Rank Lennox Lewis' title defenses in 97-01

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Big Ukrainian, Oct 17, 2020 at 5:27 PM.

  1. Big Ukrainian

    Big Ukrainian Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    Inspired by @
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    threads about Ali's reigns.

    1. Holyfield. On decline, but still world champion, great fighter who scored plenty big wins.
    2. Golota. An underachiever who had great skills but lacked heart and mental toughness
    3. Tua. Very dangerous contender with several wins over ranked opponents (all by KOs)
    4. Akinwande. Very cautious fighter, tall, long reach, good jab. Beat Jeremy Williams, Axel Shulz and few other decent fighters. Fight was awful though.
    5. Rahman. Solid contender, who had suffered brutal loss to Oleg Maskaev and therefore was underestimated before the fight.
    6. Grant. Based solely on his came-from-behind win vs Golota who quit. Grant was on the verge of being KO'd in 1, still had the heart to go on and get the win and his title shot.
    7. Briggs. So high only due to his late career accomplisment against Lyakhovich (he lost vs Old George). Briggs lost to Botha but was lucky to get a draw. Briggs' winning resume is awful.
    8. Botha. Weak resume, a draw vs Briggs should've been a win, but that's it. His losing performances were better than his wins.
    9. Mavrovic. Never beat anyone of note. Could've been ranked higher if his career lasted longer. Solid performance vs Lewis, but took a beating througout 12 rounds. Solid Euro level, yet had only fight against ranked top-20 fighter in his whole career.

    Places #6-9 are interchangable IMO.

    Overall, solid opponents, all far better than JP Coopman or Richard Dunn.
    sweetsci and dmt like this.
  2. dmt

    dmt Hardest hitting hw ever Full Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    I would place Tua above Golota even though both were disappointing.

    Briggs over Grant for me

    Overall, good list. Holyfield was on the decline and i am not sure if that version of Holyfield beats a motivated Tua. Then again Holyfield at least tried and managed to hurt Lewis in round 3 with a left hook.

    Tua was incredibly disappointing.
  3. dmt

    dmt Hardest hitting hw ever Full Member

    Jul 2, 2006

    I have always thought Lewis's win over Tua was one of his best. Unlike Morrison who was past it and likely suffering from HIV, Tua was in his prime.

    Lewis boxed well, his jab was excellent, he moved well to his left to get away from Tua's left hook and landed some good rights.

    Tua was poor though. He showed up overweight and whenever he had Lewis against the ropes, he refused to put combinations together.

    The few grazing shots he landed on Lewis definitely bothered Lewis. If Tua had the guts to led both his hands go when Lewis was on the ropes, he may have caught Lewis with a big left hook, and although Lewis was not highly susceptible to hooks, he could be hurt by them (see Holyfield fight). Tua had the power and even managed to corner him but just wasn't willing to take the chance.
  4. Ra's Al-Ghul

    Ra's Al-Ghul The one and only! Full Member

    Oct 17, 2014
    1. Holyfield
    2. Akinande
    3. Mavrovic
    4. Golota
    5. Tua
    6. Grant
    7. Rahman
    8. Briggs
    9. Botha
    The last 4 are locked.
  5. Jel

    Jel Reserving the right to be inconsistent Full Member

    Oct 20, 2017
    Akinwande's performance against Lewis was so shameful that I'm tempted to put him at the bottom of the list on general principal.

    In fact, 1997 was just such a weird year for Lewis. After Mike Tyson refused to face him and met Holyfield instead, two fighters (McCall and Akinwande) refused to fight him once they got in the ring. The third, Golota, folded in the first round. For the number of punches that landed on him that year, Lewis was the heavyweight equivalent of Willie Pep.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020 at 10:39 PM
  6. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jan 22, 2008
    There's a lot of room for argument here...

    1. Evander Holyfield
    2. Hasim Rahman - gets credit for getting the job done in their first fight
    3. Andrew Golota - credit for the rest of his career
    4. David Tua - ditto
    5. Henry Akinwande - ditto again
    6. Michael Grant - best of a "bad" lot in spots 6, 7, and 8
    7. Shannon Briggs
    8. Frans Botha
    9. Zeljko Mavrovic - Did well against Lewis and had a lot of potential, but, sadly, was unable to capitalize on the Lewis performance. Just didn't fight the level of competition Lewis' other opponents did.
  7. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    1. Holyfield - Speaks for itself.
    2. Tua - Totally tamed this warrior.
    3. Grant - The hype-machine made out Grant would do a number... *whistles
    4. Golota - Devastation
    5. Briggs - A personal favorite, showing both the best and the worst of Lewis.
    6. Mavoric - Showed he was game and very good. Could have done well had he continued boxing.
    7. Akinwande - Seemingly beaten before reaching the ring, which turned him into an octopus.
    8. Botha - Simply over-matched in all departments.
    9. Rahman - Strictly speaking, Lewis' only 'Defense' against The Rock saw him get KTFO. If we were including Lewis regaining the championship from Rahman then it could feature as my number-1 pick. More probably, however, it would take the number-2 spot.
  8. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 15, 2018
    Tua Holyfield and Rahman were good...that’s about it. Lewis is one of the only guys I think is better then his record suggests. How come Tyson wasn’t on here?
    Disregard the question I see Tyson was 02. Damn thought they fought earlier for some reason.