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Thread: Is Lennox Lewis an all time great heavyweight?

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    Debating Lennox Lewis ...

    Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool
    by Paul Upham from Seconds Out

    The way heavyweight boxing is going today with no one universally recognised champion, Lennox Lewis could be the last undisputed champion for a very long time. While he retired in February 2004, many fans still regard him as the real king of the heavyweight division.

    "I think it's great," Lewis says with pride. "Even now, people tell me I am a true champion. 'You are the champion still. There is nobody else around', they say. That's because the guys who have come along, they don't stay around too long. Look at Vitali Klitschko, look at Hasim Rahman. They are not staying around as champion too long."

    On working out when to retire:
    "When it comes to boxers, they should know themselves. Like for me, I realised that my main focus was Tyson. But after Tyson, I had no focus any more. Klitschko never called me names or sad anything bad about me. There was no drive, no hunger for me to fight him, so if you step in there dealing with the money and you are just going after the money and not dealing with the hunger and the glory aspect, you are really going uphill and fighting an uphill battle."

    Will Bernard Hopkins fight again?
    "He will fight again. He is staying in shape."

    On Oleg Maskaev's knockout win over Hasim Rahman
    "He did very well. I didn't think he was going to win, but as the fight developed, I could see how Rahman was fighting the fight wrong. If you are going to be heavyweight champion of the world, you have got to know how to win. You have to fight every fight with your heart. The other opponent has heart too, so it is a heart to heart."

    On Joe Calzaghe fighting in America
    "A lot of Americans don't know Calzaghe too much. These last two fights with (Sakio) Bika and (Jeff) Lacy were when they really got to see him. They really still don't know who he is."

    On the legacy of Lennox Lewis
    "A lot of the boxers have said they want to do what Lennox Lewis has done, retiring as champion, which is good."

    Should Oscar De La Hoya retire now or face Floyd Mayweather Jr?
    "I think he should retire. There is no way he can beat Mayweather. Mayweather is too quick for him. That is like Mayweather versus Arturo Gatti. Why did they make that fight? I put a whole heap of money on that fight because I knew the outcome."

    Can anyone beat Floyd Mayweather Jr?
    "See, a lot of the people don't realise that boxing is survival of the fittest. That means that you have to be able to survive a cut, have good endurance, not get knocked out. All these factors are involved to make you a great boxer. You can be a great boxer, but if you have hand problems, it is going to lessen your chances. You can be a great boxer, but if you cut easy, there is always that chance some guy is going to throw a wild punch and cut you and you lose a fight on a cut, so it is always survival of the fittest."

    On boxers losing a lot of weight to make their weight class
    "They lose twenty pounds quickly to make weight. They lose a lot of water to make weight. When it comes to fight time, some have really had to squeeze out that last couple of pounds and that is what does them in. That's how a lot of fighters get hurt. Once you get in that heavy twelve round fight, that don't have that water in them and they get hurt. As they get older, they still think they can do it."

    If you see Mike Tyson in public, do you say anything to him?
    "Yeah, he is OK with me now. I haven't seen him mad, like on television, carrying on. I never knew him like that."

    What about Tyson at your infamous New York press conference?
    "That was mad. I don't know what happened there. I'm at the press conference wearing a three-piece suit. One thing Don King said to me one time, 'Save it for the ring. Don't give it to them free'.


    Did Tyson really bite your leg?
    "I wish I could show it to you."

    On finally fighting Tyson
    "It was a fight that I didn't even know if it was ever going to take place. I was supposed to fight him before his incarceration. After his incarceration he was supposed to fight me, but he went and fought Evander Holyfield. Then he went through all these little problems, but he was still around."

    On Don King
    "I actually like being around him, because I am always learning things. He is always talking. He can be funny too."

    On the Andrew Golota knockout win
    "I step into the arena and there are Polish fans hanging off the rafters. Fights everywhere. I go out there, the fight only lasts a minute. I turn around, nobody in the place, they have all left. They leave fast. Before the fight they are singing and making a whole heap of noise. After when you look around, they are gone."

    On beating David Tua
    "I was always one step ahead of him. He was like a guy trying, but he wasn't there. He wanted to settle down after the first round. I hit him with a punch and he just covered up after that."

    On Ricky Hatton
    "Ricky Hatton's style, although you can't change his style now, there is a lot of American's who would welcome that style. In your face like that. Where my trainer Emanuel Steward teaches step back, boom! Step back, boom! For guys that come on like that, that's how you lull them into it."

    On his most awkward win
    "It would have to be Zeljko Mavrovic. They put us in the ring where the lights were burning my head. That's how hot it was. It was like a sauna. It was a difficult because he was moving around. It was awkward. This guy trained two years just for me. This is who he wanted to box."

    Since Lewis' retirement, there has been no clear-cut heavyweight world champion. The four main title-holders now all hailing from the former Soviet Union.

    "I do have a personal favourite and it would have to be Wladimir Klitschko, because he has my trainer," said Lewis. "He has gone to my training camp and he wants to know everything about me. He is very attached to it in the sense that he wants to be good and he wants to be a champion. I think that is commendable."

    Klitschko was written off by many after his knockout losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, but he is now trying to work his way back and return better just as Lewis did in his own career.

    "That's the way I look at it," agreed Lewis. "I wouldn't have been as good as I am unless I had those losses. The losses give you that character to become a true champion. That proves that you are a true champion to be able to come back from a loss. Realise your mistake, adjust and come back and win."

    During the Superfighter press conference, vision was shown to the media of Oliver McCall knocking out Lewis in September 1994. The defeat still hurts. Lewis putting his large hands over the top of the video screen telling the media "don't look".

    "Yeah, it was one of those situations," said Lewis, "where I was throwing a punch, but my punch came like this (wide), his punch was shorter and his shorter arms won out on that one."

    At the age of 41, the same as Lewis, McCall is still fighting as a professional and will be one of eight boxers in Superfighter.

    "Yeah, I am surprised he is still doing it," said Lewis. "But there is nobody around and there is a lot of guys he could probably beat."

    The observation that McCall is still fighting for money momentarily triggers something in Lewis.

    "There is a lot of money," he mused. "If I came back right now, there would be some big, big money."

    But why risk his legacy?

    "That's why I don't come back," he replies.

    Is his legacy of retiring as reigning world champion that important that he could turn down US$50 million for one fight?

    "Yes it is."

    Between October 1992 and February 2004, Lewis made fourteen successful world title defences over three title reigns.

    "I don't look at it as the toughest man," said Lewis, in defining what being heavyweight champion of the world means. "I look at it as being king of the hill. I always tell people it is lonely at the top. The only problem with that, especially when you are undisputed champion, you have three guys threatening to sue you for their mandatory because they want the fight. But you can only fight one person at a time."

    While he was involved in many exciting fights, Lewis does not find it hard to select his most memorable win.

    "I have a few, but my last favourite win was the rematch against Rahman," he said. "I actually went to Africa for our first fight because I wanted to follow in Muhammad Ali's footsteps in the sense of boxing in Africa, the homeland and having a big, big fight over there. But unfortunately, it didn't turn out well for me. Then, to have a rematch with Rahman and he ran away from me. I took him to three courts around the world. The only thing that he couldn't stop was that he signed a personal guarantee for a rematch. Luckily, I made him do that, because that's what really saved me."

    Lewis speaks with great passion and feeling about the knockout of Rahman in Las Vegas in November 2001. The 4th round victory to regain the heavyweight crown for second time meant a lot to him.

    "It did," he said. "It rekindled a dwindling light within me as champion. I was hanging around having a couple of defences. There was really nobody else out there for me. I was waiting around for Tyson. I wanted to keep busy so I picked Rahman. That was a mistake, but it turned out well in the end. In the first fight he threw a great punch and my chin happened to be in the way. He was going on unprofessional afterwards. Calling me names. I said to myself, 'OK, don't worry'. I'm going back to the dungeons, while he is running around saying he is champion."

    Before the rematch there was also their unforgettable wrestling match in an ESPN studio.

    "All of that really wound me up," said Lewis. "That day, if you watch the tape of us wrestling, I grabbed a medallion from around his neck and I was holding it out to him. He was saying, 'give my chain back'. I said, 'come for it' and he wouldn't come for it. Since I'm not a thief, I just threw it back at him. Then the night of our rematch, I'm getting gloved up and watching him on TV trying to get into my change rooms. I'm saying, 'who does that?' This is the most important fight of his career and he is trying to get into my change room to see me glove up. That's stupid. Right then I knew I had him. The fight was really positive. I went back to my movement and he couldn't stand that. At certain parts of the fight he was trying to call me on, but I was just using my sweet science. Then he made that mistake of going like that (holds his arms out). My right hand was usually straight, but I kind of brought it around like that. A great punch. I put him on the floor. Don King was happy, 'Oh, you knocked him right on the crown, the crown was on his head.'"

    One of the hardest things for any boxer to do is to come back and beat the fighter who knocked you out without any tune-up fight. Lewis did it in style.

    "What happens," explained Lewis, "is you have a lot of people, especially the press saying, 'but does he still have it, isn't he making this mistake by coming back so soon after he got knocked out?' I had to put that out of my mind, because I knew that it was more or less a slip that caught me when he knocked me down. It wasn't the fact that he was beating me up."

    Lewis says the punch from Rahman that floored him is another example of, "the drama of boxing".

    "I was in the fight," he observed, "and I was on my way to knocking him out. I was taking him into the deep end. If you see the last two rounds, I carried him halfway around the ring. I would take him to my corner at the end of the round so I could sit on my stool as soon as possible, where he had to walk across the ring to his corner. I was getting as much rest as possible. The commentators were saying that I was tired. I was thinking later 'what are you talking about.'"

    While he has a number of residences around the world, Lewis primarily lives in Miami with his family. In ten years time, he can see himself doing the same sort of things he is doing right now.

    "On the boxing scene commentating, movies, yes," he agreed. "I don't think I'll be in music. A lot of people are always giving me CD's and demo tape's because they heard rumours I'm involved. But the music business can be just as bad as the boxing business. I have friends in it and it is terrible."

    It has been an unforgettable journey for Lewis since he was first born in West Ham, England in September 1965. Asked if he still followed the local football team West Ham United, Lewis burst into tune with the team's anthem.

    "I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky," he crooned.

    "I followed them for a long time," Lewis said. "Hammers for life."

    On top of that you can add the titles of heavyweight world champion, boxing ambassador and the perfect example of consummate cool.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    I like the guy. Good comments. Smart guy who guided himself very very smart. He backed off when he had to and retired at the right time. I dont think he was going to beat Klitchko senior. Too tall. Lennox had problems with such a tall guy, and of course he had lost alot of his boxing spirit with age. But he knew when to quit and let another guy get the glory. I also think hes the best boxer to commentate. He has good comments and is focused on the fight.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Lewis is a nice guy and I'm glad he got out of boxing with his brain and looks intact but I will never underlook that he was unable to ever battle back from a knockdown to win a fight. Also his less than dominant performances against Holyfield tell me he would be hesitant to mix it up with a smaller aggressive Louis or Dempsey and would get KO'ed by both men.

    In terms of accomplishments, I think he was one of the better heavyweights post Ali (his resume impresses me more than Tyson or Holmes) but in head to head matchups I see him getting laid out by most of the top crop of all time.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Achilles
    Also his less than dominant performances against Holyfield tell me he would be hesitant to mix it up with a smaller aggressive Louis or Dempsey and would get KO'ed by both men.
    He almost completely dominated Holyfield in their first fight.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    He won nearly every single round of the first Holyfield fight. Very dominant performance.

    Now lets hear the excuses for Holyfield!

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    I thought Lennox did a decent job against Holy in fight one but if you wanted to be critical you could suggest that he was too cautious: you can never tell what version of Evander was going to turn up but the Holy of the first fight seemed to be there for the taking on a number of occasions but Lennox chose not to take those opportunities. That caution almost cost him in the second fight: he basically fought the same fight but Holyfield was more commited and more agressive and ultimately more effective. Again, I think Lewsi still won, just, but you got the feeling that he could have done more.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Criticizing Lewis for winning "only" nine rounds against Holyfield seems really, really odd to me.

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    I'm with Paulie here

    Lewis IMO won the first Holyfield fight and won it clearly. But he was indeed a bit too cautious.

    I HONESTLY believe that the Draw was the best thing that could have happened to him becuase controversy in essence deflected all of the criticism that was BOUND to be heaped on Lewis for fighting as "safety first" as he did.

    I'm not saying it wasn't smart OR effective, but it was dull and unsatisfying.

    Analogy here: Marco Antoinio Barrera took ZERO chances with Rocky Juarez, won a clear decsion but was roundly crticized for the manner in which he fought becuase it wasn't aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

    IMO, Had Lewis gotten the decision that I feel he deserved, I feel he would have recieved much of the same criticism that Barrera just got, when he too fought effectively conservative.

    We want our Mexican warriors to be "warriors" and we want out Heavyweight champions, especially those that are 6"6" 240+ pounds to be knockout artists. Lewis was not well recieved by the media. Many disliked his style. many disliked his "percieved" arrogance. Many disliked that he simply wasn't American.

    Fair? Absolutely not.

    That decision goes Lewis' way you think that the media and fans all of a sudden embrace him? The Draw made him a sympathetic figure. That, more than anything else made him an accpeted figure.

    The rematch? I ALSO agree Holyfield fought a much more effective bout in the rematch and I thought Lewis BARELY win the fight (Win yes. Barely, yes.). But so many were looking for justice from the first bout, that they really didn't focus on just how close the bout was.

    Heck, there were multiple media members who actually gave it to Holyfield. Wally Matthews, Steve Farhood, Doug Kirkorian, Steve Simmons had it a draw, Bill Lyon, Ron Borges, Chris Jones. Bernard Fernandez saw it as I did Lewis 115-114. Colin Hart from England Also saw Evander winning the rematch.

    And understand in the first bout, there was more than one British writer who did not see the fuss with the draw result form NY. Glyn Leach, Harry Mullan, Colin Hart and Jeff Powall, all Briitish based writers all saw the first fight as a draw.

    I thought Lewis won the first bout comfortably. What does NOT make me comfortable is seeing the scorecards from the American and Engish press. No One could seem to agree on who won which rounds.

    If I was Don King after hearing all of the griping about the decision I would have made the Press stand up and be accountable. Take a poll from the press as to which fighter won what round. I recall doing a similar exercise with the presses scorecards and saw that only one or two rounds were agreed upon unanimously. That means that of the dozen or so respected writers scorecards I agreed with, there were 10 of 12 rounds with which they could NOT agree on. If I'm Don King and I'm at the center of the controversy, THAT's were I go. "Look, you guys couldn't agree amongst yourselves on 10 of 12 rounds, what are you complaining about a draw for? If it WAS that onesided, you all would be in agreement."

    Think about that for a second. Say I score the bout 8-4 for Lewis. ANd You (whoever is reading this post) Also scores it 8-4 for Lewis, but there are 4 or 6 rounds that we do not agree on. Collectively, we may have scored as many as 7 different rounds for Holyfield. If there is that much ambiguity as to who won what round, then maybe we shouldn't be complaining too loudly.

    Agian, so we are clear here, I had Lewis winning and winning comfortably. I also will be honest enough to state that MY CARD, is NOT necessarily the RIGHT card. I'm not CLOSE to being perfect and have NEVER thought of myself as such, especially when it comes to this sport.

    I Had Lewis winning, but I was ALSO unipressed with Lewis's performance, much like many were less than impressed with Barrera agianst Juarez in thier rematch. It is MY opinion, that the Draw was the BEST thing that ever could have happened to Lennox that night. The controversy was the issue, not his performance.

    Boxing Monthly's cover article said something I agree with in part (Not totally becuase I thought Lewis DID indeed win and deserve the duke): "A FIT UP? OH SHUT UP! Contrived Controversy can't disguise that Neither Delivered." Evander didn't do enough win and Lewis didn't do enough IMO to impress anyone.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 10-30-2006 at 02:54 PM.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    I'm not sure Lewis would've been heaped with criticism had the scores been 117-111 x3 or whatever. He was expected to lose the fight (I'm almost certain), and people are often more forgiving when an underdog wins a dullish decision.

    I think a lot of the Lewis criticism came in retrospect, after the second fight was much closer and after Holy went on to have close, unwatchable slopfests with Ruiz.

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    Possibly Todd.

    I just see it being Barrera Juarez II all over agian (or actually "before".)

    Agian, In just reading the post fight reports, not too many were saying how Good Lewis looked (especially the British press), rather they were focusing on the bad decision, DOn King and Eugenia WIlliams.

    After Whitaker Chavez, all the press could talk about was how cruel the decsion was becuase Whitaker looked so good and it was a travesty to rob him of such an obvious glorious victory.

    I don't recall that with Lewis's draw with Evander. Talks about the decision, but NOT Lewis' performance.

    Hawk

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    I love it. When he was fighting, he was a lazy, underachieving, undertrained, safety-first fighter with one punch who fought down to the level of every opponent and had a china chin.

    Nothing like retirement and the passage of time to make a boxer larger than life. By this time in 2010, boxing scribes will be comparing Lewis to Ali and Louis. "Hey, Mac, we'll never see another destroyer like Lewis again, know what I mean?"

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Lennox deserves accolades for clearly beating Evander in the first fight, but let's be honest here. Even the most die-hard Lewis fan has to watch the fight and admit that Holyfield looked like he could've cared less to be there after his ridiculous "3rd round prophecy" didn't come true. His punch output was abysmal. And pls don't tell me it was due to Lennox's superb boxing abilities. The same thing happened in the first Ruiz bout, but I suppose that was the Quietman's superior boxing abilities neutralizing the Real Deal . . . right?

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    "And understand in the first bout, there was more than one British writer who did not see the fuss with the draw result form NY. Glyn Leach, Harry Mullan, Colin Hart and Jeff Powall, all Briitish based writers all saw the first fight as a draw"

    Big deal. Colin Hart is the UKs answer to Hauser & his Ali obsession, like Harry Mullan, hes never liked Lewis. Jeff Powell writes laughable sports articles for the Daily Mail & has absolutely zero knowledge of boxing (among other sports he reports on).

    The only guy who surprised me was Boxing Monthlys Glyn Leach, but then again he had predicted Lewis KO3 Holyfield!! He envisaged a Foreman/Frazier passing of the guard bludgeoning so no wonder he was disappointed by LLs boxing to a easy decision.

    Then again Leach is a nut. He uses his own boxing magazine to vent his depression & mental health issues, girlfriend problems, strange artcles where he attempts to be a comedy writer, guy is an idiot and very few news agents bother to stock Boxing Monthly anymore as it is near unsellable.

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    You Know

    Recently it has been pointed out that in a few of my more recent posts, I have been a bit more sarcastic and flip. I took that critique and made a promise that I will be conscious of my future posts so that it is more about boxing and less about comedy (though I tell you, it is rather tough becuase I don't take myself too seriously and well, we ARE talking boxing here, not anything too important in the grand scheme of things.).

    So Bucket, and to the rest of the Mods, I vow to hold up my end of my word.

    THat said, it does irk me to see posts like the one made here by Overhand, with his sarcastic dismissiveness and open insults.

    My recent posts in the Biggest Disappointments thread as they pertained to Oliver McCall were in response to another posters comments about McCall's power and while my response to THAT post was laced with "Classic Hawk Sarcasm" (which understandably is not appreciated or embraced by all). The posts made following that by Overhand, posts similar to this one, prompted a bit more patronizing and dismissive tone from me. One that I don't feel had been the norm from me on this site. I even recognized this by pointing out my own "chippyness" at the end of one of the posts. My bad and I apologize for that. It wasn't necessary.

    Overhand, I personally think you are a bit out of line here. I beleive I have the right to my opinion and the right to compose a post using as many sources as I feel necessary and you certainly have the right to disagree with them and with me. But I think the manner in which you typically respond to posts you don't agree with, are a bit over the top. Specifically for this site.

    Overhand:
    "Big deal. Colin Hart is the UKs answer to Hauser & his Ali obsession, like Harry Mullan, hes never liked Lewis. Jeff Powell writes laughable sports articles for the Daily Mail & has absolutely zero knowledge of boxing (among other sports he reports on).

    The only guy who surprised me was Boxing Monthlys Glyn Leach, but then again he had predicted Lewis KO3 Holyfield!! He envisaged a Foreman/Frazier passing of the guard bludgeoning so no wonder he was disappointed by LLs boxing to a easy decision.

    Then again Leach is a nut. He uses his own boxing magazine to vent his depression & mental health issues, girlfriend problems, strange artcles where he attempts to be a comedy writer, guy is an idiot and very few news agents bother to stock Boxing Monthly anymore as it is near unsellable."


    Are insults about Glyn Leach necessary in order to minimize the sources I used in my post? Obviously to lable Leach as "insane" with "relationship" issues, certainly does the trick on the surface, in discrediting my using him as a source in my previous post.

    But is that what this site is about?

    Just some frendly feedback from a fellow poster.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 10-31-2006 at 08:51 AM.

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    Sarcasm?

    My post wasn't sarcastic, or at least wasn't meant to be.

    Re-reading it, it doesn't even sound sarcastic. When you listed the British journalists who were disappointed with LL, it made me smile because I am well familiar with all of them and their dislike of LL through the years. And as I pointed out, the only exception was Leach, who was a LL fan but also in the previews had programmed himself to believe that it was going to be nothing less than a monumental LL/Ruddock or Golota type blow out.

    And I still maintain the guy is a nut, one of the many reasons i can't be bothered to pay £4 (roughly $9) to read his bizarre drivel anymore.

    Hawk my man, believe me i would not even attempt to dethrone you, you truly are the King of Sarcastic bile-fest posts. Judging by your last post however, maybe you have abdicated?

    Good for you.
    Last edited by Overhand_Right; 10-31-2006 at 08:59 AM.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by DscribeDC
    I love it. When he was fighting, he was a lazy, underachieving, undertrained, safety-first fighter with one punch who fought down to the level of every opponent and had a china chin.

    Nothing like retirement and the passage of time to make a boxer larger than life. By this time in 2010, boxing scribes will be comparing Lewis to Ali and Louis. "Hey, Mac, we'll never see another destroyer like Lewis again, know what I mean?"

    I completely agree! Though Lewis seems to be a genuinely good guy, he is very, very over-rated now...I hate to see what it will look like in a decade, or two.

    He looked absolutely great against Ruddock, Golota and in the second Rahman bout, he looked like a real destroyer in those bouts, but the rest of his fights against top flight opposition was very, very far from the kind of impressive a reigning heavyweight champion should be...especially one of his size, though size really has little to do with it in boxing.

    Another vastly overrated heavyweight was Vitali!!! A lot of people try to give Klitschko credit for losing against Lewis…I’ve heard many even try to claim it as a win for Klitschko, but what I saw was Klitschko winning the first few rounds and by the time the ref stopped the fight Klitschko was looking for a way out as Lewis had pretty much taken control of the fight and was beginning to bust Vitali up!

    In his bout with Grant, Lewis fought one of the dirtier heavyweight title bouts that I can remember…holding his head down and throwing bomb uppercuts…it was just plain and simply dirty and as a result it ended up ruining Grants career…though I don’t think Grant would have ever been the very best, nor do I think he would have beaten Lewis, but he sure didn’t deserve the kind of illegal tactics that Lewis used against him in that bout!

    A lot of people think the size of Lewis would make him favorite over some of the true greats, but his lazy, safety first style, along with that glass jaw, would, more than likely, make him easy "meat" for guys like Dempsey, Louis, Foreman, Frazier, Liston, Marciano, Jeffries, Baer and a young Tyson…Ali would just do what he did so well.

    I thought Lewis clearly beat Holyfield in they're first bout, but the second should have went to Holyfield, but both fights were literally painful to watch they were so boring. The fact of the issue is that Holyfield was a shot fighter at that point, he had been a shot fighter for a few years at that point, he actually was pretty much completely shot, and Lewis had a very tough time a Holyfield who was less than half the fighter he was in his prime...a prime Holyfield would have been all over Lewis! Those two bouts and Lewis’ fight with Tyson are considered by many to be his crowning achievements, but in all honesty...they were wins against two fighters that were several years past it, two fighters who were in reality "shot" fighters…and that was his crowning achievement…are you kidding?

    Lewis avenged his only two losses, but honestly those were two fights that he never should have lost to begin with as Rahman and McCall are two of the weakest belt holders in history, but then again…Lewis didn’t actually beat McCall…McCall beat himself!

    As I said, Lewis seems to be a very nice guy, but he is greatly over-rated and in all honestly certainly not an all-time top ten heavyweight, not even top twenty in my list…though he is likely in the top twenty-five. I may be a little more critical on Lewis more so than others, but I just simply never saw anything that would make Lewis a favorite against some of the greats. He arguably fought the best competition that was available to him and I honestly do not know of anyone that he ducked, but a true, all-time great…sorry, but the “numbers” just don’t add up! He had between five and ten total fights that could be considered exciting and of which showed an actual quality of greatness…ten at most of forty-four…that’s simply just not “great.”

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Couldn't that equation be applied to Larry Holmes or Joe Louis, Barry? How many GREAT performances can one have...especially when it appears impossible to prove GREATNESS against Nathan Mann, Paychek, Frank, Ocasio.....Dunn....

    Jim Jeffries wouldn't appear to have enough fights to qualify, neither would Corbett.

    Is it more fair to state that Lewis is hard to get a handle on in terms of his place in history as much due to the state of the game at the time he existed, the fact that he may be seen to be not great but merely better than the rest of the scrubs and mediocres....?

    I won't pretend to kjnow where to place him... but I am interested in what everyone else thinks. I will say, in the interest hopefully of advancing the discussion...that Lewis' excitement factor and percentage of GREAT performances or those showing great-qualities seem to me (admittedly one without many of the answers) be unreliable things to utilize to rank him. That is just my opinion of course.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    I liked Lewis plenty as a fighter. It's just boxing writers, as has often been pointed out here, tend to denigrate what's right in front of them and glorify the past. Hell, some of us recall how little appreciated Ali was in his time. I wish I had the Liebling quote on that subject that closes A Neutral Corner.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Lewis gets lambasted for losing to Rahman at age 36, but all of Holyfield's shitty fights past age 32 or 33 are given the footnote "completely shot at that point." If only Lewis had attained the distinction of being a completely shot fighter at some point in his career instead of being a relevant Top-5 heavyweight from 1992 until he retired...?

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    perhaps a collective "I don't know" approach to Lewis would be most appropriate at this time.

    And that is just my opinion...not trying to cause trouble or anything.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Yep.

    Funny How Holyfield was "shot" as soon as LL beat him. Funny how before that nobody thought he was shot and he widely favoured to tear LL up. This was a guy coming off wins over Tyson and Moorer, some of his CAREER-BEST performances, and was Americas top guy.

    Then LL beats him, and guess what, hes shot!

    Too bad if LLs performances are too 'boring' or 'safety first', i thought this was boxing? Yeah Riddick Bowe used his size to plow into his opponent and brawl and took a lot of punches for the trouble. Now he walks around in a daze. LL sits out on the beach in Miami counting his millions.

    I know who i'd rather be.

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    hopefully this adds something to stimulate the discussion but

    Wasn't Holyfield shot after Moorer I? I remember reading that.

    He was again shot after the Czyz bout. I am not mistaking that one either. Definitely read it. Heard it.

    George Foreman fears for Evander's life against Riddick Bowe in fight 3..Evander could die, heart problems et al. and yet picks him to win.

    Then he beats Tyson and Holyfield is not only not shot anymore (which he probably wasn't against a style like Mike's) but many people think the fight is an aberration and Tyson will kill him in the rematch. Tyson is not 'shot' either then. I remember that as clear as day.

    At some point Evander HAD to be truly shot... Ruiz does his job on Evander and he stinks. Evander is shot....again.

    Vitali's Golota-Ruddock Victory in Defeat Memorial trophy earned against Lennox however propels him to stardom.

    So I think many felt Lennox was out of shape, rather than shot. Meaning people had a higher opinion of Lewis in some way..he could still do it, he was still the baddest ass out there..when he wasn't the same guy. Some may say it is cheating Lewis. Others may argue it is paying him a huge compliment.

    The comparisons however between Holyfield and Lennox however it must be remembered we are looking at here are press perceptions...and not their actual stylistic and fighting acumen. Evander was a volume puncher, not a stick and move guy or a "I'm gonna getcha" type fighter. Lennox by comparison had going for him his size, his power and his ability to play matador if he felt like it.

    Moral of the story to me is analogies only work when they compare analogous things and that Lennox's decline could be masked..but I am not certain that would make him better at his best than guys who flamed out were at theirs.

    In short, it is likely too early to assess Lewis accurately.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    >>>Funny How Holyfield was "shot" as soon as LL beat him. Funny how before that nobody thought he was shot and he widely favoured to tear LL up. This was a guy coming off wins over Tyson and Moorer, some of his CAREER-BEST performances, and was Americas top guy.<<<

    Oh...Holyfield was shot a lot sooner than when Lewis beat him. I mean...it's a pretty silly arguement to pretend that he wasn't! Against Tyson he truly rose to the occasion, but aside from that win, Holyfield had not shown much since his second fight with Bowe...sorry but that's fact!

    And no...it's not an issue that Holyfield was all of a sudden shot just after LL beat him...it's pretty much common sense to all that follows boxing that the Holyfield who fought Lewis was a "shot" fighter...plain and simple...he was probably even less than half the fighter he use to be when he stepped in against Lewis! Hell...it's very clear to see in his fights, the Holyfield who at his best fought great bouts with the likes of Qawi, Dokes, Foreman and Bowe, the Holyfield who threw combination upon combination, the Holyfield who really came to fight, that Holyfield was long, long gone by the time he stepped in the ring with Lewis and that is just plain fact!!!

    I'm curious...do you also consider Tyson to have been near his best when he fought Lewis?
    Last edited by BDeskins; 10-31-2006 at 11:18 AM.

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    If Lewis' manner of performance matter

    we can apply it to Evander then and ask did he rise to the occassion or was Tyson himself made to order for him..on top of being less vigorous than he was in his best efforts?

    If the latter is true, in a black and white type of discussion, it makes rating Evander very highly a difficult proposition. One could claim it was obvious Tyson was not the same guy even remotely. If one thought Evander himself was declined, perhaps Lewis was as well when HE faced Evander?

    Something to ponder.
    Last edited by Sharkey; 10-31-2006 at 11:21 AM.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by BDeskins
    >>>Funny How Holyfield was "shot" as soon as LL beat him. Funny how before that nobody thought he was shot and he widely favoured to tear LL up. This was a guy coming off wins over Tyson and Moorer, some of his CAREER-BEST performances, and was Americas top guy.<<<

    Oh...Holyfield was shot a lot sooner than when Lewis beat him. I mean...it's a pretty silly arguement to pretend that he wasn't! Against Tyson he truly rose to the occasion, but aside from that win, Holyfield had not shown much since his fights with Bowe...sorry but that's fact!

    And no...it's not an issue that Holyfield was all of a sudden shot just after LL beat him...it's pretty much common sense to all that follows boxing that the Holyfield who fought Lewis was a "shot" fighter...plain and simple...he was probably even less than half the fighter he use to be when he stepped in against Lewis! Hell...it's very clear to see in his fights, the Holyfield who at his best fought great bouts with the likes of Qawi, Dokes, Foreman and Bowe, the Holyfield who threw combination upon combination, the Holyfield who really came to fight, that Holyfield was long, long gone by the time he stepped in the ring with Lewis and that is just plain fact!!!

    I'm curious...do you also consider Tyson to have been near his best when he fought Lewis?
    Well, I follow boxing pretty closely and I didnt feel that Holyfield was 'shot' when he fought Lewis. I thought he was slower and punched at much lower volume but I also thought he sat down on his punches much more and had become a wilier fighter. Not better, but not necessarily worse (or certainly not much worse anyway) just different.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    Lewis made him look shot perhaps or perhaps confirmed it? Either way what I think holds little sway anyway in the grand scheme so I hand it over to all of you.
    Last edited by Sharkey; 10-31-2006 at 11:24 AM.

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    I think it was a little of both! While Tyson was certainly way past it at this point, so was Holyfield, but Holyfield was able to turn the clock back, like many greats have through the years, and really kicked Tyson's ass. Holyfield was found to have problems with his health following the first Moorer bout and anyone that recalls...Holyfield fought like a fighter that was losing it very rapidly. Of course he picked it up against Tyson, I would say largely in part to the fact that he had always wanted to get Tyson in the ring to prove what he could do. Which the fight did not have the same kind of importance that it would have had they fought between 1990 and 1992. Holyfield was considered pretty much shot by the entire boxing community when he fought Tyson and pretty much everyone predicted that Tyson would destroy Holyfield...hell I picked Tyson to blow Holyfield out in two, or three rounds, but as well all witnessed that didn't ahppen!

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    >>>Not better, but not necessarily worse (or certainly not much worse anyway) just different<<<

    Come on...Holyfield looked absolutely dreadful and he had been looking dreadful since the first Moorer fight, with the exception of the Tyson bout!

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    A couple of things here

    I do not think Evander was in his prime for Lewis and believe his prime ended when he lost to Moorer in thier first bout (Thought Evander won by a point in that bout by the way. Looked putrid. Still thought he edged it out)

    Evander Had a wonderful showing against Tyson, but I will always maintain that that was a bout between TWO fighters past their peak primes. The Czyz showing by Evander was evidence enough for me.

    Evander's showing in the Moorer return bout, showed furhter evidence of Evander being past his best. To me that was the least impressive 5 knockdown knockout victory I have ever seen. The end result had to do with Moorer's chin more than anything else. Evander looked pretty average agianst the even more average Vaughn Bean.

    I also thought that had the Akinwande fight come off (Hepatitis B or C or whatever notwithstanding), I thought that given the stage Evander was in and the style that Henry presented, that Akinwande was ripe for pulling off the upset.

    I truly believe that the reason Evander was favored in his bout with Lewis had to do with the contempt that a majority of the press had with Lennox Lewis and the fact that he simply wasn't an American. Agian, this is not fair towards Lewis in the least. But Evander was far bigger a name than Lewis was, he was from the States and he had been battle tested where as many recall the loss to McCall, the close bout with Mercer (agian, a bout I thought Lewis won) and the manner in whihc he regained his title (mcCall haveing a breakdown.).

    I thought Lewis would beat Evander. I also think Evander at his best was the superior fighter over Lewis. Lennox was better than Evander in 1999. In the first fight, Lewis won clearly in my eyes. He barely won the rematch and, agian, my opinion, that had to do with Evander fighting better than he did the first fight.

    My second position on all of this is that I beleive Lewis peaked later in his career. Lewis's career has been very uneven if you consider that his 4 best performances came at different intervals of his career. Ruddock may be the best KO and possibly the most impressive performance, but it really came before Lewis was a complete package. Steward created a better version than Correa did.

    Golota came about when he was coming into his peak IMO. And the Rahman KO probably was his best showing while still at the top of his game. The thing is, is that it came on the heels of him getting ko'd brutally by Hasim, a few months earlier. Final impressive performance came agiasnt a pretty spent Tyson, and I beleive that Lewis was also beginning his slide form his peak as well. Possibly the Morrison ko can be tossed in there as well, whihc I think is on par with the Golota bout as far as his prime.

    Lewis getting ko'd at 36 by Rahman, IMO was not an scenario in which an old fighter simply got caught. I believe it was a prime fighter who was in the best stretch of his career, who got caught. Did he over look Rahman? Yes. But looking past a fighter doesn't necessarily mean one is past thier prime.

    I think Lewis is a top 20 heavyweight who just misses the top 10. On my personal list of course. These are just my opinions. I could be wrong.

    Hawk

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    Re: Lennox Lewis: Consummate Cool

    I can see that it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that Holy was finished as a great fighter by the time of the Moorer fight and that the Tyson fight was simply a wonderful anomaly (helped by the fact that Tyson was himself much less of a fighter by that stage) but I dont think that was the universal perspective at the time. He had beaten Moorer fairly easily and while poor against Bean, this looked like it could have been one of his Cooper or Czyz type efforts. So going into the Lewis fight I do not think everybody was of the view that Holy was shot; to go back to my original point I think some saw Holy as a different type of fighter by this stage than he had been at the time of Qawi or Foreman.

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