Originally Posted by MMJoe
Not to pick on Shavers, but everyone you mentioned above (except Ken Norton) beat Shavers.
I think there is a psychological thing about boxers that they speak highly of the fighters that they beat and it makes their victory more appealing and ego gratifying. Somehow in the weird pecking order it also makes their losses look more (at least in their own minds) like just a bad night or lucky punch by the other guy; "Hey look, my KO loss isn't really legit, I beat Earnie ****ing Shavers."
One more example: Alfonzo Ratliff said that Craig Bodzianoski was the hardest puncher he ever fought. Ratliff beat Bodzianoski both times they fought and Ratliff rates him higher than Mike Tyson, Gary Mason, Pinklon Thomas and Tim Witherspoon, all of which KO'd Ratliff.
Ali beat both Foreman and Shavers, he has no reason to lie. Holmes beat every big puncher he faced minus Tyson, and he stated Tyson was the sharpest puncher, but Shavers was the hardest.
I see what you're saying, but there are just too many people saying the same thing about Shavers to go along with it.