Why did Lennox Lewis have so much trouble with Ray Mercer?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mark ant, Oct 30, 2019.


  1. mark ant

    mark ant Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Why did Lennox Lewis have so much trouble with Ray Mercer when a much older Larry Holmes was able to beat him?





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  2. Eye of Timaeus

    Eye of Timaeus Member Full Member

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    Styles make fights. Lewis wasn't able to overpower him.
     
  3. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Ray came was in top shape and he been working on his jab and boxing skills for a couple of years. As stated before he had a tough neck. Lewis couldn't KO him even after landing some heavy shots. Mercer came right back at him but he outjabbed Lennox that nite IMO.
    Lewis had to dig deep and gut it out.
     
  4. 88Chris05

    88Chris05 Active Member Full Member

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    Lewis has always said that the size of the ring played a part, and that the ring they fought in was smaller than he'd initially believed it was going to be, which threw off his ability to master the distance and step away from Mercer's forward attacks....Personally, I don't give that theory much credence and think it's just one of those classic fighter's excuses for an unexpectedly tough fight or subpar performance.

    I think it was essentially a styles thing, with Lewis having a little bit of an off night compounding that - hey, every fighter has them now and then. Holyfield gave Lewis problems in their rematch when he adopted a more aggressive approach and pressured Lewis in-close, too. Lewis used his height, jab and straight punching brilliantly against more upright opponents, but he could occasionally look uncomfortable against more compact guys who liked to get close and force him to punch off the back foot a little more than he was accustomed to. He was still generally good enough to win against these guys in any case...But just not as convincingly at times.

    Haven't watched this one for a while (probably a good five years or so), but I remember that I had it a draw on that viewing, whilst at the same time feeling that Mercer perhaps won his rounds a little clearer than Lewis generally, and that while the decision was no disgrace, Mercer had a right to feel a little more disgruntled that Lewis' would have done if the verdict had gone the other way. But it was very tight.

    As a side note, shines an even more impressive light on Holmes' tactical masterclass against Mercer, because Mercer really was in shape for that one, whereas I remember him looking a little loose around the midriff against Lewis in comparison. But styles make fights and Mercer wasn't a particularly great one for Lewis. Shame Mercer's career went off the rails (again) pretty much immediately after that.
     
  5. BrainyBoxer

    BrainyBoxer Member Full Member

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    I expect Lennox would have beaten him more decisively in a rematch.
     
  6. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Every great fighter seems to meet somebody, who simply has the style to trouble them!
     
  7. Sangria

    Sangria You bleed like Mylee Full Member

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    Excellent post by 88Chris05 above.

    Mercer was not in top shape for Lewis. He was fat. Maybe that was his plan to beef up against a huge opponent but he looked far more in shape against Holyfield a year earlier.

    The ring was small and once Lewis knew he couldn't dent Mercer's chin, he panicked. But he didn't stop throwing and actually won that last round to sway the judges in his favor. I though it was a draw or even Mercer by a thin margin.

    I believe Witherspoon did better against Mercer than Holyfield and Lewis.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  8. Hookie

    Hookie Affeldt... Referee, Judge, and Timekeeper Full Member

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    Styles make fights. Mercer was well prepared. Lewis thought it would be easier.

    Mercer had some good fights around this time in his career.
    L10 Holyfield
    L10 Lewis
    W10 Witherspoon

    I thought the fight could have been a draw. Very close, hard fought fight that could have went either way.
     
    lloydturnip and Sangria like this.
  9. Bulldog24

    Bulldog24 Boxing Addict booted Full Member

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    Because Ray Mercer was very good?
     
  10. The Undefeated Lachbuster

    The Undefeated Lachbuster Idealism must not be staunched by safety Full Member

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    Mercer is an underrated fighter, imo the 4th best heavyweight of the 90s, and thats saying alot for such a talent packed division
     
  11. Sangria

    Sangria You bleed like Mylee Full Member

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    4th best?

    Holyfield
    Lewis
    Bowe
    Mercer???

    I have:
    Holyfield
    Lewis
    Bowe
    Tyson
    Foreman
    Moorer
    Ibeabuchi
    Mercer
    Morrison
    Tua

    ...Something like this.
     
  12. Bill1234

    Bill1234 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Agreed. Every great fighter met a guy who was able to go step for step, punch for punch with him enough to give him hell for the night.
     
  13. Bill1234

    Bill1234 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Mercer gave Lewis so much trouble because he was able to jab with him and the chin to retaliate when Lewis tried slugging instead of boxing. I don't think Lewis was used to someone being competitive with the jab and also being able to fire back effectively during exchanges, and it made him less than comfortable throughout the fight.
     
  14. thanosone

    thanosone I Am Eternal Full Member

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    Maybe cus Mercer was a bad motha****a too.
     
  15. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Lewis showed a good chin that nite. He dug deep and gutted it out. Every champion has nights like that.
     


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