Which is the best heavyweight contender never to win a piece of the title, and WHY?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by catchwtboxing, Sep 16, 2023.

Who's the best?

  1. Elmer Ray

  2. Lee Q Murray

    0 vote(s)
  3. Nino Valdez

    0 vote(s)
  4. Zora Foley

  5. Cleveland Williams

  6. Jerry Quarry

  7. Ron Lyle

  8. Ernie Shavers

  9. Jerry Cooney

  10. Ike Ibeabuchi

  1. Flash24

    Flash24 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 22, 2015
    Jerry Quarry had all the tools to be
    heavyweight champ in other era's.
    He simply came along when the
    heavyweights were at their zenith .
    Bad timing.
    mcvey likes this.
  2. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    He first failed his shot at a tile against Ellis, and while Ellis was a good fighter he was nothing that you don't find in other eras. Most also thought Quarry was lucky to get past Patterson in the tournament, so he perhaps shouldn't have got the shot at the title in the first place.

    Seeing how most feel that Patterson also was hard done by the judges against Ellis later, he might, at 32, have been the best fighter in the WBA tournament and Quarry perhaps no better than the third best after him and Ellis.
    Dubblechin, Pedro_El_Chef and Flash24 like this.
  3. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    Had Quarry been around in the early 80's, I reckon he'd have a good chance to snatch a belt at some point before Tyson came along, though.
    ikrasevic likes this.
  4. Freddy Benson.

    Freddy Benson. Member Full Member

    Jan 14, 2022
    I think it's got to be, for me, the great Peter Jackson
    followed by
    Sam Langford
    Harry Wills
    Bokaj likes this.
  5. cuchulain

    cuchulain VIP Member Full Member

    Jan 6, 2007
    My pick would be Povetkin.

    I would favour him over anybody on your first list.
    swagdelfadeel and Freddy Benson. like this.
  6. PRW94

    PRW94 Member Full Member

    Nov 26, 2020
    For some strange reason I clicked Quarry …
  7. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Featherweight up to yo Mama's weight! Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    Hard to argue against Povetkin in terms of resume, he beat so many good names Takam, Whyte, Charr, Huck, etc. Only problem is I'm pretty sure he got busted for PEDs twice.

    Ike had lots of potential and had 2 good world class wins. Had the size, strength, chin, and ability to compete in many eras.

    Ruddock also had lots of potential but ruined his own career turning his brain off to become a mindless slugger. He had a very good jab with good fundamentals and was on the right track before he fell in love with his power.

    Quarry has mixed results, but was a great fighter at his best and very well rounded. Bear some solid names like Foster, Shavers, Lyle, etc.
    Bokaj and Saintpat like this.
  8. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    Not quite the same since he was never a contender because he never actually turned pro, but for me Teofilo Stevenson is the best heavyweight who never won a (professional) world title.
  9. Blofeld

    Blofeld Active Member Full Member

    Sep 27, 2022
    I picked Cooney as he was a massive bloke with a huge punch who could and should have won at least a portion of the title. He made the mistake of fighting the Man, Larry Holmes. If he had gone for "the other title" I think he could have held it, even if only for a brief period.

    I would also add, from a Brit perspective Henry Cooper, Joe Bugner and Tommy Farr, all very tough fighters who with a bit of luck and different eras may have won it. Perhaps this is just my heart rather than my head speaking though! Out of the three Joe perhaps had the best physical assets for the job and I see a peak Bugner being competitive right through till the late 80s, while Henry and Tommy were perhaps too small to have a chance post mid 70s.
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  10. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 15, 2018
    I went with Ron Lyle for his wins over Earnie, Oscar, Ellis, etc. Could have maybe went w Quarry…but the real answer is Archie Moore for his wins over Nino, Baker, Henry, Satterfield, Sheppard, Bivins, Maxim, Harold Johnson
  11. Greg Price99

    Greg Price99 Well-Known Member Full Member

    Dec 17, 2018
    Even when you factor in many of his opponents weren't at their best, the depth of Harry Wills win resume is absurd:

    Sam Langford x 13 (way past prime by the end of their series)
    Sam McVea x 3
    Fred Fulton
    Joe Jeanette
    Jeff Clark x 7
    Luis Angel Firpo
    Willie Meehan
    Gunboat Smith
    Kid Norfolk
    Charley Weinhert
    Denver Ed Martin (who was way past prime in his final fight)
    Battling Jim Johnson

    He only lost to 3 x fighters in and around what I consider his prime years - Langford (13-2-2), McVea (3-2) & BJ Johnson (2-1) - avenged them all & won series against them all. Between his loss to Johnson aged 27 and his DQ defeat to Bill Tate aged 32, Wills went 36-0-2, a run that included many of the above wins.

    His record is one of the most underrated at HW, imo.
    Barm and ikrasevic like this.
  12. Boxing2019

    Boxing2019 If you want peace, prepare war. Full Member

    Jul 22, 2019
  13. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    He made two bigger mistakes.

    1) Substance abuse. Booze and coke.
    2) Allowing bad matchmaking. By the time he fought Holmes, he had logged 6 rounds in the previous two years.

    NOt saying he could have beat Holmes, but had he kept clean and took on a tougher schedule, he could have had a hell of a career.
    Blofeld likes this.
  14. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Pretty excellent post.
    janitor likes this.
  15. janitor

    janitor VIP Member Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    I would add that a contender as good as those three, not holding some sort of title today, would be virtually impossible.

    They woudl literally have to screw up every eliminator and title fight.
    Greg Price99 likes this.