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Old 02-20-2010, 05:29 PM   #1
Tarik One
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Default Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

The 70s era in the heavyweight division was far superior than the 90s as a whole. There were a number of great heavyweight fighters & champions, but the ones who really surfaced to the top & proved dominant champions could be argued to be the following:

Top guys of the 70s:

Ali
Frazier
Foreman
Norton
Holmes

90s:

Tyson
Holyfield
Bowe
Foreman
Lewis

The question is who would win fights if certain boxers went against each other individually? Imagine Lennox Lewis going toe to toe with Big George or perhaps Holyfield bumping heads against Smokin Joe

Lewis vs Foreman

Styles make fights, which is why Foreman managed to beat Frazier so easily twice out, yet then lose to cuter boxers like Ali & Jimmy Young. Foreman had great assets – huge power, a great chin & he was as intimidating as hell – but that wouldn’t get him a victory against Lewis. I could see Foreman having some successes early on as Lewis got the measure of him, maybe even a knockdown, but Lennox would not get drawn into a brawl with Foreman & would dictate the fight with his jab. Foreman is not very effective on the outside, and, like other intimidating fighters before him (e.g. Sonny Liston) would get very discouraged as the fight continued. Lewis continues to pile on the punishment, throwing all of his arsenal at big George, and getting himself tagged a couple of times in the process as he leaves his hands too low. Eventually Foreman can stand no more and gets stopped late on, probably in the tenth or eleventh round.

Foreman himself admitted that he thought he would never beat Lewis. He knew that style-wise the match up was all wrong for him & that Lewis’ strength, power & technique would overcome his assets.

Last edited by Tarik One : 02-20-2010 at 06:04 PM.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Of course the 70's Heavyweights were better. No possible way to say otherwise. If you dig into old fights you'd have no argument for the 90's.
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Theres no argument for the 90s as a whole but Lewis would probably be a favorite over every heavyweight from the 70s
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

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Originally Posted by raiderfan19
Theres no argument for the 90s as a whole but Lewis would probably be a favorite over every heavyweight from the 70s
I actually agree with you. In the pantheon of 'greatest fighters,' in terms of resume and legacy, Lennox has a hard time stacking up with the likes of Ali, Frazier and Foreman. However, in terms of an actual matchup against anyone in the 70s, Lennox would have been a nightmare for any of the above. The guy was absolutely enormous with incredibly long arms and an unbelievable jab. He also had very good power and excellent technique.

He really was a perfectly constructed heavyweight. His Achilles heal was obviously his chin (and sometimes his conditioning/focus), so that may come back to bite him against heavy hitters like Foreman, Norton and Frazier, but I might actually favor him against any of those guys.

Now, it is sort of unfair to compare eras in a one-on-one sense, because there are advantages that Lewis had which guys in the 70s didn't. Nutrition and time in between fights are two of the main advantages. Plus, he got to learn from those guys that came before him.

The 70s was the greatest decade in the history of the HW division and it isn't close. However, the 90s has an argument for No. 2. It was an incredibly talented division that was very deep.

You had the big names with Lewis, Holyfield, Bowe, Tyson, Moorer, and Foreman. Then, you had guys like Golata, David Tua, Ike Ibeabuchi, Hasim Rahman, Ray Mercer, Shannon Briggs, Tommy Morrison, and Oliver McCall.

In fact, I'm going to go ahead and call the 90s the second best era for the division with the 60s coming in a close third (as far as the modern era is concerned).

Who would love to see these matchups?

Joe Frazier vs. Evander Holyfield
Muhammad Ali vs. Lennox Lewis
George Foreman vs. Mike Tyson
Ken Norton vs. Ike Ibeabuchi
Larry Holmes vs. Michael Moorer
Ron Lyle vs. Riddick Bowe (would have been a great fight)
Jerry Quarry vs. Tommy Morrison
Leon Spinks vs. Hasim Rahman
Earnie Shavers vs. David Tua
Bob Foster vs. Ray Mercer
Jimmy Ellis vs. Shannon Briggs

...there are some great, great matchups, there.

Last edited by RedBlackAttack : 02-21-2010 at 12:25 AM.
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Old 02-21-2010, 12:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

man i don't even really like boxing but i love reading RBA's posts because I know i'm going to get schooled on some real shit.
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Old 02-21-2010, 01:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Quote:
Muhammad Ali vs. Lennox Lewis

I expect to get to flack from this, I think Lewis beats Ali at least 6/7 times out of 10. Ali never faced an opponent who was as good a boxer as Lewis with the same amount of power and adaptability. Foreman had as much power (perhaps a little more, but not much) and Ali was able to win the tactical battle, but that wouldn’t happen with a fighter as intelligent and determined as Lewis. Ali would undoubtedly win rounds & catch the eyes of the judges at times with blurring flurries, but on the whole Lewis would keep him at the end of his ramrod jab most of the night, throwing in a liberal amount of right crosses & the occasional uppercut in close. Ali’s great chin & fighting heart see him through to the end, but he ends up taking the worst beating of his illustrious career in the process.

Result – Lewis beats Ali by unanimous decision.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Prime Lennox and Bowe would be VERY hard for any heavyweight to deal with from any era. They were some very large humans with devastating power, good speed, and great technique.
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Cassius Clay vs. Muhammad Ali
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Old 02-21-2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

RBA id actually take Lewis' resume over foreman's and frazier's. He beat every great puncher of his era and beat everyone who ever beat him. Pretty much the only heavyweight ever who can make that claim.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by raiderfan19
RBA id actually take Lewis' resume over foreman's and frazier's. He beat every great puncher of his era and beat everyone who ever beat him. Pretty much the only heavyweight ever who can make that claim.
Don't get me wrong... Lewis has a very nice resume. It doesn't help that he was brutally knocked out twice in his prime, though. That really hurts what was an otherwise sterling record.

Now, Lennox avenged both of those knockouts by stopping the guy who beat him in rematches (McCall and Rahman). That helps him, but still... Those weren't exactly great fighters and they both totally knocked Lennox cold.

Then, you look at a rock like Joe Frazier... Maybe one of the toughest human beings in the history of the sport. He was completely blind in one eye by the time he fought Ali the first time and he still beat him. By the time their epic third battle came along, he was WAY past his prime and almost completely blind and he still nearly beat what many consider to be the greatest heavyweight of all-time (he is third on my list, fwiw).

Lewis has the better accumulation of wins over the course of his career, but a prime Frazier was never beaten and he won the most heralded, biggest fight in boxing history. Plus, wins over guys like Jerry Quarry, Buster Mathis, Jimmy Ellis, and Bob Foster and I think his resume stacks up well with Lewis.

I'll put it simply... Frazier never lost while he was in his prime, he beat one of the Top 3 heavyweights in history with one good eye and the only losses in his career were to Ali (x2) and Foreman (x2).

No way a prime Frazier would get knocked out to the likes of Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman. Unfortunately, Lewis' habit of underestimating some guys and not always training hard came back to bite him in those two fights and they are what hurts him when comparing his record to these beasts of the past.

Foreman's record may have not been able to compare prior to his comeback, but the fact that he came back as an old fat guy and knocked out Michael Moorer goes a while for me. That was one of the greatest accomplishments in sports history.

That isn't to say that Lewis wouldn't be a nightmare for any of these guys because, as I said, I would probably favor Lewis against any of those guys in an actual fight.

Tarik,
I agree with you. We all know that maybe your only chance of beating a prime Lewis was to knock him out and Ali didn't have much power. I would actually like Lewis' chances much better against Ali than I would Frazier. It is just a bad matchup for Mohammad.

Lewis had a jab like Liston, the size of Foreman, power like Frazier and technical skill comparable to Ali. If he didn't come into a fight overlooking his opponent and he was focused, he was pretty much unbeatable in his prime (unless you tapped that chin with a hard shot). Lewis is sort of a modern day Jack Johnson in that he was physically ahead of his time and light years in front of the competition in terms of size and athleticism. You just don't see guys that big and that athletic... Also, when you factor in that he was a great technician, he becomes frightening for ANYONE in the history of the sport. I think, had he been American, people would be more willing to accept him as an all-time great. As it stands, I don't feel that people appropriately appreciate just how great Lewis was.

Having said all of that, I'm not sure Lewis could survive 15 rounds against Frazier. The more I think about it, the more I like Frazier. Joe was a complete bull and he WOULD get to Lewis eventually. What would happen the first time Lennox tastes that left hook? I think Frazier's left hook was the single most devastating punch in boxing history. If Lewis was flattened by the likes of McCall and Rahman, you tell me.

Last edited by RedBlackAttack : 02-21-2010 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

I understand your points about frazier's eyes but I include that in his resume. Your body is part of your talent as a boxer and frazier's eyes were part of his body. He deserves a ton of respect for being nearly blind while fighting but it doesn't change who he was. Ive never given people in any sport bonus points for being less talented(IE I dont give Lebron less credit in basketball because hes obviously more talented than everyone else) Him beating vitaly as an old out of shape guy is almost as impressive as Foremans comeback imo.(i know he was behind on the cards when it was stopped but thats really not a fair way to judge a fight because no one plans a 6 round fight)

The issue the 90s has when being compared with the 70s is that tyson was VASTLY overrated.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

If you take the top2 boxers of the 90s (holyfield/tyson) and pit them against the top2 of the 70s Ali/Frazier or Ali/foreman it's a legitimate contest.

Btw didn't foreman box more in the 70s and 80s?
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:25 PM   #13
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueandGold
If you take the top2 boxers of the 90s (holyfield/tyson) and pit them against the top2 of the 70s Ali/Frazier or Ali/foreman it's a legitimate contest.

Btw didn't foreman box more in the 70s and 80s?
there is no way in hell tyson is better than lewis.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueandGold
If you take the top2 boxers of the 90s (holyfield/tyson) and pit them against the top2 of the 70s Ali/Frazier or Ali/foreman it's a legitimate contest.

Btw didn't foreman box more in the 70s and 80s?
The rankings go like this:

1. Lewis
2. Holyfield
3. Bowe
4. Tyson

Foreman began his career in the late-60s, fought through the 70s and then returned in the late-80s and fought through the mid-90s.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Boxing: 70s Heavyweights vs 90s Heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by raiderfan19
I understand your points about frazier's eyes but I include that in his resume. Your body is part of your talent as a boxer and frazier's eyes were part of his body. He deserves a ton of respect for being nearly blind while fighting but it doesn't change who he was. Ive never given people in any sport bonus points for being less talented(IE I dont give Lebron less credit in basketball because hes obviously more talented than everyone else) Him beating vitaly as an old out of shape guy is almost as impressive as Foremans comeback imo.(i know he was behind on the cards when it was stopped but thats really not a fair way to judge a fight because no one plans a 6 round fight)

The issue the 90s has when being compared with the 70s is that tyson was VASTLY overrated.
Foreman took 10 years off in between fights. He won the heavyweight title in '73 and then won it again in '94. That is 21 years...

Lewis was clearly past his prime against Klit, but it was nothing on that level... Not to mention Michael Moorer was a better fighter (imo) than Vitali. There was only a year in between Lewis' win over Tyson and his fight with Vitali.

Btw, I agree with you in that Lewis won that fight. Whether he was behind on the cards or not, it was his fists that carved up Vitali's face. If that bout had been continued for another few rounds, Klit may have lost his eyes and I'm not even joking. That was one of the nastiest things I have ever seen.
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