The year 2004 was an interesting year for boxing. Here's some of the most memorable boxing moments of 2004.
Corrie Sanders soaking up Vitali Klitschko's best shots: Sanders gave Klitschko a fight for a little while, but eventually, the big Ukrainian proved too big and strong. In the end, it was Klitschko's punch against Sanders' chin and guts. Over and over, Klitscho nailed Sanders with his best shots, but the courageous South African never considered going down. He was finally rescued by the ref, but it was as gutty a performance as there was in 2004.
Danny Williams soaking up Klitschko's best shots: Eight months later, Klitschko found another willing target in Williams. And, like Sanders, Williiams accepted his beating like a man. He may not be the most talented guy in the world, but Williams sure showed the boxing world a thing or two about courage.
Roy Jones Jr. getting stretched twice: Something we never expected to see. The first one – a one punch knockout courtesy of Antonio Tarver – was the more shocking of the two. The second – a one punch knockout courtesy of Glencoffe Johnson – was the more violent of the two. The knockouts probably ended the career of the best fighter of the last decade.
Oscar De La Hoya getting knocked out by a body blow: Some wondered how a fighter could get knocked out via a body punch, but the pain etched on De La Hoya's face sure wasn't an act. Hopkins was too big and too strong for little Oscar – who paid the price with his liver.
Felix Trinidad back in the ring: It had been more than two years since the boxing world had seen “Tito” in gloves and trunks, and it didn't take long for the great Puerto Rican to make a statement. His war with Ricardo Mayorga was vicious, and when he prevailed via 11th-round knockout, it returned a superstar to the Sweet Science.
Acelino Freitas quitting: Granted, “Popo's” slugfest with Diego Corrales was brutal. And he had displayed grit and courage in rising from previous knockdowns. But when Freitas shook his head and provided a Brazilian version of “no mas”, it shocked fans and experts alike. A great warrior just walking away like that? Duran never quite erased the stigma. Neither will Freitas.
Juan Manuel Marquez surviving round one against Pacquiao: Marquez was superbly executing his fight plan against Filipino superstar Manny Pacquiao midway through round one when he was dropped with a straight left hand. Two more times Marquez fell, and the last time, it appeared his night was over. But Marquez made it through the round, and went on to win most of the next 11 rounds.
Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales going toe-to-toe again: This was a memorable moment from both 2000 and 2002. And the great Mexican warriors produced more unforgettable moments with their third and possibly final fight in 2004. The exchanges were numerous and brutal, and it reminded the entire boxing world why this sport is so very special.