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Hall of Fame broadcaster names top 5 fights at MGM Grand Garden

Updated June 14, 2024 - 9:00 am

Legendary broadcaster Jim Lampley has delivered many of the world’s biggest sporting events to the masses throughout his 50 years in the business.

Boxing, however, is the sport with which the North Carolina native has become synonymous. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2015.

The MGM Grand Garden has also carved out a significant niche in boxing since opening in 1993. The venue is preparing to host its 100th championship event Saturday, so Lampley discussed the top five bouts he has called at the arena with the Review-Journal.

“I chose the five I regard as the most memorable among the three-figure assortment of MGM Grand fights I called,” said Lampley, who will host an exclusive real-time viewer chat during the PPV.com livestream of Saturday’s card headlined by Gervonta “Tank” Davis and Frank Martin. “Emphasis on ‘memorable,’ so the event had to be dramatic to make the list.”

Lampley was on the broadcast for by far the most lucrative fight in MGM Grand Garden history, but the bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao did not make his list.

“It was by far the most anti-climactic event I ever called and no way it would ever make this list,” Lampley said. “It’s a brittle footnote. The five fights I list here are truly unforgettable in the minds of boxing fans.”

Here are the bouts that did make his cut, starting with his top choice:

George Foreman vs. Michael Moorer, Nov. 5, 1994

Result: Foreman scores a 10th-round knockout to win both the World Boxing Association and International Boxing Federation heavyweight titles at 45-years-old.

Lampley’s take: “Foreman becomes the oldest heavyweight champion. Out-boxed throughout the fight, Foreman waited patiently for Moorer to stand in front of him, seemingly presenting himself for the knockout, just as George told me he would many times in advance of the fight. What else could I say but, ‘It happened?!’”

Pacquiao vs. Miguel Cotto, Nov. 14, 2009

Result: Pacquiao took the WBA welterweight belt with a knockout 55 seconds into the 12th and final round, becoming the first fighter to win world titles in seven weight classes.

Lampley’s take: “The fight that established Pacquiao could function at welterweight and against the king of the division, thereby setting the stage for the eventual Floyd Mayweather fight.”

Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Erik Morales III, Nov. 27, 2004

Result: Morales dropped a majority decision and lost the World Boxing Council super featherweight belt in the process.

Lampley’s take: “Barrera wins razor-thin decision in epic third fight of the trilogy to take the series 2-1 and become, by an eyelash, his generation’s flag bearer. All three fights were great, all 36 rounds, but Barrera’s performance in this fight becomes his signature.”

Oscar De La Hoya vs. Shane Mosley II, Sept. 13, 2003

Result: Three years after beating De La Hoya by split decision in the first fight at Staples Center, Mosley won the rematch on all three scorecards.

Lampley’s take: “Three times 115-113 in a fight in which all three judges reached 115-113 via different trains of thought. CompuBox numbers favored Oscar, but ringside impact felt like Mosley.”

Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez IV, Dec. 8, 2012

Result: After they traded knockdowns early in the fight, Marquez ended the bout with a thunderous overhand right to seal several fight of the year and knockout of the year honors.

Lampley’s take: “The counterpunch KO heard around the world. Manny had won (two of the) three previous fights (with one draw), but to each of the three some controversy attached. They were seeking to achieve a definitive result and they did. A sixth-round obliteration. Just as Manny was going in for the kill, Juan Manuel landed the perfect counterpunch.”

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on X.

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