Podcast: Passing of the Torch Fights

When fighters punch the hell out of one another fight to fight until one stands tall above the rest and that process is repeated enough times, a lineage is created. Lines can be frayed, broken and split, but the most memorable transfers of power are usually the clean ones: the passing of the torch. On this episode of the Knuckles and Gloves pod, Patrick Connor and Aris Pina discuss those very fights from boxing history.

Rocky Marciano ends former heavyweight champion Joe Louis' career in 1951

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.

We consulted several chemists, all of whom viewed this GIF and determined there was no lye detected. Also: it’s true. (Credit: Paramount Pictures)

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.

Daniel Zaragoza and Érik Morales pose ahead of their 1997 junior featherweight title bout (Credit: J.R. Hernandez/El Paso Times)

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.

On this episode of Knuckles and Gloves Boxing Radio, the boxing historian team of Aris Pina and Patrick Connor once again tackle a fun subject.

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