How come it took Lennox & Holyfield...

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Brixton Bomber, May 3, 2021.

  1. Brixton Bomber

    Brixton Bomber Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    Until '99 for them to fight? Lewis was No.2 for years.

    When do you think was the right time for both men to meet?
    dmt likes this.
  2. dmt

    dmt Hardest hitting hw ever Full Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    1993-94, before their losses to McCall and Moorer
  3. Stiches Yarn

    Stiches Yarn Member Full Member

    Jan 2, 2021
    There was a heavyweight tournament in 1992 and the guests were Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis and Donovan Ruddock. Apparently, the other fighters who were in the top 10 rankings at that time declined to take part of the tournament, and Mike Tyson who was ranked number 2 was in prison.
    Bowe who was the number three , found himself in front of an opportunity to fight for the undisputed heavyweight champion Holyfield, and Lennox, who ranked in the end of the top 10, was supposed to meet the winner of the Bowe-Holyfield for the WBC heavyweight champion after burying Ruddock.
    Had holyfield won the fight, he would have stepped in with Lewis.
    But none of that happened, holyfield lost, took a little break, Bowe refused to defend the WBC title against Lennox, throw it in the bin, And Lennox was declared as the new champion.
    When Holyfield came back in 1993 and brought his golds back home, i think it would have been the right time to make it happen.
    But Once again, Moorer sent him back to retirement.
    When Holyfield finally came back to the top on 1997 (when he won both WBA and IBF titles) after a long desert crossing, talks between the 2 camps have finally begun!
  4. Jel

    Jel Reserving the right to be inconsistent Full Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    I think the fact that Lewis and Holyfield did fight shows that both men were willing and had circumstances been different, they would have met earlier. But Moorer beat Holyfield and then Lewis lost to McCall. It wasn't until Holyfield beat Tyson in the rematch that the fight became available again. I'm delighted it was those two guys who got to reunify the title because they were the two who didn't duck anyone.
  5. Stiches Yarn

    Stiches Yarn Member Full Member

    Jan 2, 2021
    Chris Byrd.
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  6. ironchamp

    ironchamp Boxing Addict Full Member

    Sep 5, 2004
    Except Lennox did duck a rematch with Ray Mercer in 1997 turning down $20 million in the process because Manny Stewart said it was a dangerous fight and preferred to fight the winner of the Holyfield vs Moorer rematch.

    Another well documented duck was when Lewis gave away his WBA belt in 2000 rather than face John Ruiz. He continued the belt tossing in 2002 when he gave away his IBF belt rather than face Chris Byrd.

    Finally in 2003 he ducked a lucrative rematch with Vitaly Klitschko.

    Holyfield ducked Mike Tyson in 1991 instead opting for a payday against George Foreman. He ducked Razor Ruddock in 1992 instead opting for what he felt was a softer touch against Riddick Bowe.

    Incidentally, this is why Lewis ended up facing Ruddock despite being Razor having a higher ranking than Bowe.
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  7. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Lewis didn't duck John Ruiz. Lennox's WBA mandatory was Henry Akinwande (and nobody wanted to see that rematch). Akinwande was supposed to fight Holyfield in 1998 when he had the WBA belt, but Henry tested positive for hepatitis. After Lewis beat Holyfield, Lewis was supposed to fight his WBA mandatory first, but Henry was still in that spot and still had hepatitis. So Lewis signed to fight Michael Grant. Then the WBA moved Henry out and John Ruiz to #1. But Lewis had already signed to fight Grant. Lewis went to court to prevent the WBA from stripping him while he fought Grant. Before a judge ruled, Lewis and Ruiz agreed that Lewis would fight Ruiz in London after the Grant fight. Then the judge in charge, roughly 10 days before Lewis-Grant, decided Ruiz deserved the first shot and Ruiz went back on his agreement with Lewis. So Lewis either had to call off the Grant fight days before the fight or give up the belt. So he gave it up. Then Holyfield sued the WBA because he had no idea how Ruiz was rated above him. To block that suit, the WBA agreed to have Ruiz and Holyfield fight for their vacant belt - only months after Lewis had beaten Holyfield for that belt. Holyfield decisioned Ruiz (which is the moment the WBA belt became sort of pointless). Lewis fought Botha instead of Ruiz in London that summer.
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
  8. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    I never heard of the Lewis-Mercer rematch, but, of course, a unification with Holyfield was worth more than a Lewis-Mercer rematch, given that Mercer had just lost to both Holyfield and Lewis.
    Jel likes this.
  9. C.J.

    C.J. Boxings Living Legend revered & respected by all Full Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    And what would have happened had Lennox fought Ruiz & Byrd ??
    He'd have been accused of cherry picking. Newman & Eddie Futch kept Bowe away from Lewis they knew Bowe couldnt beat him
    In that tournament Ruddock was the favourite due to his Tyson fights
    Jel likes this.
  10. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Holyfield didn't duck Mike Tyson in 1991. Holyfield signed to fight George Foreman while he was preparing to fight Buster Douglas. Holyfield and Foreman were going to fight in early 1991 whether Evander won the title against Buster or not. The night Holyfield won the title, Holyfield and Foreman were on ESPN and Foreman was celebrating because he already had a signed contract to fight Evander. And, as we all know, Evander was signed to fight Tyson in November 1991, but Mike Tyson called off the fight when he got injured in training and it was never rescheduled before he went to prison in February 1992.
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  11. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    Holyfield didn't 'duck' Ruddock to fight Bowe. Bowe was the WBA #1 contender (he'd become the mandatory when he beat Coetzer). Ruddock was the WBC #1 contender. Lewis was the WBC #2 contender.

    Holyfield fought his WBA mandatory (Bowe) first, and then he was going to fight his WBC mandatory next ... and Ruddock-Lewis fought to see who that would be. Lewis won. But, like you said earlier, Bowe won and wouldn't fight Lewis. Bowe was going to be stripped, so he held a press conference and dropped the belt symbolically. Lewis was awarded the WBC belt because he'd already beaten Ruddock in a fight between #1 and #2 in that org's ratings.
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  12. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    No one else was "invited." Holyfield fought his mandatory WBA challenger Bowe, and the top two WBC contenders fought to see who would be the WBC mandatory for the winner of Holyfield-Bowe.

    Then the winners of those fights didn't meet.

    So it really wasn't a tournament at all. (LOL) Just two separate fights.
  13. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 25, 2014
    The perfect time would've been in the spring of 1993. But Evander lost to Bowe in Nov. 1992.

    Their careers were never really aligned again until the very end of the 90s.

    I think Lewis wins at any point after 1992, but it would've been more explosive if it had happened sooner. By the time they did fight, they were both more on the cautious side.
    Jel likes this.
  14. KidDynamite

    KidDynamite Boxing Addict Full Member

    Sep 16, 2012
    I wouldn't call some of these outright ducks and I think you've gotten some of the chronology wrong

    Holyfield fought Foreman instead of Ruddock. It would seem as if he did avoid a dangerous puncher in Ruddock to fight an old Foreman whom he could outmaneuver.

    Tyson was set to fight Holyfield but got injured then went to prison.

    Mercer put a beating on Lewis and Mercer did enough to get at least a draw in my opinion. He was never going to rematch him ... Lewis was granted rematches from others but never gave anyone a second shot ... Typical Lennox Lewis
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  15. Toney F*** U

    Toney F*** U Boxing junkie Full Member

    Oct 16, 2019
    I wouldn’t call avoiding fights with Ruiz and Byrd “ducks.” Lewis made a career fighting tougher guys I seriously doubt he was avoiding those monsters. Tyson and Ruddock chose to fight each other because there was a lot of money involved in that fight, Holyfield definitely didn’t duck Tyson