Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III: 5 great third fights of the past

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published on DAZN.com.

The highly-anticipated Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder III fight this weekend should finally bring closure to the feud between two of the best heavyweights in recent memory.

In recognition of the upcoming matchup, DAZN looks back at five great boxing trilogies.

ARTURO GATTI-MICKY WARD, JUNE 7, 2003

Three fights within a 13-month span culminated in a final blood-and-guts war for the ages. The give-and-take exchanges and ebb and flows between Gatti and Ward were something of legend, entrenched in the annals of boxing lore. The rivals’ final clash had Gatti taking a 10-round unanimous decision at the Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. And the warriors both looked worse for wear, having given it all across 30 rounds of terror with the trilogy finally bringing a halt to a legendary feud as Gatti won the series 2-1.

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RIDDICK BOWE-EVANDER HOLYFIELD, NOV. 4, 1995

Bowe got the best of Holyfield in their first meeting to be crowned the new undisputed heavyweight champion back in November 1992. A year later a rejuvenated Holyfield took it to an overweight Bowe to be crowned unified world champ once again. That set the stage for a third fight at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where Bowe would overcome a knockdown to earn an eighth-round stoppage and the bragging rights that came with it over his friend.

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MARCO ANTONIO BARRERA-ERIK MORALES, NOV. 27, 2004

Two Mexican fighters who absolutely despised each other, Barrera and Morales would have three epic fights that garnered controversial decisions in three different divisions. There was the February 2000 split decision victory for Morales in a classic junior featherweight title matchup that many fans and critics thought Barrera should have won. A June 2002 rematch for the world featherweight championship left Barrera with his hand raised via unanimous decision but many thought Morales should have been declared the winner. A final resolution came when Barrera earned a majority decision over his heated rival in a junior lightweight rubber match to close out one of boxing’s best trilogies of all time.

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MUHAMMAD ALI-JOE FRAZIER, OCT. 1, 1975

What started as The Fight of the Century in a stunning knockout of Ali back in March 1971 ended four years later with the Thrilla in Manila. Both heavyweights entered the ring with the series tied at 1-1. While Ali was sharp early, fatigue would set in and “The Greatest” even resorted to the rope-a-dope strategy. However, by the end, Ali had pummeled Frazier enough for Smokin’ Joe’s corner to not allow him to answer the bell for the 15th round as Ali won the rubber match.

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MANNY PACQUIAO-JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ, NOV. 12, 2011

Pacquiao suffering the worst knockout of his Hall of Fame career in a fourth fight against Marquez was preceded by a trilogy that left the boxing community feeling like it didn’t get the closure it needed. That’s because Pacquaio was declared the majority decision winner in that third fight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, but many thought that Marquez should have won that bout. The grand total of 42 rounds of boxing between the rivals left them with a draw, two Pacquiao wins and a decisive Marquez victory that had the Mexican fighter putting the boxing legend to sleep. Epic sweet science on display.

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