Why doesn't Lennox have universal approval ?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by markclitheroe, Mar 13, 2015.


  1. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Sure. Change my mind.

    Ali - Yes
    Louis - Yes
    Holmes - Why? Who are his best victims? Do you rank them above Lewis' in terms of quality or depth? Holy, Vitali, Grant, Tua, Briggs, Morrison, Ruddock, Golota, McCall, Rahman, Bruno, Tucker, Mercer, Akinwande... Holmes is arguable, tho.
    Foreman - There's an argument there. He's leads with the two excellent victories but falls off quickly. He also got beaten by an Ali who didn't have a lot left in the gas tank and a Young who was strictly B-level. And to some degree we have to factor in the Holy and Morrison defeats (I'll throw out the Briggs loss). With Lewis avenging his only 2 losses and the depth of the dangerous heavies he faced, I'm taking Lennox.
    Marciano - Eh hem... Marciano arrived at the right time, did what he had to and got out quick. If we credit Lewis for hitting world class in his Mason match, that is 12 years of fighting top level fighters. If we do the same exercise with Marciano, we start with Layne and get 4 years. And this isn't even accounting for the quality of opponents he faced at the top. Lewis faced a broader spectrum of fighters and certainly more dangerous opponents. I have Marciano top ten but not above Lewis.

    So, who more? I won't give you Marciano. And while I respect the inclusion of Foreman and Holmes, they don't beat out Lewis for me.
     
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  2. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    I agree with that. Lewis does have Vitali of course, which is an enormous win given what we now know about that dude. But what the raw numbers show is who this guy was fighting. Ring is far from infallible, but I think it's reasonable to state for the most part that a guy who made their ten was one of the best in the world at what they did at the weight they did. That's impressive.

    It's also worth noting that Charles fought in a weird era for stacking ranked guys. He missed out on a few guys by a hair, guys that were or would be ranked. It seems to have been an era that was not particularly competitive 1-6 but was a real shuffled pack 7-15. Guys dropping in and out all the time. And he got his fair share of guys like that, for all that he got some guys who didn't deserve to be there. It could have been an absurd number.
     
  3. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Marciano's clear enough for me. I'd say take it or leave it.

    .... but since I have names to spare, take Joe Frazier instead.
     
  4. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    You have Lewis at #4 bordering on #3 on your own list so 16 would present a huge gulf. It goes to show (as i have been saying) there is a lot of room to move once we get down from Ali and Louis. Acceptable presents a very very wide range.
     
  5. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    Honestly, there's no gulf. I'd have very, very little to chose between my #3 and my #14, they're separated by almost nothing. Heavy has, by far, the most malleable of the divisions i've looked at in detail. Featherweight, middleweight, whatever, they all have much more air between 10 and 3 than this division.

    Which, of course, contributes to the madness.
     
  6. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    You could for sure put Lewis at #11 on my list and i'm quite happy to claim it still, and defend it.
     
  7. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Absolutely.
     
  8. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Exactly, just as #4 or #3 can be defended.
     
  9. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    Yeah for sure. He fought a bevy of punchers and contenders and they were mostly very big. There's 14 years between Mason and Vitali. He beat the guys who came before him and the best guy to come immediately after him.

    The problem with defending #3 is that nobody has a firm hold on it - you can make a really good case for numerous fighters, so it's a very easy target, a guy's #3. That's why I go for Rocky, he never got beat :lol:
     
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  10. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I love Frazier but Lewis' depth of resume and longevity trumps Frazier's one great win.
     
  11. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Evander Holyfield ranks above Lennox Lewis in my book.

    Yes, Lewis beat him, but ...

    Like I pointed out in a previous post, Holyfield and Tyson were direct contemporaries of one another, while Lewis and Bowe came along later - they were a newer, fresher, later crop.
    Lewis faced Holyfield when Holyfield had already come "back from the dead" 3 times. Lewis was coming into his own at a time Holyfield was starting on his decline.
    Everyone reckoned Holyfield was finished after the first Bowe defeat, nevermind the Moorer debacle. This was just as Lewis was entering his prime in the wake of his win over Ruddock. A declining Holyfield was put through the ringer with the Bowe trilogy, this was all before the Tyson fights, nevermind Lennox Lewis.
    Lewis, for his part, progressed more gradually, escaped too much punishment (his loss to McCall wasn't damaging) and hooked up with Steward along the way.
    One of Lewis's direct contemporaries (aside from Bowe) was arguably Ray Mercer, his other 1988 Olympic counterpart.
     
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  12. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Shall I mention Dempsey ?
    Nah, I think I'll leave that alone.
     
  13. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    That would be laughable.
     
  14. PernellSweetPea

    PernellSweetPea Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Tommy was also past his best and after years of superfights in divisions much higher than he started, and Barkley was a big middleweight whom some say was as strong as a heavyweight. Lennox was a big guy at heavyweight for anyone. So I am not sure it is comparable.
     
  15. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Lewis had an entire career behind him by the time he fought Rahman. I would agree both were past their best. Half of Tommy's "Superfights" were strolls in the park as he won by fast KO or a non grueling decision. Lewis avenged his loss to Rahman emphatically where as Tommy lost again.

    Barkley being strong cancels out the significance of the defeat? This strength did not make Barkley a top shelf fighter and nor does it change his actual career standing. Would you excuse someone losing to a Howard Davis Jr because he was fast?

    Lewis being a big man doesn't change anything either as he fights in the open division. I will grant Tommy was not at his best weight at 160.

    Where the losses are not comparable in in that Lewis came back and came up trumps in a devastating way.
     
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