Why didn't Lewis face Ruiz and Byrd?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Bokaj, May 9, 2024.



  1. Jon1962

    Jon1962 Member Full Member

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    The general public had little to no interest in those fights. Even if Lennox shows up in the shape he did in Rahman 1 he still beats Ruiz or Byrd.
     
  2. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Lewis was more capable, in my view, as demonstrated against a more varied and higher tier of opposition. Bowe was an offensive juggernaut but less capable against people who could match him offensively.

    As previously alluded to, if Golota - who Lewis decimated inside a round - could keep Bowe in his box, then Lewis almost certainly had the firepower to keep Bowe honest and ultimately beat him.


    If one perceives the Holyfield/Ruiz trilogy as favorably as you do, then that case might be made, but I don't view it that highly and I imagine there are others that see it as Holyfield's last realistic hurrah, which ultimate failed. He would never win another major title beyond 2001.

    And the actual level of Ruiz, who had walked away with the WBA spoils, post-trilogy, was soon demonstrated without Holyfield's name to boost the mirage. No sooner had Ruiz broken into the Top-5 of the Ring Ratings, he lost to RJJ.

    That said, in terms of him getting a shot at Lewis, he'd already run out of runway by then.
     
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  3. Cojimar 1946

    Cojimar 1946 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I think you can certainly argue for him being outside the top 10. Dominance is a big part of ratings and Lewis was only on top for like 3 years. And his losses are extremely bad.

    People are trying to take his wins in the late 1990s 2000s as proof he was the best throughout the 1990s but that's not how it works. We can't assume because he beat Holyfield in 1999 and Tyson in 2002 he was better than them all along and would have beaten them years earlier. Holmes beat Ali but that doesn't make him greater or prove he would always win.
     
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  4. Jakub79

    Jakub79 Member Full Member

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    It's funny that I often hear Tyson and Bowe being accused of giving up the titles to Lewis (and rightly so), but I completely ignore the fact that Lennox Lewis did the same with Ruiz and Byrd. Lewis was not respected in the US in 1993 or 1996. No one was interested in him and fighting him did not generate any income. Just like with Byrd and Ruiz.
     
  5. MaccaveliMacc

    MaccaveliMacc Member Full Member

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    Maybe because Lewis instead of fighting Ruiz and Byrd fought better (Grant) or equal (Klitschko) contenders, while Bowe fought Dokes & Ferguson who were nowehere near Top 10 at this point and Tyson fought Holyfield who was considered done and dusted. It's also worth noting, that he lost the WBA belt not because he didn't want to fight Ruiz, but because of Don King's shannanigans. People don't care about him dropping these belts, as it didn't stop him from fighting top guys and only showed how alphabet bodies were and are ruining the sport, stripping their champions for fighting better opposition. People literally applauded Lewis for fighting Grant first instead of John. Just like poeple didn't care about Muhammad Ali dropping the WBA belt to give Liston a rematch or Leon Spinks dropping the WBC belt to give Ali the rematch.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2024
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  6. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Is this^ the full extent of your argument for why Lewis should be outside the Top-10?
     
  7. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    A couple of genuine questions...

    Have you actually read the history and fully understood why Lewis did not fight Ruiz in 2000?

    Are you aware that Byrd was not the only Mandatory in line for a shot at Lewis in 2002?
     
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  8. Jakub79

    Jakub79 Member Full Member

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    Will you do me a favor? why didn't he fight? the thread is long, drawn out and what I remember is the fact that Byrd and Ruiz were not popular and Lennox cared about money. I probably missed something, but I hope you can help me understand
     
  9. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    There are a few posts outlining the Ruiz story:

    https://www.boxingforum24.com/threads/why-didnt-lewis-face-ruiz-and-byrd.720429/#post-22856740

    https://www.boxingforum24.com/threads/why-didnt-lewis-face-ruiz-and-byrd.720429/page-2#post-22857157

    https://www.boxingforum24.com/threads/why-didnt-lewis-face-ruiz-and-byrd.720429/page-5#post-22862180
     
  10. Jakub79

    Jakub79 Member Full Member

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    ok, could you summarize it in one or two sentences? anyway, if you don't want to, it's ok... listen, I have no problem with the fact that Lewis didn't fight Byrd and Ruiz. I have a problem with the fact that I keep hearing that Lewis fought and won against everyone, united the heavyweight division, didn't avoid anyone, and yet: He didn't fight Ike, Moorer, Foreman, Holmes, Bowe, Wlad, he fought too late Tyson, with Holy, with Tua. Give up the belt Ruiz, Byrd. Mercer and Klitschko did not allow a rematch. He lost to journeymen. And his fights always look better when you don't watch them but just look at the result. was he great? Of course. Was he as good as he is portrayed today? IMO definitely not. It's not even close. Much of this is due to his personality and good PR
     
  11. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    In a way, you're highlighting just how rich the division was during the '90s to early '00s. No one was fighting everyone. But I'd wager that, of the Ring Rated opposition across the period (say 1990 to 2003) they fought each other more often than those that came after, say 2003.

    Your list also can't take into consideration the chronology and sequence of events involved.

    And Lewis lost only to Ring-Rated opposition. Sure, they were not in his class, but he avenged them both, which counts for something in discussions around ledger and legacy.

    How many Heavyweights have a better record of 15-2-1 against Ring-Rated opposition, without loss to anyone outside of the Ring Top-10, having defeated everyone they'd ever faced?

    Not Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe. Not Vitali, Not Wlad and no one on the current scene looks likely to achieve anything close to that.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2024
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  12. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    Because the loser wouldn't have made a dime for King without a belt.
     
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  13. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    Totally revisionist. In 2000, Tua, Grant, Vitali and Tyson were more highly regarded than Byrd and Ruiz. Ibeabuchi had just been removed from the picture in late 99. Byrd went on to beat Vitali in what was rightfully considered a fluke and got beaten up by Wlad for doing so. Ruiz surprised everyone against Holyfield in mid 2000 and got locked away in the trilogy.

    Oleg Maskaev also got hot for a second and Kirk Johnson took his place after knocking him out.
     
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  14. Jakub79

    Jakub79 Member Full Member

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    not at all, and even if Lewis has no credit for it. Foreman was over 40 and was miles past his prime, as was Holmes. However, both of them turned out to be better than those with whom Prime Lewis had huge problems. Moorer was the LHW who moved up in weight, Ike was stopped outside the ring but before that happened he cleared some path for Lewis. While Lewis warred with Bruno, Phil Jackson, McCall, Holyfield fought 3 times with Bowe, twice with Moorer, twice with Tyson clearing the division for Lewis but suffering losses himself, As a result when he went to Lewis in 1999 he was a 37 year veteran who had a lot behind him. The fights with Bean, Lewis, Ruiz and the next ones confirmed that he was no longer the same boxer.
    No, Lewis didn't achieve anything like Bowe, Holy, Tyson because even in his prime he never looked that good, never facing an elite fighter in his prime. At the same time, he was able to lose to non-elite fighters such as Rahman and McCall, have very controversial victories over non-elite Mercer, not be able to convincingly retire a veteran in Holy style, give away the championship belts to leading contenders and not give a rematch to the fighters who gave him the hardest fight in his career in which he won a lottery ticket and has never proven otherwise, although he still claims it in interviews. Have you been fooled?
     
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  15. Boxed Ears

    Boxed Ears this my daddy's account (RIP daddy) Full Member

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    We've all been kicking around long enough to know the true story of all three of these men having a relationship with Pattie Boyd, famous personafist and schmancifier. They would later go on to eat tons of shrimp together. But she would marry only Akinwande, who she claimed was an even better hugger than Ruiz, going on to even suggest that he hugged her both tighter and longer and deeper than all the three others. So, I think there were a lot of nuanced, complex feelings that all of these men had together and fighting would not have solved any of it. Meanwhile, Lewis had no trouble fighting Akinwande. He would even do that hand gesture that he called "Waving the magic wand-ay." when he won fights or had relations with someone.
     
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