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Old 10-06-2012, 04:40 AM   #46
Stevie G
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius View Post
The great 70's heavyweight era really ended in 1975. To be honest, 75-79 ranks pretty high on a "shittiest five years of heavyweights" list. What was the highlight - Ali losing to Neon Leon and then regaining it? Holmes-Norton is the one of the few good scraps of that period. Frazier was done. Foreman was done. Ali was holding the title hostage. We all have an emotional connection to Ali and his most recognizable era, but most of his 70's fights after the Manilla are stinkers.

The 90's was great, opening with Douglas destroying Tyson from head to toe, and ended with a spectacular knockout of Byrd by Ibeabuchi. In between you have the Bowe-Holyfield trilogy (better than Frazier-Ali because all 3 were excellent; no one watches Ali-Frazier II), Tyson-Ruddock, Lewis vs Briggs, Holyfield bashing Tyson, Bowe-Golota, Foreman making the most memorable comeback in boxing and perhaps sport history, ending with the Klitschko's rising up the rankings.

If it comes down to a single fight including buildup, then nothing is better than Ali-Frazier I. But as a whole, the 90's had more consistent depth than the 70's.

Spot on,Pontious !!

The 1970-75 period was the golden age OF the golden age.
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Old 10-06-2012, 04:42 AM   #47
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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I agree that 1975-1979 was weak..

But I don't know if I agree with your comment that I just quoted. From 1975 to the time he lost the crown in 1978, Ali defended his title 10 times, and at points was even defending as many as four times annually. Some of those opponents included Joe Frazier, Earnie Shavers, Jimmy Young, Ken Norton, Ron Lyle, and Joe Bugner. I wouldn't exactly call that " holding the title hostage." There are some who call some of those wins "gifts", but that's a different argument entirely. And yes, there were some lesser challengers like Evangelista, Coopman, etc, but when you're defending a title that often and against the caliber of men he was facing, its inevitable that some of your defenses are going to be weak.. Jack Dempsey can be accused of holding the title hostage... Muhammad Ali can't.

Ali was one of the most active champions.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:33 AM   #48
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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Well, old Holmes also completely dominated Mercer, and like Foreman Holmes put in a quite respectable showing against Holyfield, who I think most of us could agree is a top 10 to, at worst, top 15 heavyweight all time.

But nonetheless there's an excellent point there, they weren't really beating the elite of the era, they beat kinda iffy and flawed contenders or champions who were in the right place at the right time, and sometimes they lost to iffy contenders or struggled against them, the way that Foreman needed every point to scrape by Alex Stewart and got outboxed by Tommy Morrison, of all people.

For all that we remember the 70s as Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Norton, Holmes, it also had any number of years where the top 10 contenders included Quarry, Mac Foster, Old Patterson, Jose Luis Garcia, Joe Bugner, Old Terrell, a post-Frazier Jimmy Ellis, Chuck Wepner, (who was in the Ring's top 10 in the March 74 issue and #8 the following year) etc.

I mean, how many of those guys would the old versions of Foreman and Holmes be too strong or too smart for? I think they could take care of a fair number of them, and likely put on at least respectable showings with quite a few.

Yeah I totally forgot about Mercer. It was for all intents and purposes also a title fight.

It's too hard to picture Old Holmes schooling Shavers or Lyle. Foreman has a punchers chance against anyone even at that age.
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Old 10-06-2012, 05:36 AM   #49
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

the post thriller era wasn't too bad. It had Ali who was receiving gift after gift but still fighting the best around. It had young, Norton and Holmes mixing at the top level. Shavers found his stride.

It doesn't compare to the 95-99 era though with Bowe, Tyson, Holy and Lewis. all putting in dominant showings year by year.
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Old 10-06-2012, 06:15 AM   #50
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

I think 90-94 was better than 95-99.

Prime Ruddock, pre-prison Tyson, peak Holy, peak Bowe, young Lewis, prime Mercer etc.

There was a dip in the quality in title fights in the mid 90's when the belts were fractured.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:10 AM   #51
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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Just a thought. A mixed bunch,were n't they ?


Lennox Lewis gets knocked out by a moderate fighter,Oliver McCall. McCall then gets taken to the verge of defeat by an ancient Larry Holmes. Michael Moorer gets sparked by an even more ancient George Foreman.

Could you envisage something like that happening in the seventies,for example ? Ancient versions of Foreman and Holmes even being competitive with,let alone winning,against their younger selves or Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier ?
McCall and Moorer are hardly the nineties equivalents of Ali and Frazier, now are they?
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:28 AM   #52
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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I agree with you about Lyle-Shavers,but as much as I loved/love Muhammad Ali,his first fight with Spinks was TERRIBLE !! It consisted of Muhammad lazing away the first part of the fight,and being too exhausted,old and out of condition to turn it around when he needed to. Similar to his fight with Ron Lyle three years previously. Only difference being that in the Lyle fight,Ali still had the ability,conditioning and speed to pull irons out of the fire.
It certainly was not Ali at his best, I just found it to be an exciting fight! Had Ali been at his peak it wouldn't have lasted longer than six rounds.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:45 AM   #53
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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I think 90-94 was better than 95-99.

Prime Ruddock, pre-prison Tyson, peak Holy, peak Bowe, young Lewis, prime Mercer etc.

There was a dip in the quality in title fights in the mid 90's when the belts were fractured.

Lewis was better in the latter part of the nineties,imo.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:48 AM   #54
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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It certainly was not Ali at his best, I just found it to be an exciting fight! Had Ali been at his peak it wouldn't have lasted longer than six rounds.
True,Bazza.

Even if it had been the best version of the SEVENTIES Ali (1972-74) it would n't have lasted that long.

Shows how much Muhammad had deteriorated as a fighter over the previous three years.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:49 AM   #55
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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McCall and Moorer are hardly the nineties equivalents of Ali and Frazier, now are they?

Nope ! We're talking two all time greats and two moderate fighters.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #56
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

The 1990’s rocked. Consider this. The decade had Lewis, Bowe, and Holyfield in their primes. All three are hall of fame heavyweights. In addition the older Foreman, Tyson and Holmes were active, and the Klitschko's debuted in 1996. So 6 hall of fame heavyweights were active, and that number will swell to 8 a few years after the Klitschko's retire. How many other past decades can boast 8 or more active Hall of fame active heavyweights?


The depth was excellent! Mercer, Morrison, Moorer, McCall, Ruddock, Ibeabuchi, Golota, Byrd, etc... Some of the fights were excellent. And there were memorable upsets.



I would match 1991-2000 vs. any decade in the history of the division.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:26 PM   #57
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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How many other past decades can boast 8 or more active Hall of fame active heavyweights?

Well since that number includes fighters who were either on the comeback trail or developing prospects, then we could just as easily say that the 70's had Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Holmes, Patterson, Liston, Norton and Quarry - though I'm not sure if the last two made the Hall of fame. Still the 90's were awesome. No doubt about it.

There are some criticisms that one can make though:

1. While there were a lot of great fights, some of the better matchups were either not made in a timely fashion or never at all.

2. You had two forty plus year old comeback champs who breached the rankings and one of them even took the lineal title.

3. You had two fighters who rose from lighter weight classes to take the crown and one of them became just about the best fighter of that decade.

4. You had two of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history with Douglas beating Tyson and McCall beating Lewis.

5. You had one of the division's best participants ( Tyson ) absent for nearly half the decade.

6. You had guys like Bruce Seldon and Frans Botha winning titles.

All in all it was a good era, but not without its flaws.
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #58
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

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Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
Well since that number includes fighters who were either on the comeback trail or developing prospects, then we could just as easily say that the 70's had Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Holmes, Patterson, Liston, Norton and Quarry - though I'm not sure if the last two made the Hall of fame. Still the 90's were awesome. No doubt about it.

There are some criticisms that one can make though:

1. While there were a lot of great fights, some of the better matchups were either not made in a timely fashion or never at all.

2. You had two forty plus year old comeback champs who breached the rankings and one of them even took the lineal title.

3. You had two fighters who rose from lighter weight classes to take the crown and one of them became just about the best fighter of that decade.

4. You had two of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history with Douglas beating Tyson and McCall beating Lewis.

5. You had one of the division's best participants ( Tyson ) absent for nearly half the decade.

6. You had guys like Bruce Seldon and Frans Botha winning titles.

All in all it was a good era, but not without its flaws.

Quarry is not in the hall of fame, and Liston had less left in the 70's in comparison to Foreman and Holmes in the 1990's.


Without doing research into every decade, I think the 90's is holds the record for 8 active hall of fame heavyweights. Every era has flaws.


Not all the top talent fought each other in the 70's. We never saw Frazier vs Norton or Lyle. We never say Foreman vs. Quarry, or Foreman vs. Holmes. ( Some say Foreman didn't want the match with Quarry ). We never saw Liston vs anyone great in the 70's.
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:01 PM   #59
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

Yeah as I mentioned, I wasn't certain if either Norton and Quarry had ever made the HOF, but they were still great fighters. And I admit that its kind of silly throwing Sonny Liston in as being a member of the seventies crowd. But you also went as far as to ad the Klits who's careers hadn't materialized into anything yet. Still, the nineties and the seventies were both fantastic eras. I lived through one of those eras and have done quite a bit of looking back on another..
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:23 PM   #60
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Default Re: Nineties heavyweights

There was a lot of talent in the 90s with more broad competition in general ... but the 70s still had the tougher competition and the higher ranked ATG.

The multiple belts led to this IMO so you had a lot of good fights and many challengers to getting straps.
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