Re: What did pre-Steward Lewis do better than post-Steward Lewis?
You're right it wasnt a drastic change, but then again that was intended. Lewis just needed polishing, to get his footwork tightened up and his balance corrected. Also there was less emphasis on brawling (where his balance was never good), and more setting up his punches behind a good jab which Lewis perfected.
Again Tucker was old. Your talking about a fighter who was in the prime of his career in the 80's and had drug problems. He was beat down by Bruce Seldon shortly after the Lewis fight and did little to show he still had a lot left thereafter. There were certain fighters such as Golota and Briggs that required Lewis to apply a lot of pressure because they were mentally weak, and there were fighters like Mavrovic and Akinwande that were a bit awkward and required a more technical approach. These are the type of things I believe Steward prepared him for. Can you imagine if he approached the Tua fight like he did the Ruddock fight? Early on he tried to knock everyone out.
What was the biggest problem with Klitschko before Steward had him, he couldnt fight, he couldnt adapt to anything but a boxing match. Alot of these guys had no plan B, or werent complete fighters, and thats what Steward does, he prepares them and gives them the correct advice for whatever the opponent brings.
Personally I think Lewis was a horrible brawler, he was too tall and clumbsy and has giant feet. When boxing went out the window he still looked sloppy offbalanced and wobbly, but it was enough to get it done against the level of competition he was facing, but it was still somewhat calculated, something that I dont think it was as much, under his previous trainers, it was more raw and unthought.
As far as the Ruddock fight, yes that was a spectacular KO, but the main point Im trying to make is that Steward made him more consistent in his performances and got him away from certain things that exposed his vunerable chin.
Lewis looked great against Ruddock. Two fights later he didnt look so great against Bruno. Two fights after that he was knocked out. Under Steward he had a long stretch of consistent wins after Steward corrected a lot of his mistakes, and that basically speaks for itself.