ESB Jr Member
Join Date: May 2007
What If...90s HWs - Who comes out on top - Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, or Lewis?
What would have happened to the 90s era HWs IF.........................
1. Tyson was acquitted (which he should have been), stayed focused on boxing, and perhaps hired Kevin Rooney back
2. Holyfield didn't have any health problems - Heart/Shoulder/Hepatitis A, whatever
3. Bowe (Rock Newman) was willing to fight Lewis, plus stay in shape
4. Lewis was not so beholdent to the WBC
Which of the big 4 would have emerged as the best heavyweight - Tyson? Holyfield? Bowe? Lewis?
Basically I want you to pick the winners of the following fights...................
Then tell me............
Which of the 4 would have emerged as the best?
How would the fights have affected the big 4's ranking as far as all time HWs go?
And finally, had these fights happened would the 90s era have matched or perhaps exceeded the golden age of the 70s HWs?
Note - regarding Bowe/Holyfield I and II - you can leave these fights as is, which is what I have done with my predictions, just say the fight happened like it did in real life, although if you want you can argue for a different result. The reason why I personlly left Bowe/Holyfield I and II the same is that they were prime v. prime clashes that we as boxing fans have little to complain about.
HERE ARE THE FIGHTS I WANT YOU TO PREDICT...................
1991 - Holyfield/Tyson I
1992 - Bowe/Holyfield I
1993 - Bowe/Lewis I
1994 - A HW tournament is announced (ala the 74 tournament that
matched up Ali/Frazier on one side and Foreman/Norton on the
other, with the winners meeting later that year)
Holyfield and Lewis fight on one side of the bracket
Bowe and Tyson fight on the other side of the bracket
Winners meet later that year
Plus the winners...............(Holy/Tyson II, or Holy/Bowe III, or
Lewis/Tyson, or Bowe/Lewis II are the possible fights)
1995 - This obviously hinges on how you pick the tournament to go but
for me here are the fights that would have happened in 95.....
Bowe/Holyfield III (no Hepatitis A for Holy here)
1996 - Lewis/Bowe III
Anyway basically pick the winners of the above fights as you think it would have happened..................
1991 - Holyfield/Tyson I - Holyfield 12th round TKO
I see Tyson winning 4 out of the first 5 rounds, possibly dominating Holyfield in those rounds. But Holyfield's iron chin and will, and superior boxing ability takes over in the middle and late rounds. I see Holyfield starting to time Tyson better coming in. Holyfield would tie Tyson up effectively and use his feet effectively. I see Holyfield's counter punching style as almost a perfect foil for Mike past round 5. Tyson would slow down just enough for a prime Holyfield to take over. And Holyfield eventually gets him in the 12th in a great fight.
1992 - Tyson beats some no name opponents
Lewis/Rudduck - same as actually happened - Lewis KO 2
Bowe/Holyfield I - same as actually happened - Bowe UD
1993 - Bowe/Lewis I - Bowe 9th round KO
Bowe prime here, Lewis was not; plus Bowe had the better uppercut, left jab, chin, and in fighting skills over the somewhat raw Lewis that pawed too much with his jab and had a defense that was not as tight as when Steward got a hold of him, Lewis's right hand would be a real threat but Eddie Futch would effectively gameplan to limit the danger of Lewis's right just enough for Bowe to knock Lewis out before Lewis can knock Bowe out - great fight, best big man fight of all time....
Holyfield beats Stewart just like in real life
Tyson fights and KOs Tommy Morrison in the 4th
Bowe crushes Jesse Ferguson just like in real life
Lewis fights and beats Bruno just like in real life
Bowe/Holyfield II - same as actually happened - Holyfield MD
Tyson crushes a shot Dokes
1994 - Results of the 94 HW tournament
Holyfield/Lewis - Holyfield UD (close but clear decision, Holyfield's superior workrate + effective aggression get him the nod)
Bowe/Tyson - Tyson 6th round KO (think Hagler/Hearns for
HWs, both guys go down perhaps before Tyson finishes it)
Holy/Tyson II - Holyfield UD (Tyson makes adjustments from
their first fight but it is not enough)
Lewis fights and loses to McCall just like in real life
Bowe fights Foreman and wins
1995 - Bowe/Lewis II - Lewis UD
Non title fight between Bowe and Lewis here for the rematch - Lewis wins because Lewis is now prime, Manny Steward has made Lewis's jab a lot more effective, has tightened up Lewis's defense, and the extra 10 plus pounds (particularly with the legs) has made Lewis a more balanced and complete fighter. Lewis outpoints a still close to prime Bowe in yet another great fight. Lewis possibly finishes Bowe late, but I say Lewis by close but clear UD.
Holyfield as undisputed champ fights Michael Moorer and knocks
him out like he did in their real fight in 97
Lewis/Tyson I - Tyson KO 5th round (Tyson is losing competitvely
on the cards but catches Lewis perfectly with a ferocious right
hand and gets the KO)
Holyfield fights Ray Mercer and wins the decision just like he did
in real life in 95
Bowe/Holy III - Holyfield 6th round TKO - this time Holyfield
doesn't have Hepatitis A, and thus when he knocks Bowe down
in the 6th he finishes the job in the corner and Cortez stops the
Afterwards, Holyfield retires as undisputed champion with only
the one loss to Bowe on his record. Holyfield is ranked as high
as 3rd all time by Ring Magazine with his resume - 2 wins over a
near prime Tyson, 2 wins over a prime Bowe, 1 win over a near
prime Lewis, plus the victories over Dokes, Foreman, Holmes, Moorer, and Mercer, and again only the 1 loss to a prime Bowe in 92.
1996 - With Holyfield retired, the 3 major belts are up for grabs again...
Tyson beats Bruno for the WBA crown
Bowe beats Golota by disqualification for the IBF crown
Lewis beats Morrison for the WBC crown
Lewis/Bowe III - Lewis 5th round KO
Bowe is now badly faded/perhaps shot at this point and Lewis is too strong for him and gives the most dominating performance of his career.
Lewis has the WBC and IBF crowns now
Lewis fights and beats Mercer by a close decision just like their real fight.
Bowe fights Golota again to get respect back; but again he gets
battered, but wins by disqualification
Bowe retires after his 2nd fight with Golota at the end of 96
1997 - Lewis/Tyson II for the undisputed championship
Lewis - 11th round TKO
The physical advantages for Lewis are evident here. Lewis is 6-5, a full 6 inches taller than the 5-11 Tyson. Lewis's reach is 84 inches, a full 13 inch advantage on the 71 inch Tyson. Lewis is also a good 25 pounds heavier. I see Tyson doing pretty well in the first 5 rounds though. In fact, I think he wins 3 out of the first 5 rounds in a pretty competitive fight. But then Lewis takes over. He eventually hurts Mike with an uppercut in the mid rounds. Mike starts to slow down, becomes less aggressive, and becomes even easier to hit. It is at this point (past round 5) that the fight starts to look a lot like their fight in 2002. Lewis starts hitting Tyson almost at will with his jab, and then starts hammering the right hand successfully. Tyson's near granite chin though, plus Lewis's generally cautious style and healthy fear for Tyson's power keeps Tyson in the fight though. But eventually Lewis is too much and the ref stops the fight in the 11th.
Lewis is undisputed champ
Tyson fights another year or two then retires
Lewis goes on to fight many of the same opponents he did in
real life, and retires after the Vitali fight in 2003
So after how the 90s should have gone..........
Holyfield is a top 5 HW on nearly everyone's list with 2 wins over a near prime Tyson, 2 wins over prime Bowe, a win over a near prime Lewis (thus posting an impressive 5-1 mark aganst the other 3), plus the wins over Dokes, Douglas, Foreman, Holmes, Moorer, and Mercer, and again only the single loss to a prime Bowe in 92.
Lewis is a top 10 HW on nearly everyone's list with 2 wins over a near prime Bowe, a win over a past prime but still formidable Tyson, competitive losses to Bowe, Holyfield, and Tyson, plus the wins he racked up like Rudduck, Mercer, Tua, Vitali, etc.
Tyson is a top 10 HW on nearly everyone's list as well with wins over a prime Bowe in 94, prime Lewis in 95, Spinks in 88, prime Rudduck twice in 91, two competitive losses to Holyfield, one competitive loss to Lewis in 97, and the other wins he racked up.
Bowe is a top 15 HW on nearly everyone's list with having the only win over a prime Holyfield, wins over a near prime Lewis in 93, competitive losses to Holyfield, Tyson, and Lewis, and the other wins he racked up - Tubbs, Foreman, etc.
All in all, the 90s era HWs would have ended up matching the golden era of the 70s HWs had the above happened. Too bad it didn't.
So tell me which of the big 4 would have emerged as the best heavweight of the 4?