Nice analysis, Old Fogey,
but I think you'll find most on the forum have Louis ahead of Holmes, either at #1 or #2. I dont think there is any need to debate Louis legacy versus Holmes, as you did. Louis is better and thats pretty much the end of it.
We should focus the Holmes era debate against the other 7 potential top10ers (i.e excepting Ali, Louis and Holmes).
Against these 'also-ran' guys, I suspect Holmes overall record stands scrutiny pretty well, in terms of a combo formula of # defences, qualiy of opposition, ranking of opposition at time of fight etc...
Also, earlier in this thread I noticed a lot of talk about Pattersons blow outs against Liston. They were big dramatic losses and rightly count against him. That is why most on the forum have him outside the top10 (although I have him scraped in at 10 for the moment).
But, it is interesting to me that Lennox Lewis has two blow outs equally as awful, yet he routinely gets ranked as high as #3 all time. On top of this, his blow outs were not against a prime Liston, one of the hardest hitters of all time and a consensus ATG, but Rahman and McCall. To me it is an interesting comparison...How do we compare Lewis's and Pattersons blow outs? Whose were worse? How does it effect their standinfg relative to each other??
Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
You fellows know a lot more about Holmes' competition than I do, but I did look up the Ring Magazine ratings from 1979 to 1985. Seven men were rated #1 or #2 contenders. Of these, Holmes fought two--Weaver and Cooney--and did not fight five--Tate, Coetzee, Dokes, Page, and Thomas. Not that good, I think. Nor were all of them that inconsistent. Thomas did not lose at all while Holmes was champion. Dokes lost only the one fight to Coetzee between 1976 and 1989, a thirteen year run.
In contrast, 14 men were rated #1 or #2 contenders between 1938 and 1948. Of these, Joe Louis defended against 9 and did not fight five while champion. Of these five, he fought two, Charles and Bivins, in his comeback. He did not fight Lem Franklin, Melio Bettina, or Elmer Ray.