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Old 09-27-2009, 03:29 PM   #1
janitor
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Default Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

Who are the heavyweights who were never the lineal champion, but were the best on the planet at one point?

How many have there been and how distinguished is the list?

For my money the clear cut examples are:

Peter Jackson

Sam Langford

Harry Wills

Klitschko Snr and Klitschko Jr depending upon whether their title claims are recognised.

In addition I would suggest that:

Ken Norton was probably the best heavyweight on the planet in the twilight years of Muhamad Ali's title reign.

One or more of the contenders of the 80s was the best fighter on the planet late in the title reign of Larry Holmes.

Anything that I should add?
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

Pinklon Thomas.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

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Pinklon Thomas.
Interesting pick.

Justify.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

I think witherspoon has a claim, he fought holmes in a tough 50/50 fight, was never a tyson victim, his loss to bonecrusher has sometimes been called a fix.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

would eddie machen ever be considered better than liston or patterson during the latters reign?
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

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would eddie machen ever be considered better than liston or patterson during the latters reign?
Yes but the people who thought that, would be the equivalent of people who thought David Haye was going to beat Wladamir Klitschko.
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

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Yes but the people who thought that, would be the equivalent of people who thought David Haye was going to beat Wladamir Klitschko.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

Ken Norton from circa 1976 to June 9, 1978 is the standout example on the modern era for me.

There have been times when future/past lineal champs have been the best HW on the planet but couldn't get a shot, for example Liston from about 1958-59; Max Schmeling in 1936 had a pretty good claim too...
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

Jackson when Sullivan went into semi retirement.

Langford when Johnson went into semi retirement.

Wills when Dempsey went into semi retirement.

Bivins during the war years.

Frazier when Ali was exiled.

Young when he was robbed against Ali.

Norton when he beat Young.

Holmes when he beat Norton.

Spoon when he was robbed against Holmes.

Thomas when he beast Spoon.

Berbick when he beat Thomas.

Tyson when he beat Berbick.

Bowe up until Golota.

Tyson after flattening Bruno.

Holy after stopping Tyson.

Vitali after beating Sanders.

Wlad after beating Byrd.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

bet you creamed yourself when you saw this thread Luff.

Nice work.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

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bet you creamed yourself when you saw this thread Luff.

Nice work.
that actually had me laughing out loud then.

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Old 12-09-2012, 07:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

Here's 1 few people agree with;

1979 WBA Tate over WBC Holmes.

79 saw Tate take his act on the road and lick Coetzee and Knoetze in their backyard. In front of what 140,000 people?

79 saw Larry struggling against Weaver. That was a bout they could not sell to network tv and Hercules was a massive underdog going in. It turned out to be a tough fight but that was certainly not the perception going into it. It was perceived as an easier fight than Evangelista. Can you imagine the backlash if Arum had tried digging up Mike as an opponent for Tate back then?

Next, it was the Shavers rematch for Larry. He'd already completely dominated the guy and additional age isn't helping Earnie's chances. Early on in the fight, it's wash rinse repeat of the first fight. Even worse, Earnie is out of gas by about the 4th round. But Holmes doesn't do anything with the silver platter in front of him and almost loses the title getting clipped a few rounds later. The thing is, Earnie should never have been around that long.

It wasn't until 1980 that Holmes was the best after the Tate loss to Weaver & Larry was on top for a few years.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:10 PM   #13
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

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bet you creamed yourself when you saw this thread Luff.

Nice work.
Was the first poster I thought of when I saw the thread title!!!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

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Originally Posted by FastHands(beeb) View Post
Ken Norton from circa 1976 to June 9, 1978 is the standout example on the modern era for me.

There have been times when future/past lineal champs have been the best HW on the planet but couldn't get a shot, for example Liston from about 1958-59; Max Schmeling in 1936 had a pretty good claim too...


I would say that Ken Norton takes this accolade from early 1977,after George Foreman retired, up until June '78,when he lost to Larry Holmes. Prior to that,it's a little messy. Jimmy Young had the '77 Foreman's number. Norton beat Young,albeit by a small margin in November,but Foreman would still have beaten Norton.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Heavyweights who were never the lineal champion but were the best on the planet

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Originally Posted by Stevie G View Post
I would say that Ken Norton takes this accolade from early 1977,after George Foreman retired, up until June '78,when he lost to Larry Holmes. Prior to that,it's a little messy. Jimmy Young had the '77 Foreman's number. Norton beat Young,albeit by a small margin in November,but Foreman would still have beaten Norton.

Stevie, you make a very good point. I think (without wishing to resurrect an old argument) that Kenny deserved to be lineal champion after Yankee stadium, but until Young's defeat of Foreman and subsequent defeat by Norton, the picture is unclear, and one has to concede that there is a strong possibility that George would have beaten Ken in '76, even the post Ali mentally dishevelled George.
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