Who needs Mayweather-McGregor? There's already been plenty of brawling outside the ring already this week.
On Thursday, in the midst of a beanball war, the Yankees and Tigers engaged in a scuffle that wasn't your typical "all talk, no action" shoving match on the diamond. After Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer plunked the Yankees' Gary Sanchez (who had hit a home run off him earlier), New York reliever Aroldis Chapman threw behind Miguel Cabrera, which prompted a face-to-face confrontation between Miggy and catcher Austin Romine at the plate. One shove, several swings and a big scrum later, we had ourselves a real donnybrook.
MLB handed down multiple suspensions for the melee on Friday: Cabrera got the biggest punishment with seven games, while Sanchez and Tigers pitcher Alex Wilson each got four (Romine received a two-game suspension and Detroit manager Brad Ausmus got a one-game punishment). All players are planning to appeal.
Thursday was ugly, but it was only the latest example in a long line of memorable sports fights.
Malice at the Palace: Indiana Pacers vs. Detroit Pistons, Nov. 19, 2004: Ron Artest was trying to cool down on the scorer's table. If that beer lands two feet in any other direction, it's likely this is just a run-of-the-mill fight that never ascends to one of the most infamous brawls in sports history. But this would top any list, since it not only involved players, but fans in the stands. The fight was so bad it resulted in league policy changes (players are no longer allowed to leave the bench during an on-court scuffle).
Los Angeles Lakers' Kermit Washington vs. Houston Rockets' Rudy Tomjonavich, Dec. 9, 1977: It was one of the scariest moments in any fight in sports history and ended Tomjonavich's playing career, stopping just short of ending his life. He suffered a concussion, broken nose and jaw and later told of tasting the spinal fluid that leaked into his mouth. Fights were much more common in the 1970s-era NBA but it was Washington's punch that led to the league enacting rules like suspensions for leaving the bench that make fights like that rare in the league since. Tomjonavich went on to win two titles in 1994 and 1995 as the Rockets' head coach, and Washington earned a 60-day suspension and a $10,000 fine. Two weeks later, the Lakers traded him to Boston.
Denver Nuggets' Carmelo Anthony vs. New York Knicks' Mardy Collins, Dec. 16, 2006: Carmelo Anthony took his shot and didn't bother staying in position to play defense after he took it? Surely, you jest. Knicks fans didn't seem to hold a judge. Five years later, they welcomed him after the Nuggets traded him to New York.
New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy vs. Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning's Leg, May 1, 1998: The Heat-Knicks rivalry was one of the underrated highlights of the late 90's NBA. They met in the postseason in four consecutive years, spawning several skirmishes, but none better than this one in Year 2. And If there's a funnier image on this list than Van Gundy clinging for dear life to Mourning's leg, I haven't seen it. New York won Game 4 after the fight and took the series, too.
Cincinnati vs. Xavier, Dec. 10, 2011: College hoops fights are even rarer than NBA fights, but I can only assume these two crosstown rivals went toe-to-toe after someone besmirched Skyline Chili. Cincy-Xavier is quietly one of college basketball's most intense rivalries, but never more intense than on this day. Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin took his players' jerseys off after the game, and both coaches had multiple players apologize publicly after handing out their suspensions.
Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers ... fans, Dec. 23, 1979: The rules of engagement in the NHL do not include climbing the glass, going into the stands and fighting opposing fans. Only one Bruins player stayed on the ice in the moments after Boston's 4-3 win, but only three players were suspended. The NHL did have the sense to raise the glass league-wide in the wake of the brawl.
Brawl in HockeyTown: Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings, March 26, 1997: It started with an ugly hit from the Avalanche's Claude Lemieux and refused to end. There was no better way to get out the bad blood from a playoff series the previous season, when Colorado eliminated Detroit. The teams played each other three times without incident, but Lemieux's hit on the Wings' Kris Draper shattered his cheekbone, broke his jaw and required reconstructive surgery, as well as his jaw being wired shut.
Montreal vs. Philadelphia, May 14, 1987: Why wait until the game starts when you can just fight in pregame? The Canadiens took offense to a mostly harmless pregame ritual before Game 6 of the conference finals. Some of the players hadn't even donned all their gear yet. Montreal liked to shoot all the loose pucks into their opponent's net before the game, and two Philadelphia players waited to ignite the brawl until the Canadiens' left the ice. The fight delayed the TV broadcast by 17 minutes, but Philadelphia eliminated Montreal from the playoffs with a win later that night.
Philadelphia vs. Ottowa, March 5, 2004: Goalie fights are the best hockey fights. That is a fact. Officials handed out an NHL record 419 penalty minutes for this melee, which seemed to involve almost everyone on both sides.
The Yankees' Alex Rodriguez vs. the Red Sox's Jason Varitek, July 24, 2004: A-Rod was just trying to kindly disagree with pitcher Bronson Arroyo's decision to hit him, offering up a beginners' tutorial on lip reading. Then catcher Jason Varitek stepped in and smothered Rodriguez's face with his catcher's mitt and it was on. The rumor was that Varitek told A-Rod, "We don't throw at .260 hitters," although that was never confirmed by either player.
The Red Sox's Pedro Martinez vs. the Yankees' Don Zimmer, Oct. 11, 2003: In the lengthy pantheon of Red Sox-Yankees fights, there is no more indelible image than Zimmer's 72-year-old bald head careening toward the turf while Martinez stands by and tries to figure out what just happened (Pedro, Manny Ramirez and the Sox took exception to the Yanks' Roger Clemens pitching inside that game). New York lost the fight but won this game -- Game 3 -- and the ALCS, beating Boston in Game 7 off an Aaron Boone home run to deny the Red Sox a trip to the World Series.
The Rangers' Nolan Ryan vs. the White Sox's Robin Ventura, August 4,1993: Somehow, Ventura was not legally required to retire after taking a beating from 20 years older than him. He charged the mound, but Ryan threw inside with the confidence of a man who knew he could handle himself if a batter took exception. And, yes, Ryan has signed that indelible photo.
The Red Sox's Mo Vaughn vs. the White Sox's George Bell, Sept. 6, 1993: Take notes, kids. If you're going to charge the mound, make sure you pay mind to your peripheral vision. Otherwise, you might get blindsided by 250-plus pounds of a first baseman named Mo. Bell tried to come at Aaron Sele after a high and inside pitch, but paid the price almost immediately.
New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles, May 19, 1998: There were a lot of takedowns, but everyone involved gets an "F" here for their tackling form. Baltimore closer Armando Benitez drilled New york's Tino Martinez in the back and immediately got tossed. Martinez wanted to make sure the Orioles' pitcher got a fitting send-off.
Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor vs. Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista, May 15, 2016: In the previous year's ALDS, Bautista unleashed a big-time bat flip after a key home run on the way to eliminating the Rangers. A borderline dirty slide on a double play ball re-lit the fuse and Odor exploded.
Miami vs. FIU, Oct. 14, 2006: It's the worst brawl in college football history, but it gave us The Legend of (A'Mod) Ned, the FIU running back who heroically charged into the fray while on crutches. Stick around for the Hurricanes' body slam. Miami was in the waning years of its dynasty and Florida International was 0-7, in the middle of a 35-0 shutout. There was no way this brawl wasn't happening between the two schools separated by just nine miles. Ex-Miami receiver and commentator Lamar Thomas was criticized for complimenting the Hurricanes' players during the TV broadcast. "You can't come over to our place talking noise like that. You'll get your butt beat," he said. "I was about to go down the elevator to get in that thing...I say, why don't we meet outside in the tunnel after the ball game and get it on some more? You don't come into the OB (Orange Bowl), baby."
South Carolina vs. Clemson, Nov. 20, 2004: The craziest thing about this brawl is it happened the day after the Malice at the Palace. Call these boys copycats. It was also a sad finale for Lou Holtz at South Carolina, who handed the program to Steve Spurrier after the 29-7 loss. The two teams met at midfield and shook hands the next year.
Houston Oilers DC Buddy Ryan vs. Houston Oilers OC Kevin Gilbride, Jan. 2, 1994: Not only is this the only featured fight on the list featuring coaches, it came between coaches on the same team. The two had been at each other's throats all season, fueled by Ryan's inability to stop his defense from taking perceived cheap shots during practice. After Ryan took exception to a mistake from Gilbride's offense, he wanted to take a cheap shot of his own. The team went 12-4, but Ryan left the Oilers after his lone season on the sidelines.
Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson vs. Tennessee Titans CB Cortland Finnegan, Nov. 28, 2010: Johnson towers over Finnegan, but when you're as much of an irritant as Finnegan routinely was throughout his career, it means Johnson gets near unanimous applause from fans around the league when he delivers a beatdown. Finnegan even referenced the fight in his retirement announcement in 2015, jabbing Johnson one more time. "He hits like a bish (sic)," he wrote.
Keegan Bradley vs. Miguel Angel Jimenez, May 1, 2015: If you watch long enough, you'll see Jimenez passive aggressively place his palm on Bradley's shoulder. Ugly. The two had disagreed over a ruling, but this is a gentleman's game, after all.
Happy Gilmore vs. Bob Barker, Feb. 16, 1996: Golf's most infamous pro-am pairing went south after Gilmore struggled on the green.
Clint Bowyer vs. Jeff Gordon, Nov. 11, 2012: Is this the longest preamble/sprint to a fight in racing history? So much anticipation, and it delivered. Gordon caused Bowyer to wreck during the race and Bowyer did his best to wreck Gordon when it was over.
Matt Kenseth vs. Brad Keselowski, Oct. 11, 2014: Are we sure this wasn't a scripted WWE spot? Like, 100 percent positive? There was a small skirmish on the track after the race, but Kenseth wanted to get the last word in and found Keselowski in the garage later.
Tony Stewart vs. Joey Logano, March 24, 2013: Come for the punches, stay for Stewart's amazing post-fight interview. In that moment, Tony Stewart sounds exactly like a dad who just drove his wife and three kids through a crowded city's traffic jam for three hours and is fighting a losing battle with his road rage.