Originally Posted by Theron
Listons prime and best was the 2 Cleveland Williams fights
Holyfield couldnt hit nearly as hard as Williams or throw power combination as quick and hard as he did
Liston had a much much better jab and would keep Holyfield off balance the whole fight
And his power was great in both his right and left so i see that working in favour of Liston as well being a two handed puncher that can throw straight and had great boxing skills.
Cleveland Williams sucked!
Holyfield had plenty of power. He stopped Dwight Qawi in 4, Ossie Ocasio in 11, Carlos DeLeon in 8, James Tillis in 5, Pinklon Thomas in 7, Michael Dokes in 10, Adilson Rodrigues in 2, Alex Stewart in 9, James Douglas in 3, Bert Cooper in 7, Bobby Czyz in 5, Mike Tyson in 11, Michael Moorer in 8... and others. He didn't stop Mercer or Bowe but he did drop both men.
Holyfield fought big men who were also athletic and durable. Foreman, Holmes, Bowe, and Lewis were 4 of the best big men ever... even if Foreman and Holmes were past age 40.
Holyfield would be 2" taller than Liston.
Their weight is similar:
Holyfield's- HW World title weigh-in weights ranged from 205-221 Lbs. and he was always ripped. His lowest HW weight was 202 Lbs.
Liston's- ranged from 213-218 Lbs. but his lowest HW weight was 198 Lbs.
Liston's has been listed as long as 84"... which I doubt. Holyfield's has been listed as long as 78"... but I believe it is more like 77 1/2". Anyway, it's not a huge factor here. Holyfield fought Foreman, Holmes, Bowe x3, and Lewis x2. He also fought Rahman who has a reach of 82" and Valuev who has a reach of 85" (I'm aware that Valuev was a slow and awkward fighter).
Holyfield is faster and has better footwork.
Strength? It's close but Holyfield proved he could push around much bigger men than Liston had to deal with. I'm going with Holyfield here. Liston is much smaller than many of the fighters Holyfield faced. Holyfield is bigger than almost all of the fighters Liston faced.
Punching Power? I'll give Liston a slight edge here. He didn't show his power vs. the big durable fighters like Holyfield faced though.
Durability? Holyfield. He proved his toughness vs. a much better class of fighter.
Jab? I'll go with Liston but it was a slower jab than Holmes, Bowe, or Lewis had. Rahman's jab was about as fast, as long, and pretty hard as well.
I'll take Holyfield by decision or late round KO/TKO. Liston would have his moments early on but by the middle rounds Holyfield takes control.
A decision win over Machen and KO wins over Patterson x2, Folley, and Williams x2 will not be enough to prepare Liston for Holyfield. Machen, Patterson, and Folley were small Heavyweights who would easily make Cruiserweight today. Williams was 6'3" with an 80" reach and his best weight was around 210 Lbs... he was the worst of this group but the biggest physically, not a huge man and not the most durable man though.