Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Joeywill, Jun 30, 2022.
I think peak Bowe (1 night) vs peak Lewis is a toss-up.
I always found the contrast between all the chat about Lewis being this chess playing "thinking man's" fighter and the reality of basically being a giant guy who steam rolled opponents through by shear physical power a bit strange. His fights were a mix of extreme brutality and staggering tedium as he either blew you out or prodded away with his jab to little purpose and the lilliputian's couldn't reach up the bean stalk. I admit I have not watched a Lewis fight for a while, the last one I was genuinely excited by was his blow out of Ruddock. Everything else since then has either been boring (Holyfield), a rout (Morrison, Grant) or Lennox sleepwalking (Bruno, Rahman, McCall).
I think his sheer size and punch gives him an edge over pretty much any heavyweight in history if we plonk a modern Lennox against a naturally smaller old time champ. I can see him either savagely crushing (Patterson, Marciano) or methodically winning by jab and reach alone (Liston, Louis, Charles, Tyson) over everyone. The only flaw can be if he is not fully focused and then Louis, Liston, Tyson etc have a punchers chance. I think for boxing ability I probably have Holmes as the closest to being able to out jab him and more importantly having the chin to survive a Lennox bomb, although I can't say whether Shavers and Snipes hit as hard as Lewis. I also think a prime Ali could out manoeuvre Lewis at his biggest and had a strong chin (although getting decked by Cooper doesn't fill one with confidence if Lennox connects clean).
I feel if we "Honey I shrank the kids" Lewis down in size and then make the matches it opens things up a bit and I feel Liston, Ali, Holmes, Louis all have a good chance. Hell even Patterson for his speed and punch.
Sorry to be too down on Lennox, he is great, just my opinion and happy to be educated!
Only a handful can, and the matches will be 50:50. Those are: Tyson, Fury, Wlad, Vitali, Bowe, Liston.
Frazier has no chance whatsoever.
The one I would bet on?
'71 Frazier (FOTC night)
Prime Liston, Tyson, and Bowe, but even with all of them, I'd be ready to lose my money because when it comes to those H2H monsters, anything can happen.
Fury from the Klitschko fight and prime Wladimir with Stewart in his corner gets a honorable mention.
I'd actually wonder about Louis and Dempsey, but they'd have to be at their best that night. I'd actually bet on Louis if it's a rematch
He could have just been a big bruiser with his size, strength, and right hand. He's special because in addition to the gifts nature gave him, he's a highly skilled fighter. That's why he gets the credit you refer to.
I think Fraizer is too old
They are too small
Not being Anti-Lennox but I don't see a great prime where he performed amazingly. If his first reign is his prime, then he was pretty underwhelming against Tucker, being beaten by Bruno, was again felt to have performed well within himself against Phil Jackson and then got kayoed v McCall. He may actually have been better before claiming the title and he wasn't being talked about as a world beater who would beat everyone at that time so I don't think we should bestow that status on him now.
Steward era Lennox. So, in 95, he looked shaky at times against Butler but was understandably gun shy; nothing to learn in fighting Justin Fortune. Then he took apart Tommy Morrison - who had been blown away by Bentt, gone nip and tuck with Joe Hipp and Ross Purrity, barely performed better than Alex Stewart had vs an older and inactive Foreman and hammered by Mercer - which was his signature win. 95 was no vintage but it was better than 96 when he edged Mercer in a fight many felt he may have lost.
97: I thought he looked fat v McCall and if Oliver had shown up in the same kind of shape as fight 1, would have been a horrible night for Lewis. The Akinwande farce showed very little although Lennox should get credit for scaring Henry to the point he fought so badly. Ditto Golota; the fight showed little of value because of the state of Golota but maybe that was the prospect of facing Lewis that caused those nerves so fair play, Lennox.
98; laboured points win over Mavrovic. Great win over Biggs but not without its scare when he turned and ran away from a guy who had been given a gift over a 47 year old Foreman. 99: two decent but not amazing performances over an old Evander Holyfield. 37 year old Evander ran him close in fight 2.
2000. Good year. Botha and Grant blown away and Tua outboxed but several fighters did that to David - Izon, Rahman, Maskaev. 2001 brings Rahman then 2002 the shell of Tyson and 2003 he was losing to Vitali although should get a pass as he was now nearly 38 and had an eye on retirement while preparing to face Kirk Johnson.
So, in every year, Lennox posted performances that would have given a great many fighters a chance, His best years, formwise, were 97 and 2000 and both years showed some flaws. Lennox was great but I think the talk of him being unbeatable on his best night is overly charitable. For me, his greatness is down to longevity rather than a run of form, as opposed to a single performance, where I felt he was invincible.
Liston Ali Foreman Holmes
Good post. I found Lennox looked great up to Mason and Ruddock and then seemed to really stack on the pounds and lost a lot of his speed and flexibility. Probably just an aging thing.
I remember at the time being really disappointed by the Bruno fight, I thought he was going to blow Frank out in a round! Credit to Bruno for being competitive but it didn't reflect well after Tyson's mauling of Bruno.
Having said this Lennox did beat most of the big name contenders and they were all very good fighters. He also avenged his only losses and I feel the general perception is that it was more lack of focus rather than Lennox being particularly chinny that did for him against Rahman and McCall.
Foreman is a good call, I can see that being like his fight with Ron Lyle!