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

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


  1. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    49,832
    8,281
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 24, 2005
    At heavyweight.
     
  2. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    49,832
    8,281
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 24, 2005
    I do think there's a lot to be said for Larry Holmes's all-time H2H ability and place in history being measured in comparison to Lewis (and Holyfield and that era) with great help from the Mercer fights.

    Common opponents for Holmes and Lewis exist.
    There's no reason not to look at them.
    In the case of Mercer and McCall, we have pretty much equal versions going up against an ancient Holmes and a prime Lewis.
    We have a young (somewhat green) Ocasio against a prime Holmes and an aged Ocasio against a young (green) Lewis.
    We have an ancient Holmes against a probably still prime Holyfield, and a probably still prime Lewis against a past prime Holyfield.
    A prime Holmes against a prime Weaver, and old Weaver against a young entering-prime Lewis.
    We have old Holmes against prime Tyson, and slightly past prime Lewis against a washed-up Tyson.
    etc.
     
  3. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

    48,940
    5,182
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 29, 2007
    Do you think the 1990's was a good era for heavyweight boxing or not? An easy question to reply to.
     
  4. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    4,015
    1,757
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 9, 2010
    Fair enough. I've just noticed you refer to the fight, in relation to playing down Lewis rating, in virtual isolation, before now. It seems to be at the forefront fo your arguments, provided in similar discussions. It is noteworthy, of course, and maybe I am reading to much into this.



    I'm of the same mind, but also see that Mercer's lack of discipline, which he then turned around in a several fight transition, led him to give two fine performances against the two leading Heavyweights of the decade - both of whom were on the comeback trail with a lot to lose, had things gone against them.



    I don't doubt it. Mine too and, as I imagine, most people's arguments are, when discussing events and facts, which have occurred within the range of living memory.

    But events and facts can be interpreted differently - both at the time and through subsequent refinement, in hindsight.
     
    Unforgiven likes this.
  5. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    49,832
    8,281
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 24, 2005
    The 1990s had some good heavyweights and some good heavyweight fights but also too much splintered titles.
    It was a decent era.
    But it gets overrated by many people on this forum here, I believe.
     
  6. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

    48,940
    5,182
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 29, 2007
    By my count the decade had six active hall of fame members. It will be 7 ( Wlad ) in a few years and possibly 8 ( Moorer ) when all is said and done. I'd cap it at nine ( Witherspoon ). Not only was the talent at the top very good, it had depth.

    To say it a different way, I bet most people have four or more fighters from the 1990's in their top 20 and you might be one of them! Thats 20% from one decade.

    Or check the Ring Magazine annual ratings, and you'll have trouble finding decades with better talent, period.

    Fighters who didn't win titles like Ike, or Tua would be one of the champions today, or would have at least held the title.
     
    ideafix12, Entaowed and Smokin Bert like this.
  7. mark ant

    mark ant Boxing Junkie Full Member

    12,970
    4,614
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    May 4, 2017
    Hearns win over Benitez was masterful and he was awesome v Duran.
     
  8. Bulldog24

    Bulldog24 Boxing Addict booted Full Member

    5,390
    503
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 2, 2013
    Why are your replies so random
     
  9. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    4,015
    1,757
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 9, 2010
    Yes. The '90s were frustrating, because the capacity for splintering the titles became the device of certain promoters, boxing managers, networks, lawyers etc. etc. We'd already perhaps seen a precursor of what was to come when Holmes relinquished his WBC title for an awarded title from the newly formed IBF.

    How many, I wonder, long for the days of one division; one belt. The heavyweight bouts of the '90s, with just THE Championship on the line, would no doubt have written a different chapter.

    That said, the '90s was an exceptionally rich period, as well as being perhaps a welcome relief, after the sequential dominance of the 80's by Holmes and Tyson, respectively.The period also marked quite a shift in the division, with the dawn of the elite class Super Heavies.

    Personally, I rate the '70s as being greater than the '90s, overall, but I'd not argue the case too strongly. The '90s had some extraordinary - tough and dangerous Heavyweights.
     
    Gatekeeper likes this.
  10. GordonGarner65

    GordonGarner65 Active Member Full Member

    1,108
    819
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 12, 2016
    This ..
    Mercer was a real talent.
    He only turned pro at 28 which was late back then.
    There was no margin for error
    He was 15-0 then beat Cooper Damiani Morrison
    At that point his career looked excellent, then came the Holmes defeat , followed by Ferguson and the Marion Wilson draw.
    Owing to his age ( by now 34/35 ) which was ageing/ veteran back then , he had little time to regroup . He got the Holyfield and Lewis fights when past his best age related , but put up good shows.
    Ideally if he hadnt screwed up against Holmes and Ferguson well who knows ?
    Truth is back then when you turn pro at 28 you have no margin for error.
    Its gonna take you 3 years to get to 15-0 then you gotta keep winning. If you get beat X 2 and have to start over, then you gonna get your big shots when you mid 30's and past your best.
    That's what happened with Ray.
    He was very good.
    Dont underestimate those wins against Damiani and Morrison for a guy of limited experience at the top level.
     
  11. GordonGarner65

    GordonGarner65 Active Member Full Member

    1,108
    819
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 12, 2016
    For xyz reasons, Mercer as a serious contender was done after Lewis.
    I hate it when fighters are analysed like its career relevant when way past their best.
     
  12. GordonGarner65

    GordonGarner65 Active Member Full Member

    1,108
    819
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Nov 12, 2016
    The 90's should have been great but things didnt quite align... Bowe/ Lewis ... Tyson prison etc
     
  13. The Undefeated Lachbuster

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

    3,502
    4,771
    Sportsbook:
    140
    Jul 18, 2018
    On my scorecard he beat Lewis
     
  14. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    33,439
    7,829
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Apr 27, 2005
    For sure mate.
     
  15. lloydturnip

    lloydturnip Well-Known Member Full Member

    1,824
    1,205
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Sep 5, 2016
    I think Mercer expected to beat Holmes quite easily as did most people .Ray I think was the type of fighter who fed off fear not that he was scared but fighters he saw as dangerous woke him up training hard and fighting hard !.if not he could sleep walk through fights and lose or go close against guys he should deal with easily. I always hoped to see him against Tyson pre or post nick ! Would of been a tremendous fight which could go Ether way .Mercer was a real hard &astard and didn't give a ****.
     


Sign up for ESPN+ and Stream Live Sports! Advertisement