Pre-fight pageantries are what make boxing such a dramatic, compelling sport. In many ways, it’s what draws viewers in. People want to know the backstory behind every fight. They want to understand what’s at stake. As a spectacle, boxing knows exactly how to draw this out.
One of the most highly-anticipated portions of every fight is the staredown. It typically happens immediately after official weigh-in and is usually the last time two fighters can look into each other’s’ eyes before they have to climb into the ring and trade leather.
A lot can happen in a good staredown. You can tell a lot by what a fighter looks like when he’s face-to-face with his opponent. Many fans often check to see who breaks eye contact first, and which fighter appears either confident or nervous.
Throughout the history of boxing, there have been many intense staredowns. These mini-events set the stage, and get fans salivating for action in expectation of what will go down in the ring. We’ve come up with a short list of staredowns you should check out. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but definitely a handful of must-watch bits.
Today, Evolve Daily shares four of the most intense boxing staredowns you have to see.
1) Vasyl Lomachenko vs Teofimo Lopez
To see one of the most intense staredowns, you don’t have to go too far back. The latest megafight blockbuster between lightweight phenom Vasyl Lomachenko of the Ukraine and undefeated slugger Teofimo Lopez of the United States provided plenty of heat.
This one was special because it happened during the Covid-19 pandemic that swept the world this year. These face-offs weren’t supposed to be as intense as it turned out to be. But a confident Lomachenko basically threw social distancing out the window (not recommended by any means), ducked under the protective barrier, and stepped up to Lopez to try to instill fear in his eyes.
Lopez was visibly caught by surprise but obliged and met Lomachenko in the middle. It was as intense of a staredown as any. Judging by the staredown alone, fans could already tell they were going to be in for a good, entertaining fight.
Unfortunately for Lomachenko, things didn’t go his way in the actual fight. He was eventually outworked by the younger man, and Lopez cruised to a unanimous decision to unify the lightweight titles.
2) Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Conor McGregor
The showdown between pound-for-pound legend Floyd Mayweather Jr., undefeated and going for his 50th professional victory, and UFC megastar “The Notorious” Conor McGregor had a lot of pre-fight hype building up before the two ever stepped onto the scales.
Both Mayweather and McGregor were genius promoters who knew how to play the masses, and each man contributed to an electric atmosphere when they finally stood face to face.
Mayweather had been in many intense staredowns prior, and was used to the bright lights of Las Vegas shining down on him. McGregor, on the other hand, used the face-offs as a mental tactic, and often aimed to get into the minds of his opponents by a brash staredown showing. What ensued was one of the most intense staredowns fans will ever see for a professional prizefight.
Sadly for fans, however, there was much more compelling drama and action in the antics before the fight, than the actual fight itself. Mayweather danced and pranced until he decided it was time to end the bout, finishing McGregor with a combination to win by technical knockout in the 10th round. It was a one-sided victory for the boxing legend, just as expected.
3) Shane Mosley vs Ricardo Mayorga
Former multiple-division world champion “Sugar” Shane Mosley of the United States and Nicaraguan bad boy Ricardo “El Matador” Mayorga met twice in their careers, and there was genuine hate and bad blood between the two on both occasions.
Judging by their intense staredowns, there’s certainly no doubt that either man was trying to ‘oversell’ their pre-fight drama. Their disdain for each other was, for all intents and purposes, very real.
In their 2015 meeting, in particular, Mosley remained largely professional and composed, stepping up to the pedestal, as he awaited Mayorga, who was known for his pre-fight disturbances.
This time, Mayorga would walk up to Mosley with a lit cigarette in his mouth, blowing smoke into Mosley’s face. Mosley responded by slapping the cigarette away, as Mayorga pushed him in the chest. The two had to be held back and separated as they wanted to go right at it, then and there. More of the same drama continued at the weigh-ins, creating a fever pitch for the actual fight.
Mosley would have the last laugh in his 2008 and 2015 meetings with Mayorga, though, beating the Nicaraguan by knockout on both occasions.
4) Dereck Chisora vs Vitali Klitschko
It’s always a treat whenever heavyweight fighters step into the ring. Boxing’s heavyweight division is no doubt its most glamorous. When the United Kingdom’s Dereck Chisora met the Ukraine’s Vitali Klitschko at their face-offs, however, no one expected what would transpire. It came as a complete shock to everyone in the room.
Klitschko and Chisora met in the middle, forehead to forehead, looking into each others’ eyes with bad intent. Chisora may have had a false sense of confidence, grinning behind a British flag bandana he wore over his face. Out of nowhere, Chisora unleashed a right hand slap that exploded on the left side of Klitschko’s cheek. Needless to say, jaws immediately dropped to the floor.
Klitschko, it seemed, was just as shocked as everybody else as he did not know how to react in the moment. The two continued to jabber at each other across a sea of people trying to keep them apart.
Klitschko would go on to dominate Chisora, however, just like all of his previous opponents, and he cruised to a unanimous decision victory to retain his WBC Heavyweight World Title.
If you found this article interesting, here are some others that you may enjoy: