The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

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The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Apollo
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Lennox claims to be the best after Ali - better than Tyson, Bowe, Holyfield, Klitschko ...ok so far - even though I'm not sure if I'd bet on Lennox if he boxed those opponents prime for prime. It's understandable that Lennox gets ranked ahead of those heavyweights. He earned it.

But despite being ranked ahead of them, there's a reason why Lennox isn't the best after Ali...





















... and that reason came WAY earlier:

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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Entaowed
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Evan Fields
Could argue it on either side. For example, Lennox Lewis would probably knock out Ken Norton fast while Larry Holmes struggled with him and beat him by one point. Larry had 5 more title defenses than Lewis but Lewis would beat Larry's competition, some of them much easier because he punched harder than Larry.

I would say Larry is the best after Ali, and Holyfield was the best after Holmes, then Tyson and Lewis. Holyfield fought better competition than Lewis and is a 5 time heavyweight champion.

Head to head would be fun to watch between Larry and Lewis. Larry is tough enough to pull it off but Lennox and trainer Emanuel Steward would be smart enough to exploit Larry's weakness of dropping his left hand and not moving his head. Lewis has a chance.
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Apollo
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If Holmes was born 10 years earlier, he'd go after the title in the late 1960s when Ali was banned from boxing. The man he'd have to beat in order to earn the title shot would be Joe Frazier. I don't know if he could do it, and even if - he'd have to defend it against a young George Foreman in 1973.
Ali would return and they would have a hard fight with each other - I don't know if Holmes would become champion, but I agree - he'd have a harder time.

However, I was talking about Holmes compared to the great ones AFTER him. It's hard to provide any good evidence for that claim.

The first one is Mike Tyson ...and yes, Larry got knocked out by Mike Tyson. In another thread I argued that Mike Tyson (1988) would also knockout prime Holmes (circa 1979).

Lennox Lewis has a better resume than Larry, but they accomplished about the same - something Riddick Bowe didn't. This fight decides who the best is after Ali in my opinion. Power goes to Lennox, Jab goes to Holmes, volume goes to Holmes, speed goes to Holmes, athleticism goes to Lennox, ring-IQ they're about even - but angles ...Lennox never dealt well when someone showed him angles, which is what Holmes would do. This is the reason I pick him to defeat Lennox.

Ray Mercer announced after the Holmes fight (an old Homes) that he needs to learn correct boxing. Larry took him to boxing school. Against Lennox (a young Lennox in his prime) Mercer gave him a razor close fight, made him brawl by jabbing Lennox and jabbing with Lennox.

I believe Holmes would be slick enough to avoid most of Lennox' shots and he had an pretty great chin even if he did get caught.

Holmes vs. Holyfield is a no brainer for me. I believe prime Holmes defeats him easily. Larry would probably prefer to fight Holyfield 3x a year instead of Ken Norton once a year.
An old Holmes fought a close to prime Holyfield in a fight that more than a few thought he won.

Holmes vs. Klitschko - hard one. Holmes has the skills, but as you mentioned Larry had close fights with the likes of Witherspoon and Williams ..so why would anyone pick him over Klitschko?
I would argue that styles make fights and sometimes a Cassius Clay does much better against a Sonny Liston than against a Doug Jones.
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Entaowed
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Apollo
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I would argue that Larry left his prime in 1982, when he defeated Gerry Cooney in a fight that was a huge event at that time and also the year when Randall Cobb got a terrible beating. Larry stunned Cooney in the 1st round with a sharp right hand out of nowhere. I can see him landing that right hand on Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko also.

I would say that even prime Ali (who also enjoyed a height advantage over most of his opponents) would have a tough fight with Larry.
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Duggerman
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I personally pick Joe Louis right under Ali, but you could certainly make a good case for Larry here.

It all comes down to the big three victories that defined Ali's career -- Liston, Foreman and Frazier.

Does Larry beat the big three? He may win one out of the three.

A Liston-Holmes fight might play out a lot like the Holmes-Shavers battles. Holmes may hit the deck or get stunned, but he would be the ring general and make Sonny look bad, especially during the middle to late rounds.

Against Foreman? Larry is one of the FEW guys I pick to beat a young George Foreman. He had the movement and jab to keep Foreman off balance all night. I always thought George ducked Larry, but Larry confirmed that was a myth when I interviewed him.

I do, however, pick 1970-71 to batter Larry Holmes. Larry didn't have the punch to stop Frazier early, and although Larry was really tough, I don't see him winning in a battle of attrition with a peaming Smokin Joe. It would be a tough fight for both, as Larry's jab would make things hard for Joe at first, but eventually Joe would find his rhythm and start beating up Larry until the ref stops it.

Larry also told me that Joe hit harder than prime Tyson, and that his sparring sessions with Joe were the most intense gym wars he ever had.
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Evolution
Duggerman wrote
I personally pick Joe Louis right under Ali, but you could certainly make a good case for Larry here.

It all comes down to the big three victories that defined Ali's career -- Liston, Foreman and Frazier.

Does Larry beat the big three? He may win one out of the three.

A Liston-Holmes fight might play out a lot like the Holmes-Shavers battles. Holmes may hit the deck or get stunned, but he would be the ring general and make Sonny look bad, especially during the middle to late rounds.

Against Foreman? Larry is one of the FEW guys I pick to beat a young George Foreman. He had the movement and jab to keep Foreman off balance all night. I always thought George ducked Larry, but Larry confirmed that was a myth when I interviewed him.

I do, however, pick 1970-71 to batter Larry Holmes. Larry didn't have the punch to stop Frazier early, and although Larry was really tough, I don't see him winning in a battle of attrition with a peaming Smokin Joe. It would be a tough fight for both, as Larry's jab would make things hard for Joe at first, but eventually Joe would find his rhythm and start beating up Larry until the ref stops it.

Larry also told me that Joe hit harder than prime Tyson, and that his sparring sessions with Joe were the most intense gym wars he ever had.
Good post. I just differ that Larry would not beat George  in their primes. George would cut the ring on Larry and get him eventually.
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Entaowed
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Re: The reason Lennox Lewis isn't the best after Ali

Duggerman
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^Listen to my interview with Larry again. He has no beef with Tyson, Peter Marciano or anyone like that anymore. You wouldn’t believe how much he matured.