Originally Posted by fists of fury
I was thinking about his destruction of Ruddock, and I was thinking what a great performance that was...and that was pre-Steward. He was lighter then, and more mobile...yet he still hit with great power.
That's what got me starting this thread. Unfotunately, I don't have tapes of his earlier fights any longer, and relying on memory can be dangerous.
Lefthook - you don't think the ability to fight under adversity was there all along?
Obviously Lewis had a championship heart, but not the knowledge or experience to apply it in a tough fight. Watch the Mercer fight and listen closely to Stewards comments between rounds. Lewis was a premadonna who kept telling Steward to tell the ref that Mercer was doing this or that. He was frustrated because he was confused. His jab wasnt working and Mercer wasnt falling down. It was then that Steward basically yelled at him and told him what he had to do to win. These are the type of fights that define great fighters. Their ability to dig down deep and grind out a win. With that in mind it takes a great cornerman to complete the fighter and push him through, and its not always a name or popular guy but one that clicks with his pupil, but still has a good background of the game. Correa didnt have that with Lewis, Steward did. Steward is also very good at utlizing a fighters best talents, and he knew with Lewis size, jab and right hand he would be more effective boxing at distance, rather than trying to be a righthand crazy banger. If you ever listen to Steward talk about the Mcall fight, he knew exactly how to exploit Lewis's mistake, and told Oliver to throw his righthand at the same time Lewis did, because Lewis telegraphed it so badly that it left him wide open. Mcall had his eyes closed when he threw that shot at Lewis.
As far as the Ruddock fight, while explosive, it was still somewhat technically sloppy. Lewis' balance was not very good at that time.