaged in some illegal tactics in their boxing battle. | Source

Boxing Safety Equipment

Hand wraps
Boxing Helmets
Mouth Guard
Rib Protector
Groin Protector
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Five items that help protect a boxer.

Naseem Hamed vs. Cesar Soto (October 22, 1999)

This featherweight championship fight pitted a knockout puncher vs. Pressure fighter. Fouls started out immediately. The Prince won a 12 round decision in a fight in which both boxers were dirty especially Hamed who body slammed his adversary at one point in the bout. Hamed fouled so much so that he put Soto on the mat 9 times all from fouls. Hamed pushed, tackled, elbowed, and launched low blows and rabbit punches the whole bout. Soto, for his part, head butted all night and it seemed to be on purpose.

Hamed won a hard to watch twelve round decision in a bout where both fighters should have been disqualified or at the very least it should have been ruled a no contest.

Boxing's Dirtiest Moments

Gene Tunney W15 Harry Greb 2 (February 23, 1923)

This was the second of their series and they fought in the light heavyweight division. First and foremost, most people feel like the close decision in favor of Tunney was B.S. It seems the consensus is the bout was competitive but Greb easily won at least ten rounds. Now to the reason this bout is on this list.

Greb, One of the best boxers in the history of the sport, was also known to foul and do whatever it takes to win. Well, he was true to that in this bout as well. Forearms, head buts, glove laces, low blows, rabbit punches and using knees to the groin were all part of the game plan for Greb in this bout that did not follow the Marquees of Queensberry Boxing Rules.

Tony Galento and Lou Nova Pre-Fight Pose

Lou Nova experienced hard core rough housing from Tony Galento in the form of thumbs and eye gouging.
Lou Nova experienced hard core rough housing from Tony Galento in the form of thumbs and eye gouging. | Source

Tony Galento KO14 Lou Nova (September 15, 1939)

"Two Ton" Tony Galento fought on even terms with Nova for three rounds but as Nova started to connect cleanly Galento began to cheat. Tony would thumb the eyes and gouge the eyes of Lou Nova every time the two got in a clinch. For whatever reason Galento was allowed to repeatedly foul and Nova could only cover up on the inside and try to keep the cheater at bay with his jab.

In the 14th, Galento thumbed Nova in the eye and then landed a big right hand to put Nova down. Nova laid their full of fouls and frustration and took the count.

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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