Boxing’s Best England vs USA Fights
National pride is often a factor in key fights between two top boxers from different countries.
Throughout boxing history there have been significant match-ups involving great fighters from England and the USA.
In the earlier days of the sport, English champions would cross the channel to face the toughest American opponents, while the rivalry between nations has intensified over time in the modern era.
As the two meet on the pitch for the 2022 World Cup, BOXRAW look back at boxing’s best England vs USA fights in the ring.
Mike Tyson vs Frank Bruno
In 1989, Frank Bruno travelled to Las Vegas to challenge a prime Mike Tyson, who was three years into his unbeaten and destructive run as world heavyweight champion.
In what was a monumental task for the visiting Londoner, Bruno managed to recover from an early onslaught and rock ‘Iron Mike’ at the end of the opening round.
But the Brooklyn-born champion rallied back to defend his undisputed crown with a ruthless fifth-round knockout victory.
Bruno became heavyweight champion in his fourth attempt with a famous win over Oliver McCall in 1995 to set up a rematch with Tyson the following year.
But it ended quicker than the first meeting, as Tyson prevailed inside three rounds in Las Vegas to claim the championship once again, just three fights into his ring return from prison.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Ricky Hatton
One of the biggest fights ever involving an Englishman, Ricky Hatton brought his rapturous army of support to Las Vegas to battle pound-for-pound superstar Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2007.
In a genuine super-fight at the time, Mayweather and Hatton had gathered momentum for their clash with a high-profile press tour in which ‘Pretty Boy’ produced many trademark moments of trash talking.
In a showdown billed as ‘Undefeated’, it was Mayweather’s class that ultimately shone through as he cut, dropped and stopped Manchester’s fan favourite in the 10th round.
Despite the heated build-up, Mayweather was full of respect for ‘The Hitman’ moments after going 39-0, stating:
“Ricky Hatton is one tough fighter. He is still a champion in my eyes and I'd love to see him fight again.”
Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder
Producing one of the best trilogies in boxing history, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder collided in three epic match-ups from 2018 to 2021.
Manchester-born Fury returned from a long and well-documented lay-off in their first meeting in California and dramatically got off the canvas in the final round in a controversial draw with his American nemesis.
Two years later, Fury took advantage in the rivalry with a dominant seventh-round stoppage victory in Las Vegas.
Capping off their trilogy, ‘The Gypsy King’ again had to climb off the ring floor to drop and brutally knock out Wilder to have his hand raised in Sin City.
Muhammad Ali vs Henry Cooper
Even ‘The Greatest’ was involved in an England vs America ring clash, as Muhammad Ali twice famously took on London’s own Henry Cooper.
Ali, then Cassius Clay, was sensationally sent to the floor by a huge Cooper left hook in their first 1963 fight.
As the round came to an end, Angelo Dundee famously signalled to the referee that Ali’s glove was split. Many believe Dundee did this himself purposefully to buy his weary fighter valuable time to recuperate.
He did recover and ultimately stepped up the pace to earn a stoppage win over the home favourite at Wembley.
Ali returned to London three years later as world heavyweight champion for a rematch. Cooper was again stopped, this time in six rounds, after being cut and bloodied badly.
Naseem Hamed vs Kevin Kelley
Having dominated as featherweight world champion on home soil with wins over the likes of Steve Robinson and Manuel Medina, ‘Prince’ Naseem Hamed was ready to take over America.
The reigning champion made his long-awaited USA debut at Madison Square Garden in 1997, defending his title against dangerous former title holder Kevin Kelley.
Hamed’s arrival on American shores captured the nation’s news coverage as he landed via British Airways Concorde ahead of a hugely entertaining New York battle.
The champion was forced to abandon his familiar hands-down style in the ring, though, in what proved to be a tougher test than perhaps expected against New Yorker Kelley.
Despite suffering three knockdowns himself, Hamed returned fire to drop Kelley three times as well, with the final time securing him a fourth-round stoppage success.
Sugar Ray Robinson vs Randolph Turpin
In 1951, Randy Turpin rallied to one of the greatest victories of all-time, as he stunned and overcame the legendary pound-for-pound great Sugar Ray Robinson.
Over 15 rounds in London, Turpin handed Robinson what was only his second career defeat to that point after an incredible 134 fights.
Just the second man to beat the iconic middleweight champion after Jake LaMotta eight years prior, Turpin wrote himself into the history books and reigned as the division ruler.
The Leamington Spa-born fighter would go on to lose his title in an immediate rematch back in New York City just two months later.
But Turpin's legacy still lives on today as an English boxing legend and he was even immortalised with his own statue in Warwick.
Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield
London-born Lennox Lewis and American legend Evander Holyfield first collided in a heavyweight unification in 1999 but fought to a highly controversial draw.
Lewis, like the majority of those watching, thought he’d done more than enough to triumph in New York before the judges’ scores were read aloud and met with a backlash.
The two were ordered to meet again seven months later in Las Vegas, where Lewis left no doubts over who was the division’s top dog.
He earned a unanimous decision victory over 12 rounds to become the undisputed king.
Other boxing's best England vs USA fights: Lennox Lewis vs Mike Tyson, Nigel Benn vs Gerald McClellan, Carl Froch vs Jermaine Taylor, Don Curry vs Lloyd Honneghan, Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall, Bob Fitzsimmons vs James J. Corbett.
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