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Old 08-21-2007, 09:46 PM   #31
Mendoza
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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If Wladimir Klitschko announced his next fight against an opponent the equivalent of Lorenzo Zanon, Scott LeDoux or Lucien Rodriguez there'd be a TON OF CRITICISM falling on Wlad.

Actually, some of Holmes' challengers you would scoff at their chances of giving a 2007 Holyfield any sort of fight. Holmes probably fought one or two you wouldn't count on to get past Vinny Maddalone, in all honesty.

I dont doubt Holmes's greatness, but it's true that a lot of his title opposition was absolute ****.
I think we all agree that Holmes had some easy title defenses. Any long tenured champion does, and that includes Joe Louis. The modern day example would be Hopkins. Many of the names on his consecutive title defense ledger are relative unknowns too.

What history should focus on is not Holmes version of the bum of the month club, but his wins over quality heavyweights in Norton, Witherpsoon, Smith, Shavers, Weaver, and ****ey. Those were good title defenses. Most champions fail to have 6 title defenses in a row. Holmes managed to come within one fight of tying Rocky Marciano’s un-defeated record. Advanced age had a lot to do with his first loss. Holmes can hang his hat here.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:08 PM   #32
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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I have to disagree a little with what you said regarding Page, Thomas, e.t.c. While it's true that those guys were very inconsistent and unpredictable, they were also good fighters, especially when they were motivated and well-trained(which wasn't often, I'll admit). However, Holmes chose to fight other fighters who weren't well respected or who were not thought of highly - Frank, Jones, Rodriguez -when he just as readily could have fought Dokes, Page, Thomas, e.t.c. Greg Page was Holmes' mandatory; Holmes was obligated to fight Page and chose not to. Do you think if Marvis Frazier or Scott Frank or Lucien Rodriguez had ever been Holmes' mandatory that Larry would have avoided fighting them? Probably not. He more than likely would have fought them willingly. However, no matter what the skeptics or Holmes apologists say, Greg Page was a good fighter that had more skill than the above-mentioned fighters I just named. The same goes for Pinklon Thomas. Sure they were flawed and inconsistent, but they had natural talent that those other guys didn't. That's why Holmes found excuses not to fight them. Holmes was to get $3.1 million to fight Page; that was alot of money in 1983(Holmes got the same for Tyson in '8. But Holmes gave up his belt instead of fulfilling his mandatory. And it's strange how Holmes never gave Witherspoon a rematch after such a close fight; the same for Williams.
Greg Page was a disappointment. His career highlight was beating Coetzee, but aside from that he lost his other high stakes matches to the likes of Witherpsoon, Bey, and Berbick, which concidentely were fighters Holmes had already beaten. If Page defeated Bey in 1984, perhaps Holmes gives Page the title shot next. But of course Bey won the fight, and got a chance at Holmes title next. As an then undefeated fighter, Bey picked up some momentum from the Page hype, then was badly outclassed and knocked out by Holmes in his next fight.

Don King felt the hype attached to Page’s name. Page could punch. He also had some geographical comparisons to Ali. Holmes main flaw as champion was not skill. It was popularity. Don King saw a great opportunity to make money. The hype attached to Page’s name combined with the fans who just wanted to see Holmes lose would have put rear ends in the seats. This is a big reason why Page had a chance to fight Holmes. Holmes big mistake was not picking Page to tie Maricano’s record. Page was often out of shape, and unmotivated. At his best Page could tease you with ability, but Page’s best nights were far and few between.

Thomas was a fine fighter, but he came along at the tail end of Holmes career. Perhaps Holmes could have fought Thomas instead of Carl Williams, but the two were near even with each other when Willaims got the title shot. I don’t think Holmes had enough time to officially avoid Thomas, which leads me to my next question! Does anyone know who Holmes would have fought next had he defeated Spinks to break Marciano’s record? It could have been Thomas.
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Old 08-21-2007, 10:11 PM   #33
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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I think we all agree that Holmes had some easy title defenses. Any long tenured champion does, and that includes Joe Louis. The modern day example would be Hopkins. Many of the names on his consecutive title defense ledger are relative unknowns too.

What history should focus on is not Holmes version of the bum of the month club, but his wins over quality heavyweights in Norton, Witherpsoon, Smith, Shavers, Weaver, and ****ey. Those were good title defenses. Most champions fail to have 6 title defenses in a row. Holmes managed to come within one fight of tying Rocky Marciano’s un-defeated record. Advanced age had a lot to do with his first loss. Holmes can hang his hat here.
All good points,

Not every opponent that Joe Louis fought was of the quality of a Schmeling, Wlacott or Baer. Not all of Rocky's fights were against a Walcott, Moore or lastarza. Not everyone Tyson beat was a Spinks, Tucker or Thomas. The same could even be said for Muhammad Ali who arguably fought the best comp of all of them.

When taken into the right context, Holmes' reign as champion wasn't much different from that of most champions. In fact, I'd say he was better than most. What's more, while Holmes certainly fought a lot of undeserving challengers, he also probably fought more young undefeated contenders on the rise, than just about any other champion including Muhammad Ali. In addition, even some of the guys who had some losses were still very competitive and even left some impressive legacies behind. Norton, Shavers, Weaver, Witherspoon, Berbick, ****ey and Mercer ( later ) were all fine fighters, many of whom left boxing with noteable career accomplishments. Even some of the other guys like Jones, Frank and Snipes were not as bad as we sometimes like to think.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:42 AM   #34
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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Greg Page was a disappointment. His career highlight was beating Coetzee, but aside from that he lost his other high stakes matches to the likes of Witherpsoon, Bey, and Berbick, which concidentely were fighters Holmes had already beaten. If Page defeated Bey in 1984, perhaps Holmes gives Page the title shot next. But of course Bey won the fight, and got a chance at Holmes title next. As an then undefeated fighter, Bey picked up some momentum from the Page hype, then was badly outclassed and knocked out by Holmes in his next fight.

Don King felt the hype attached to Page’s name. Page could punch. He also had some geographical comparisons to Ali. Holmes main flaw as champion was not skill. It was popularity. Don King saw a great opportunity to make money. The hype attached to Page’s name combined with the fans who just wanted to see Holmes lose would have put rear ends in the seats. This is a big reason why Page had a chance to fight Holmes. Holmes big mistake was not picking Page to tie Maricano’s record. Page was often out of shape, and unmotivated. At his best Page could tease you with ability, but Page’s best nights were far and few between.

Thomas was a fine fighter, but he came along at the tail end of Holmes career. Perhaps Holmes could have fought Thomas instead of Carl Williams, but the two were near even with each other when Willaims got the title shot. I don’t think Holmes had enough time to officially avoid Thomas, which leads me to my next question! Does anyone know who Holmes would have fought next had he defeated Spinks to break Marciano’s record? It could have been Thomas.
So, Scott Frank, Marvis Frazier, Lucien Rodriguez, and Scott Frank were not disappointments? Only Greg Page was? And, what you fail to address is, Greg Page won the elimination fight for the right to fight Holmes. But Page didn't get his shot at Holmes. Why not? You said that David Bey won the fight against Greg Page and was rewarded a shot at Holmes. Why didn't Holmes be so generous when it was Greg Page doing the winning? Especially when it was an eliminator expressly for the purpose of selecting Holmes' next challenger.
Fighting guys who are not well regarded or highly ranked when you are a champion is bad enough. But it's worse when you continue to fight those guys while you have a good, skillful heavyweight waiting in the wings who is your mandatory!
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:38 AM   #35
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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So, Scott Frank, Marvis Frazier, Lucien Rodriguez, and Scott Frank were not disappointments? Only Greg Page was? And, what you fail to address is, Greg Page won the elimination fight for the right to fight Holmes. But Page didn't get his shot at Holmes. Why not? You said that David Bey won the fight against Greg Page and was rewarded a shot at Holmes. Why didn't Holmes be so generous when it was Greg Page doing the winning? Especially when it was an eliminator expressly for the purpose of selecting Holmes' next challenger.
Fighting guys who are not well regarded or highly ranked when you are a champion is bad enough. But it's worse when you continue to fight those guys while you have a good, skillful heavyweight waiting in the wings who is your mandatory!

There were reasons why the Greg Page fight never materialized.
In 1983, Larry Holmes and Don King parted ways, and Holmes became an independant champion who promoted his own fights. King was a close associate of the president of the WBC, and was also in control of Greg Page's career as well. Holmes and King had a very bad falling out, and Larry didn't want to do any sort of Business with him anymore, especially if it meant getting ****d of his purse. You see, what a lot of people don't realize, is that even though the Page fight would have made him some 3.1 million, he wouldn't have walked away with a lot of it. At the end of the day, KIng would sometimes end up with as much as 55% of a fighter's purse. Holmes shuttered at such a thought and began putting together his own fights. In late 1983, he was approached by the newly formed IBF organization and told that they would really like for him to bear their title. Holmes began calling fighters like Scott Frank over the telephone personally himself . He called Joe Frazier and spoke to him extensively about setting up a match with his son Marvis, which ended up being a nontitle fight in the interval between dropping the WBC and acquiring the IBF.

My point of the matter is this, history is not built on fact. It's merely based on fact. People often choose to believe what they want in an effort to create their own understanding of history. While I agree that Holmes probably should have fought certain challengers as opposed to some of the men he actually did face, I also believe that their were more explanations to his not fighting them than a mere case of cold feet or greed for that matter. In the real world business deals are made and broken constantly depending on the ability of two or more entities to see eye to eye. Seeing as how 1983 is long over with, and we'll never know all the facts of the so called history, I prefer to take Holmes career into a context that foucuses on the good things that he did rather than nit picking about him never facing a handful of fighters who at best had 3 good wins a piece, drug problems and were often washed up by the time they were in their late 20's.
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:38 AM   #36
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

The main issue regarding Holmes challengers is that he failed to face many of the most deserving contenders and some of his challengers were less deserving than guys he failed to face.
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:02 AM   #37
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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I watched Leroy Jones fight in the amatuers and Pro's, he was a fat, slow boxer, who was not much of a puncher, I remember Tom Bethea(a middleweight) beating him up in the 28th st. gym in N.Y. city (Howie Albert and Gil Clancey's gym) Evangelista and Rodriguez were bums,Ledoux was a tough jouneyman but really limited his best fight was a draw vs Norton), Ossie Ocasio had 13 fights, Frazier 10, Leon Spinx 10-2-2 (KO'din 1 by Coetzee in a few fight before that) David Bey was 14-0 but lost 6 of his next 7 fights after Holmes and went 5-3-1 in his last 9 fights. Weaver was 19-8 . going into the Holmes fight and that fight gave him confidence. Weaver should have gotten a rematch,especially after he won a title.Witherspoon was 16-0 and Williams was 15-0 and a lot of people felt they beat Larry but Larry never rematched them. Thomas had a moment,Dokes, Page, Coetzee proberly the best fighters other than Holmes and Big John Tate looked ok for a bit but that fight never materialized after Tate was strectched by Weaver and went downhill from there. I liked Larry as a fighter right after the Norton fight but was waiting for a unification or for him to fight the best of his era which he did not. ****ey fought 5 rounds vs Jimmy Young on 5/25/80 but fought only 2 times both 1st round ko's until he fought Larry for the title 6/11/82, so he fought 2 rounds in 2 years.(and it was NO secret that Conney had a bad COKE problem) His fight against Scott was stopped by a Thumb in the eye and the James Smith fight was going tough for Larry until he got that thumb in Bonecrushers eye(Smith dogged it) Still Larry did have a nice run (very protected) and WE can not forget that King was caught Paying off John Ort of the ring Magazine to obtain a ranking. I am a boxing fan but old school, I was fustrated at the time even though I liked Larry chances vs the guys he did not fight. My doubts were that Larry got rocked by Snipes(a so so puncher) and dropped and Dropped hard from 1 punch(no Shame) by Shavers, aS A FAN I WAS ROBBED OF THE EXCITEMENT OF WATCHING HOLMES fight a very good right hand puncher like Coetzee, Dokes ,Page, Thomas, Weaver (rematch) or Tate, and rematches with fighters that deserved them. I Hate to look like I Hate and I dont but I have to say it like I saw it then
Good post Bummy
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:12 AM   #38
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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Yes John,

We all know what a great world beater good ol' Greg was.

Outside of his losses to Berbick, Witherspoon, Tubbs, Bugner, Bey, Wills and oh.......Just about everybody.......He was surely an all time great.
Is this like Holyfield's two very close fights with Lewis?

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Old 08-22-2007, 09:00 AM   #39
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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There were reasons why the Greg Page fight never materialized.
In 1983, Larry Holmes and Don King parted ways, and Holmes became an independant champion who promoted his own fights. King was a close associate of the president of the WBC, and was also in control of Greg Page's career as well. Holmes and King had a very bad falling out, and Larry didn't want to do any sort of Business with him anymore, especially if it meant getting ****d of his purse. You see, what a lot of people don't realize, is that even though the Page fight would have made him some 3.1 million, he wouldn't have walked away with a lot of it. At the end of the day, KIng would sometimes end up with as much as 55% of a fighter's purse. Holmes shuttered at such a thought and began putting together his own fights. In late 1983, he was approached by the newly formed IBF organization and told that they would really like for him to bear their title. Holmes began calling fighters like Scott Frank over the telephone personally himself . He called Joe Frazier and spoke to him extensively about setting up a match with his son Marvis, which ended up being a nontitle fight in the interval between dropping the WBC and acquiring the IBF.

My point of the matter is this, history is not built on fact. It's merely based on fact. People often choose to believe what they want in an effort to create their own understanding of history. While I agree that Holmes probably should have fought certain challengers as opposed to some of the men he actually did face, I also believe that their were more explanations to his not fighting them than a mere case of cold feet or greed for that matter. In the real world business deals are made and broken constantly depending on the ability of two or more entities to see eye to eye. Seeing as how 1983 is long over with, and we'll never know all the facts of the so called history, I prefer to take Holmes career into a context that foucuses on the good things that he did rather than nit picking about him never facing a handful of fighters who at best had 3 good wins a piece, drug problems and were often washed up by the time they were in their late 20's.
Articulate and well-measured post.

Essentially, the WBC and WBA were fronts for King and Arum, certainly in the States, and ratings could be a sham. Larry is hardly destitute today, thanks in no small part to slipping out from underneath Don King's feet. Only Holmes and Hagler (who remained with Arum and Top Rank) had the stature to secure both their independence and continued general recognition as the one true champion in their prestigious divisions. Only the greatest of the great champions can ever pull this off. While there were many ATG performers through the early 1980's, Hagler and Holmes were the only great champions of historic marquee weight classifications, Hagler officially, and Holmes de facto and ex officio.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:06 AM   #40
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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Is this like Holyfield's two very close fights with Lewis?

I saw both fights, and I tend to think they were very close indeed. In fact, I thought very highly of Holyfield's efforts, given how faded his skills were, and how so many others failed in much worse fashion against Lewis. One thing is for certain though, If super duper Greg were in there that evening, he would have taken both Lewis and Holyfield at the same time.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:32 AM   #41
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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I saw both fights, and I tend to think they were very close indeed. In fact, I thought very highly of Holyfield's efforts, given how faded his skills were, and how so many others failed in much worse fashion against Lewis. One thing is for certain though, If super duper Greg were in there that evening, he would have taken both Lewis and Holyfield at the same time.
Hahaha, love ya train of thought

I thought Lewis won easy first fight, closer tho inarguable in the second. The silly draw in the first made Lewis had to play more into Holy's hands in the rematch.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:36 AM   #42
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Hahaha, love ya train of thought

I thought Lewis won easy first fight, closer tho inarguable in the second. The silly draw in the first made Lewis had to play more into Holy's hands in the rematch.
Most people ( and not just yourself in fairness) seem to be disagreeing with me that Holyfield put up a great effort in those fights. Perhaps I'm a bit biased towards Evander. I will say though, he showed more heart than even most of Lewis's prime opponents. The second fight was truly a good one. Holyfield punched more to the chest and body, which some say he should have done more of in the first fight.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:48 AM   #43
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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Most people ( and not just yourself in fairness) seem to be disagreeing with me that Holyfield put up a great effort in those fights. Perhaps I'm a bit biased towards Evander. I will say though, he showed more heart than even most of Lewis's prime opponents. The second fight was truly a good one. Holyfield punched more to the chest and body, which some say he should have done more of in the first fight.
Lewis was there trading a bit more too, so Holy could get more of these shots off. Holyfield did well yes, Lewis is pretty scary really. I remember one uppercut Holy shook off, jesus damn c!
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:11 AM   #44
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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Most people ( and not just yourself in fairness) seem to be disagreeing with me that Holyfield put up a great effort in those fights. Perhaps I'm a bit biased towards Evander. I will say though, he showed more heart than even most of Lewis's prime opponents. The second fight was truly a good one. Holyfield punched more to the chest and body, which some say he should have done more of in the first fight.
Holyfield didn't do too badly.
Lewis was robbed badly in that first fight but he didn't completely outclass Holyfield by any means. It was one-sided but not embarrassingly so, like Lewis-Tua for example.
Holyfield actually looked in the fight in every round, but he just got outboxed in most of them. It wasn't as if Lewis appeared to be doing as he pleased, he had to box out of his skin to merely peck out a clear points win. Holyfield seemed to fight with a low estimation of Lewis, and had no plan B when he failed to KO Lewis in the 3rd.
I'd give Lewis 9 or 10 rounds but the rounds themselves were not overly one-sided. Lewis had a "clear edge" rather than severe dominant superiority.

The second fight was very close.

I agree with you that Holyfield's real prime was behind him but I dont think he was too far off his best against Lewis. Styles make fights, and Holyfield would never be a sure thing over Lewis. Holyfield looks best against aggressive fighters. Lewis was a smart fighter, showed a lot of strategic intelligence, and he'd always be too smart to fight all-out to Holyfield's counter-punching strengths. Lewis waits for Holyfield to come at him, hangs back and pecks away with his reach forcing Holyfield to initiate all attacks. Holyfield is always more comfortable setting a fast-pace on counter-attacks.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:21 AM   #45
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Default Re: Holmes's Title Opposition, as **** as they say???

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Holyfield didn't do too badly.
Lewis was robbed badly in that first fight but he didn't completely outclass Holyfield by any means. It was one-sided but not embarrassingly so, like Lewis-Tua for example.
Holyfield actually looked in the fight in every round, but he just got outboxed in most of them. It wasn't as if Lewis appeared to be doing as he pleased, he had to box out of his skin to merely peck out a clear points win. Holyfield seemed to fight with a low estimation of Lewis, and had no plan B when he failed to KO Lewis in the 3rd.
I'd give Lewis 9 or 10 rounds but the rounds themselves were not overly one-sided. Lewis had a "clear edge" rather than severe dominant superiority.

The second fight was very close
I agree with you that Holyfield's real prime was behind him but I dont think he was too far off his best against Lewis. Styles make fights, and Holyfield would never be a sure thing over Lewis. Holyfield looks best against aggressive fighters. Lewis was a smart fighter, showed a lot of strategic intelligence, and he'd always be too smart to fight all-out to Holyfield's counter-punching strengths. Lewis waits for Holyfield to come at him, hangs back and pecks away with his reach forcing Holyfield to initiate all attacks. Holyfield is always more comfortable setting a fast-pace on counter-attacks.
Good Post, and a reasonable ****ysis of Holyfield and Lewis's styles. You're absolutely right. Evander did his best work when men took the fight to him as opposed to Holyfield having to be in persuit. In many of his early heavyweight fights such as Dokes, Stewart, Rodriguez, Douglas and Bowe, the opposition came to him.
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