"A boxing match is like a cowboy movie. There's got to be good guys and there's got to be bad guys. And that's what people pay for - to see the bad guys get beat."-Sonny Liston
Although there had been "bad guys" in boxing before Heavyweight great Sonny Liston (50-4, 39) few really summed up their role in the sport as well as Liston did. The former Heavyweight champion was of course seen as little more than a moody street thug though in all honesty he was one of the greats of the ring despite his infamous losses to Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali.
Born in to a huge family Liston was a hard hitting and poker faced fighter who would run through the top Heavyweights of the late 1950's before finally getting his world title shot against Floyd Patterson in 1962. Sadly for Liston his destruction's of Patterson in 1962 and 1963 are often forgotten as Liston lost his title in 1964 to the charismatic Ali (then called Cassius Clay) as he quit on his stool before losing a rematch in the infamous "Phantom Punch" fight.
His quote above seems to have set the mindset of Floyd Mayweather Jr who has been very happy in recent years to play "the bad guy" and has made a sizable fortune from making fans want to see him getting beat. Maybe, despite Liston's poor education, he was a man who knew what fans actually did want...or maybe not.
"Okay, Erik, deep breath now. Come on lemme, lemme put some water on your balls."-Unsure
As a boxing fan I think it's fair to say we all love Erik Morales, the crazy Mexican who made what should have been easy fights into total wars for the entertainment of everyone watching the fight. Though as much as I love Erik I'd never want to do anything to his gigantic cojones, whether that was suck, massage or well pour water on them.
The quote above comes from what appears to be a mistranslation between rounds late in Morales' bout with Zahir Raheem back in 2005. The bout, which was Ring Magazine's upset of the year for 2005 saw Morales lose a unanimous decision proving that water on the balls can't fix all of a fighters problems.
"He looks like my son's ass. A little nice and round right now." -Ricardo Mayorga
If boxing ever had a 1-man Spanish quote machine it was Nicaraguan wild man Ricardo Mayorga who may not have been the most eloquent of speakers but knew how to get a reaction and how to get under an opponents skin. It's hard to think of an opponent who Mayorga didn't offend but one of his best comments came in Showtime interview with Jim Gray in which Mayorga came out with an original insult to describe Fernando Vargas as fat.
Despite generally being known to lose the big ones (including bouts to Miguel Cotto, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad and Cory Spinks) Mayorga did actually manage to defeat Vargas in what would be "El Feroz's" last professional bout.
"I had a doctor hypnotise Andrew and so now Andrew thinks that the testicles is above the belt rather than below."-Don King
The always quote worthy Don King had to have one of his numerous quotes on here somewhere and here we are. Don King seemingly thought that having Andrew Golota hypnotised would turn the "Foul Pole" into a world beater though it all it likely did was leave Andrew hitting more testicles believing them to be level punches.
"I think Fields is next to useless personally... but that's my own personal opinion."-Steve Holdsworth
One of my favourite commentators is former fighter Steve Holdsworth who currently works for Eurosport. Holdsworth's professional career was fought between 1977 and 1978 and he amassed a record of 5-4-3 (0) though has found his place at the commentary table where he has had some legendary nights. The most legendary however is the one where he was calling the Ruslan Chagaev v Sedrick Fields fight in 2004. During the bout Holdsworth lets rip on Fields time and time again and the commentary has become a legend of it's own.
"Well madam, have you looked in the mirror and seen the state of your nose? Boxing is my excuse. What's yours?"-Henry Cooper
Former British, Commonwealth and European Heavyweight Champion Henry Cooper (40-14-1, 27) may have been best known for flattening Cassius Clay back in 1963 but the hard hitting fighter also knew how to throw verbal jabs with the best of them. After having the state of his nose questioned by Baroness Edith Summerskill (who was very anti-boxing) he replied with the beautiful counter above.
The popular Cooper fought almost everyone of note in the 1950's and 1960's including Floyd Patterson, Muhammad Ali, Ingemar Johansson, Zora Folley and Karl Mildenberger (amongst others) in a career that spanned 1954-1971. Sadly Cooper passed away last year aged 76.
"Sure there have been injuries and deaths in boxing, but none of them serious." Alan Minter
Former British Middleweight Alan "Boom Boom" Minter retired in 1981 with a career record of 39-9-0-1 (23) having held both the WBA and WBC versions of the World Middleweight title as well as the European and British title. Amongst the fighters he faced were Marvelous Marvin Hagler, Vito Antuofermo, Mustafa Hamsho, Emile Griffith, Kevin Finnegan and Tony Sibson. Despite his achievements in the ring many fondly remember his now infamous quote.