Who is the most skilled heavyweight fighter ever?

Discussion in 'World Boxing Forum' started by baconmaker, May 2, 2014.


  1. DJN16

    DJN16 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Floyd Patterson, Jack Johnson or Muhammad Ali
     
  2. Lartize

    Lartize Active Member Full Member

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    Wow, a lot of you guys are just freaking naming people you think are GOAT.

    Louis had no head movement. He hit VERY hard... that is why he is great, not his skill. Ali was tall, had crazy fast hands.. did a ton of crap wrong

    Honest to god, it may be James Toney if we are just talking skill
     
  3. DirtyDan

    DirtyDan Worst Poster of 2015 Full Member

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    Combo>>> Balrog.


    Undefeated Heavyweight champ till he got banned for using cybernetic arms.

    Went and competed in a death tournament with the best creatures in the universe to showcase his boxing skill.



    Balrog is just a fraud whose promoter wants him to do his dirty work on taking over the world rather than get him a decent boxing match.
     
  4. Butch Coolidge

    Butch Coolidge Boxing Addict Full Member

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    That guy with the think handlebar mustache, he wore tights and a sash into the ring, he held his left hand 7/8ths extended with his wrist caucked back towards his face and kept his right elbow tucked slightly above his belt. He was so good he didn't have to use any lateral movement whatsoever or any head movement either. The olde timers could really fight.
     
  5. cyrax99

    cyrax99 The Greatest Full Member

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    Lennox Lewis might not be the absolute most skilled HW ever, but was certainly one of the most skilled ever, without any doubt. Skilled to me means having great fundamentals, and utilizing your advantages in the most effective way possible. In Lewis' case, his tremendous reach and height were his greatest assets, he was absolutely great at fighting tall. Later on in his career is when he became exceptionally skilled, around the time Steward came along, and transformed his jab from a pawing inefficient one, to one of the most deadly jabs of all time. The way he set up his thundering right hand with the jab was absolutely textbook, his 1-2 was a thing of beauty. Although he had been criticized for being "boring," there is no denying that when he was fully focused and motivated, he was exceptional at avoiding punishment as well, even if it wasn't necessarily pleasing to the eye. If you watch his fights when he was quite young in comparison to his later years with Steward, you see a remarkable progression from being very flawed, to being absolutely elite in his skillset.

    Now with all that said, you probably think I'm some huge Lennox Lewis fan, but I'm not at all. In all of my posts, I've never once written one strictly to discuss how skilled he was. Truthfully I was not a big fan of his at all, but I'm also not going to be blinded by bias, there is no denying he was remarkably skilled. How many heavyweights prime for prime beat a motivated, focused, determined Lennox Lewis? That would be an incredibly short list.
     
  6. jaymon112

    jaymon112 MARVELOUS Full Member

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    Commander vander.
     
  7. jaymon112

    jaymon112 MARVELOUS Full Member

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    Damn butch, you've lost alot of posts huh?
     
  8. Butch Coolidge

    Butch Coolidge Boxing Addict Full Member

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    most realistic entry of the thread thus far.



    Lewis wasn't all that great moving to his left for me to consider him the most skilled ever. Also using his foulcup as a rib protector says something to me.
     
  9. jaymon112

    jaymon112 MARVELOUS Full Member

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    I feel that Wlad's Jab > Lewis Jab, due to fact that Lewis could be lazy with his Jab at times only pawing it to set up the right. I can't believe nobody mentioned Evander because he's as close to textbook for a Heavyweight and very fertile. :tong
     
  10. Butch Coolidge

    Butch Coolidge Boxing Addict Full Member

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    IMO Lewis had the heavier jab, but Klitschko is better at making angles and changing the tempo of his jab, so I'm no. Plus at one time Klitschko was easily better at mixing a left hook with his.
     
  11. superman1692

    superman1692 Active Member Full Member

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    Wlad? GTFO here :lol:

    And as for Ali, also he shouldn't be mentioned. He relied more on his athletic abilities and his heart/cast-iron jaw. In terms of pure boxing skills, he doesn't belong here.
     
  12. cyrax99

    cyrax99 The Greatest Full Member

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    The pawing jab of Lewis was mostly a characteristic of his early career; he really changed his jab as his career really got moving, eventually turning it into one of the best out there. Where before he had zero power, he was able to beat guys up with it later on, not to mention he got very proficient at using it to set up his right hand. Emmanuel Steward was really able to hone Wladimir's jab too, he was a true genius at working with tall, rangy fighters.

    Evander Holyfield was definitely skilled, there is no doubt about that. When he decided to fight intelligently, he had some of the most crisp and accurate counter punching you will ever see, his skill could be marvelous at times. With that said, Holyfield's problem was that he was a fighter at heart, not a boxer. His master game plan and counter punching went right out the door the second you hurt him; from then on it was a brawl. He had a huge heart and was always determined to hurt you back, but his ring intelligence just seemed to pretty much shut off at that point. So he certainly possessed a great skillset, just had a mentality that made him often neglect it, so that kind of disqualifies him in that regard.

    James Toney is certainly no bonafide heavyweight, but I think he must take the cake (both figuratively and literally) for the most skilled fighter to ever fight at HW. His tremendous skills were the only reason he could be a competitive heavyweight, think about it. How many 5'9 middleweights in history could have blown up to heavyweight almost purely with fat, and not gotten killed? Not too many, but that's exactly what James Toney did. He had absolutely no business fighting anywhere near that weight, yet still managed to get some really good wins, he definitely is the clear winner for most skilled HW in my book.
     
  13. cyrax99

    cyrax99 The Greatest Full Member

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    Ali certainly was a guy who was dependent on his athletic abilities in his prime, much like say a RJJ was. His defense for instance was purely based on having superhuman like reflexes, so he could just keep his hands down, and pull his head straight back, despite that being totally against the book. However with that said, lets not fool ourselves here, he was masterfully skilled in many facets. His jab was absolutely beautiful, one of the best of any heavyweight. It wasn't a Foreman or Liston knock your block off type, but a quick flicking one that helped to both keep his distance (crucial for his style) and to set up his extremely quick combinations. His head movement was absolutely astonishing, I've never seen anyone who was so great at judging distance, and could take himself out of danger by simply moving his chin a couple inches over, you could see his absolute confidence in his depth perception. He managed to completely avoid the blows of the opponents while exerting minimal energy, and setting himself up perfectly for counters, that's the very definition of good head movement. Speaking of movement, he has the best footwork any heavyweight has ever possessed, that's pretty much universally accepted.

    There are other things I could name too, but you get the gist. So while Ali certainly had his share of things that were reliant purely on athletic talent, he also did have many tremendous skills never seen before, or since in my opinion. Before his exile, he had been steadily improving, and was getting just plain ridiculous. His exile and the loss of 3 1/2 years of his prime, with limited training, caused his skills and his body to seriously decline. When he came back, he had completely lost his legs, and became a guy that won strictly from ring smarts, a tremendous heart, and a granite chin. Even with the great career he managed to have, I think we never got closing to seeing how great Ali could have been. I am absolutely convinced had he never been exiled, he'd have continued to get even better, and would have been colossally more mindblowing of a fighter than he ever managed to become.

    Seriously... Just watch his fight against Cleveland Williams at the end of 1966, I have NEVER seen any heavyweight, or any boxer period, look so incredibly awesome. Yes Cleveland wasn't in his prime, but that makes zero difference, NOBODY was touching that version of Ali. That is about as close to unbeatable as you will ever see, I don't pick any heavyweight in history to beat the Ali of that night. His defense, foot movement, hand speed and combinations, and ring generalship were all otherworldly.
     
  14. Meazy-E

    Meazy-E Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Ali needed his athleticism, he had very bad habits, and got away with them, joe Louis is one of the mode technically doubt fighter I have ever seen.
     
  15. cyrax99

    cyrax99 The Greatest Full Member

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    Umm, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say, that post was extremely hard to comprehend. Ali was not all athleticism, that's a complete myth. He had tremendous footwork, one of the best jabs ever, great combinations, and some of the best head movement you'll ever see. I covered this far more in-depth in the preceding post of mine, he was not just some fighter who had zero skill, and was all athleticism.

    From what I gather, you're calling Joe Louis technically sound? Atleast that's what I'm guessing you were trying to say, but somehow wound up making a big typo? If you are in fact calling Joe Louis technical, I find that rather ironic, considering you consider Ali not to be highly skilled. Joe Louis had very poor footwork for one, you'd swear his shoes were made of extremely thick cement the way he moved in there. That man was as flat footed as they come, something that isn't technically sound at all. His head movement? VERY POOR to say the least, he was rather easy to hit. Beyond his non-existent head movement, his defense in general was incredibly poor, he made extremely novice mistakes to the very end of his career, like dropping his right hand when he threw his left. He was knocked down quite a few times for that very reason, and yet never learned, showing very little ring intelligence. He was able to be successful strictly because he could hit ridiculously hard, and you call him a technician? Just imagine for a moment if he had average power, he wouldn't even be an ATG....
     


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