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The most rewarding comeback knockouts in boxing history, including Rocky Marciano and Carl Froch, after Leigh Wood’s sensational final round knockout of Michael Conlan


A few weeks ago, Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan met in Nottingham and went head-to-head in a Fight of the Year contender, with an ending no one expected.

Conlan appeared to control the majority of the fight despite a valiant effort from Wood and it looked like the Irishman just needed to survive until the final bell to claim victory.

Mark Robinson/Matchroom

Wood and Conlan put on an all-time classic

But midway through the 12th round, Wood knocked Conlan out, sending him through the ropes to upset the odds and defend his WBA featherweight world title.

Once it was established that Conlan was fine, speculation quickly turned to Wood’s next opponent, as the Brit could now find himself in a lucrative unification bout following that one punch. .

Wood, however, is not the only man in boxing history to receive such huge rewards from a single punch late in a fight.

Here are some other memorable throwback moments in boxing…

Julio Cesar Chavez father

By 1990 Julio Cesar Chavez Sr had already amassed a 68-0 record and a reputation as one of the best fighters in the sport of boxing – and he had a huge Mexican fan base behind him.

On March 17, 1990, Chavez met an exciting young American, Meldrick Taylor, in the ring for a fight that was billed as “Thunder meets Lightning” and he won. The Ring Magazine “Fight of the Year” and “Fight of the Decade” awards.

Taylor dominated halfway through the fight using her quick hands and evasive reflexes to frustrate her Mexican opponent and build a comfortable lead on the scorecards.


In the final rounds, the relentless pressure from Chavez began to be felt and in the closing seconds of the fight, well behind on two of the three judges’ scorecards, Chavez dropped Taylor with a clean right hand to the chin and the referee waved a fight with two seconds remaining on the clock.

This knockout helped maintain Chavez’s undefeated record and propelled him to be the best fighter in the world for years to come.

Chavez also won lucrative fights with Hector Camacho, Pernell Whitaker and Oscar De La Hoya to name a few, as well as a fight with Greg Haugen at the Estadio Azteca which was attended by 132,247 spectators.

The most rewarding comeback knockouts in boxing history, including Rocky Marciano and Carl Froch, after Leigh Wood’s sensational final round knockout of Michael Conlan

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Chavez and Taylor fought again in 1994 and Chavez stopped Taylor in the eighth round

Carl Froch

We’ve all heard Carl Froch repeatedly name the fact that he punched out George Groves in front of 80,000 fans at Wembley Stadium, but was there any chance that fight never happened in the first place?

Five years earlier, when Froch was starting to make a name for himself, having just become world champion by beating Jean Pascal, he was then to face Jermain Taylor in his first title defense.

Going into the final round of the fight, Froch was down on two of the three judges’ scorecards and he needed a knockout to win.

In the final minute of round 12, Froch landed a crushing right cross to drop Taylor, who managed to get back to his feet, but Froch followed with a barrage of punches and the referee had no other choice than to end the fight with 15 seconds. left on the clock.

The victory established Froch as a legitimate world champion at 168 pounds and he went on to have a ten fight streak for the world title, including big money fights with Andre Ward, Mikkel Kessler and of course his rival the fiercer, George Groves.

The most rewarding comeback knockouts in boxing history, including Rocky Marciano and Carl Froch, after Leigh Wood’s sensational final round knockout of Michael Conlan

Getty Images – Getty

Froch’s 12th-round triumph over Taylor was as dramatic as it gets

Rocky Marciano

Rocky Marciano is famous for being the only world heavyweight champion to finish his career undefeated, but he almost didn’t become world champion at all.

The ‘Brockton Blockbuster’ received his first shot at the world heavyweight title in 1952 against the fearsome but aging champion, Jersey Joe Walcott.

Walcott was the favorite early in the fight and as the action unfolded it looked like the bookmakers were right, after Marciano was dropped in the first round and he struggled to get the power down and Walcott’s calculated aggressiveness.

Everything seemed to be going the way of the champion until the 13th round.

Marciano trailed several rounds on all three judges’ scorecards, but he managed to pull off a miraculous knockout blow out of nowhere to see himself crowned the new heavyweight champion.

This fight allowed Marciano to maintain his undefeated record and he went on to defend his world title six times, knocking out every opponent he faced and writing himself into the history books.

The most rewarding comeback knockouts in boxing history, including Rocky Marciano and Carl Froch, after Leigh Wood’s sensational final round knockout of Michael Conlan

Rocky Marciano retired with a 49-0 record

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