Specific eras in boxing history can’t be neatly defined sometimes. Often a sort of Venn diagram between eras steals the clarity, gumming up the works. But other times there are more clean transfers of power: the passing of the torch.
In divisions where lineal titles are readily traced back decades, like heavyweight, these kinds of fights litter the landscape. A quick example might be a fight like Rocky Marciano’s unfortunate knockout of Joe Louis, who was truly 137-years-old.
When a champion retires or moves on for some other reason, young blood tends to be dogged by comparisons to ex-kings. Likewise retirement suits few fighter and most eventually resurface, prepared to perpetuate the old-time pugilist mythos.
Ultimately time stops for nobody. Old heroes get replaced with new ones, and when we’re lucky, the new ones actually outdo the old. Every so often “El Ratón” is replaced by “El Terrible” and the boxing world is better for it.
There are so many examples of fights that could be described as “a changing of the guard,” or whatever weird cliché is preferable, they would be impossible to fully list. But we tried to go over some good ones.
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