Before two fighters meet in the squared ring a different kind of ballet takes place first. We're not talking about the precision dance consisting of jabs, hooks and uppercuts combatants exchange during the fight, but the mental warfare that takes place in the moments leading up to it.
From intense stare downs to verbal assaults, the pre-fight hoopla is more than hype; it's an intimidation tactic.
This Saturday, September 17, "Vicious" Victor Ortiz will attempt to dethrone one of boxing's biggest names, Floyd "Money" Mayweather, in a 12-round welterweight title fight. Just before the fight, both fighters will make the long walk through the arena to a song of their choosing, continuing a tradition that has spanned decades.
Both guys have already started talking knockout, and come Saturday they will have to walk the walk. Literally. As fight night gets closer, we put together a list of boxing's best ring entrance songs.
"Bad to the Bone" (George Thorogood and the Destroyers)
One of the key characteristics every successful fighter possesses is self-confidence. A fighter needs more than tangible traits like, speed, strength or stamina when he steps into a ring; he needs to know he is one bad man.
You don't have to be a finesse fighter like Mayweather to cement a legacy in boxing annals. Raw power has gone a long way in making that kind of statement. This riff is indeed a vulgar display of power that warns your opponent that you are, "one step from lashing out at you."
"Matador" (Los Fabulosos Cadillacs)
Boxing is also called the sweet science because it isn't just a barroom brawl, but a series of rhythmic movements between hands and feet. El Matador displays skill, grace and athleticism to subdue a raging bull. That's something Mayweather is going to need if he is going to hold off the onslaught of Ortiz.
"Mama Said Knock You Out" (LL Cool J)
OK, neither man has been instructed by their mamas to knock the other out -- but it's something both of them have promised. LL Cool J captures the controlled aggression it's going to take to get the job done in this 1990 jam.
"Eye of the Tiger" (Survivor)
Call it cliche, but Stallone got it right in Rocky III. In case you haven't been following the awesome HBO program, 24/7, Victor Ortiz is a 24-year-old man who was abandoned first by his mother when he was just seven, and then his father before he was a teenager. Ortiz is, "just a man and his will to survive." He has the eye of the tiger in this soiree.
What would be your ring entrance?
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.