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Ranking the best boxing trilogies of all time heading into Canelo-GGG 3

Ali-Frazier is the best, but where do the rest compare?

Canelo Alvarez v Gennadiy Golovkin - Press Conference Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images

Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin will fight for the third time Saturday, September 17, in Las Vegas, Nevada. T-Mobile Arena will host their bout for the unified super middleweight championship. Alvarez (57-2-2) is the clear favorite at -550 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Golovkin (42-1-1), a +370 underdog, is looking to avenge the only blemishes on his record. DAZN PPV will have the live stream of the action.

There have been several boxing trilogies and ranking them is subjective, but we’re going to try. These are all based on fights I’ve actually seen in some form or another.

1. Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier

Their first fight in 1971 (“The Fight of the Century”) was one of the greatest sporting events of all time and featured one of the great knockdowns of all time. The second fight isn’t very memorable, but the “Thrilla in Manila” remains one of the great heavyweight wars as Ali battered Frazier in the late rounds and forced a corner stoppage.

2. Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran

The first two fights provided incredible drama, especially the second fight that Duran quit for reasons that have never really been confirmed. The third fight in 1989 was more of a money grab than anything (and it worked, Leonard made $13M and Duran made around $7.5M). Still the memories of the two fights in 1980 remain vivid.

3. Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

This was actually a four-fight special with the first fight going to a draw after Pacquiao dropped Marquez three times in the first round. Pacquiao took disputed decisions in the second and third fights, but Marquez got the definitive victory in 2012, a knockout to close the debate.

4. Erik Morales vs. Marco Antonio Barrera

It took three fights to settle this grudge between two Mexican boxers that made it personal. Morales won the first fight, a split decision that many thought he lost. But Barrera took the second fight by unanimous decision and the third fight, that many thought Morales won, by majority decision. Their first fight in 2000 was Ring Magazine’s Fight of the Year.

5. Israel Vasquez vs. Rafael Marquez

This four-fight series is vastly underrated and featured some of the best fights ever seen in the super bantamweight division. The 2007 and 2008 fights were Ring Magazine’s “Fight of Year”. The fighters split the series with Marquez getting two knockouts and Vasquez getting a knockout and a wild 12-round decision win. Check these fights out on YouTube if you’ve never seen them before.

Others that missed the cut: Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder; Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe; Micky Ward vs. Arturo Gatti.