View Full Version : Ring Magazine's 20 Greatest Heavyweights (1998)


Perfect Plex
12-28-2010, 12:39 AM
1.Muhammad Ali
2.Joe Louis
3.Evander Holyfield
4.George Foreman
5.Larry Holmes
6.Rocky Marciano
7.Sonny Liston
8.Joe Frazier
9.Jack Johnson
10.Jack Dempsey
11.Ezzard Charles
12.Jim Jeffries
13.Jersey Joe Walcott
14.Mike Tyson
15.Gene Tunney
16.Harry Wills
17.Sam Langford
18.John L. Sullivan
19.Max Schmeling
20.Max Baer

Thoughts?

Jim Jeffries
12-28-2010, 12:53 AM
1.Muhammad Ali
2.Joe Louis
3.Evander Holyfield
4.George Foreman
5.Larry Holmes
6.Rocky Marciano
7.Sonny Liston
8.Joe Frazier
9.Jack Johnson
10.Jack Dempsey
11.Ezzard Charles
12.Jim Jeffries
13.Jersey Joe Walcott
14.Mike Tyson
15.Gene Tunney
16.Harry Wills
17.Sam Langford
18.John L. Sullivan
19.Max Schmeling
20.Max Baer

Thoughts?

Holyfield at 3 and no Bowe cracking the top 20 is certainly interesting. Johnson seems a bit low. Walcott above Tyson seems odd. Liston at 7 without Patterson cracking 20 as well.

Scott9945
12-28-2010, 12:55 AM
1.Muhammad Ali
2.Joe Louis
3.Evander Holyfield
4.George Foreman
5.Larry Holmes
6.Rocky Marciano
7.Sonny Liston
8.Joe Frazier
9.Jack Johnson
10.Jack Dempsey
11.Ezzard Charles
12.Jim Jeffries
13.Jersey Joe Walcott
14.Mike Tyson
15.Gene Tunney
16.Harry Wills
17.Sam Langford
18.John L. Sullivan
19.Max Schmeling
20.Max Baer

Thoughts?

A good example of how ridiculously overrated Holyfield became after the two Tyson fights.

BigStereotype
12-28-2010, 12:58 AM
A good example of how ridiculously overrated Holyfield became after the two Tyson fights.

Besides Ray Robinson and Ali, who's got a better resume?

JAB5239
12-28-2010, 03:49 AM
Besides Ray Robinson and Ali, who's got a better resume?

Many, many fighters my friend. Greb, Langford, Ross, McLarnin, Charles, Armstrong etc., etc..

At heavyweight I'd say Louis, Langford, Charles, maybe Lennox.

The thread is greatest heavyweights though. In my opinion greatness should be judged by resume and longevity first, than by consistency. Holy's biggest downfall has always been his inconsistency. Catch him on the right night and he was a beast. On other nights he was letting fighters like Cooper and Vaughn Bean hang with him while he was prime. Thats knocks his standing down for me. I have him about 8 or 9, O'd have to check. Funny thing is, when I first started posting on AOL in 1999 I had Holy 3rd on my list. Scott is right, those two fights with Tyson blinded people to many of Evanders shortcomings.

sonnyboyx2
12-28-2010, 04:21 AM
Many, many fighters my friend. Greb, Langford, Ross, McLarnin, Charles, Armstrong etc., etc..

At heavyweight I'd say Louis, Langford, Charles, maybe Lennox.

The thread is greatest heavyweights though. In my opinion greatness should be judged by resume and longevity first, than by consistency. Holy's biggest downfall has always been his inconsistency. Catch him on the right night and he was a beast. On other nights he was letting fighters like Cooper and Vaughn Bean hang with him while he was prime. Thats knocks his standing down for me. I have him about 8 or 9, O'd have to check. Funny thing is, when I first started posting on AOL in 1999 I had Holy 3rd on my list. Scott is right, those two fights with Tyson blinded people to many of Evanders shortcomings.

Does Lewis win over Holyfield & Tyson (both well past it) also blind people to Lewis?

JAB5239
12-28-2010, 04:43 AM
Does Lewis win over Holyfield & Tyson (both well past it) also blind people to Lewis?

The Tyson fight was meaningless. Holyfield was still fighting at a high level though as he proved in the rematch so Lewis should get credit.

Mersey
12-28-2010, 06:11 AM
Lewis should be above Tyson.

SBleeder
12-28-2010, 07:46 AM
Why on earth is Foreman ranked so highly?

Scott9945
12-28-2010, 10:17 AM
Does Lewis win over Holyfield & Tyson (both well past it) also blind people to Lewis?

When Lewis fought Holyfield, almost everyone had Holy higher on the all time list. The odds for the fight were close to even. So how is Evander now labeled as "well past it"? At the time nobody considered it a mismatch in anyway.

Barn
12-28-2010, 10:21 AM
Corbett should arguably make Top 20.

Joeyzagz
12-28-2010, 11:05 AM
Does Lewis win over Holyfield & Tyson (both well past it) also blind people to Lewis?

I consider Lennox's rematches with Mccall and Rahman much more important to his legacy than the Holyfield/Tyson fights.

How many boxers can bounce back from a KO loss at age 35? In any weight class?

Most are not psycologically equipped to deal with a loss like that, but Lennox finished Rahman a round quicker in the rematch at age 36. Lennox belongs in the top 5 All-time.

BigStereotype
12-28-2010, 11:08 AM
Many, many fighters my friend. Greb, Langford, Ross, McLarnin, Charles, Armstrong etc., etc..

At heavyweight I'd say Louis, Langford, Charles, maybe Lennox.

The thread is greatest heavyweights though. In my opinion greatness should be judged by resume and longevity first, than by consistency. Holy's biggest downfall has always been his inconsistency. Catch him on the right night and he was a beast. On other nights he was letting fighters like Cooper and Vaughn Bean hang with him while he was prime. Thats knocks his standing down for me. I have him about 8 or 9, O'd have to check. Funny thing is, when I first started posting on AOL in 1999 I had Holy 3rd on my list. Scott is right, those two fights with Tyson blinded people to many of Evanders shortcomings.

Couldn't say for Langford or Charles, but Joe Louis and Lennox Lewis? Really? Holyfield has so many wins over so many great fighters. I don't necessarily agree that he's number three all time, but he has an amazing resume.

JAB5239
12-28-2010, 03:20 PM
Couldn't say for Langford or Charles, but Joe Louis and Lennox Lewis? Really? Holyfield has so many wins over so many great fighters. I don't necessarily agree that he's number three all time, but he has an amazing resume.

Joe Louis' resume is sorely underrated because of the term "bum of the month club". I would argue Louis' resume against any heavyweight but Ali. He easily has one of the best heavyweight champions resumes in history if you do the research.

Lewis resume is very close to Holyfields in my opinion and his h2h win has to be taken into consideration when evaluating the legacy of each.

IronDanHamza
12-28-2010, 05:41 PM
Not the worst list I've seen to be honest, some interesting choices but I've seen alot worse. When was this list done?

Great John L
12-28-2010, 05:44 PM
1.Muhammad Ali
2.Joe Louis
3.Evander Holyfield
4.George Foreman
5.Larry Holmes
6.Rocky Marciano
7.Sonny Liston
8.Joe Frazier
9.Jack Johnson
10.Jack Dempsey
11.Ezzard Charles
12.Jim Jeffries
13.Jersey Joe Walcott
14.Mike Tyson
15.Gene Tunney
16.Harry Wills
17.Sam Langford
18.John L. Sullivan
19.Max Schmeling
20.Max Baer

Thoughts?

Why is Max Baer in the top 20? He was a very good fighter, I'm not denying that. But why not Corbett, the founder of modern American boxing, one of the most textbook and scientific of heavyweights? Foreman is WAY too high and overrated on this list as is Holyfield. Dempsey and Johnson should both be above Liston and Frazier. Tunney and Tyson should go above Walcott and Charles. Both did more and better at Heavyweight. Walcott was a ham and egger for a large portion of his early career, and lost most of the title fights he was in, so I think Tunney should go above him due to an overall better record and consistent career. Only one loss in 60 fights to ATG Greb which was reversed 4 times and beating Demspey in two of the biggest mega fights in the history of boxing. I think Tyson should go above Charles. He was a complete fighter, and was more natural and meaningful in the Heavyweight division than Charles was.

Ali at #1 and Louis at #2, common but not my choice and I don't mind it. I think Holyfield should be in 11-15 and not 10 personally, and if in the top 10, definitely not number 3. It's hard to classify Holmes, because you have one group that says he's underrated and one that says he's overrated.

Barn
12-28-2010, 06:29 PM
Why is Max Baer in the top 20? He was a very good fighter, I'm not denying that. But why not Corbett, the founder of modern American boxing, one of the most textbook and scientific of heavyweights? Foreman is WAY too high and overrated on this list as is Holyfield. Dempsey and Johnson should both be above Liston and Frazier. Tunney and Tyson should go above Walcott and Charles. Both did more and better at Heavyweight. Walcott was a ham and egger for a large portion of his early career, and lost most of the title fights he was in, so I think Tunney should go above him due to an overall better record and consistent career. Only one loss in 60 fights to ATG Greb which was reversed 4 times and beating Demspey in two of the biggest mega fights in the history of boxing. I think Tyson should go above Charles. He was a complete fighter, and was more natural and meaningful in the Heavyweight division than Charles was.

Ali at #1 and Louis at #2, common but not my choice and I don't mind it. I think Holyfield should be in 11-15 and not 10 personally, and if in the top 10, definitely not number 3. It's hard to classify Holmes, because you have one group that says he's underrated and one that says he's overrated.
What is your choice for No. 1 and No. 2?

Barn
12-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Why is Max Baer in the top 20? He was a very good fighter, I'm not denying that. But why not Corbett, the founder of modern American boxing, one of the most textbook and scientific of heavyweights? Foreman is WAY too high and overrated on this list as is Holyfield. Dempsey and Johnson should both be above Liston and Frazier. Tunney and Tyson should go above Walcott and Charles. Both did more and better at Heavyweight. Walcott was a ham and egger for a large portion of his early career, and lost most of the title fights he was in, so I think Tunney should go above him due to an overall better record and consistent career. Only one loss in 60 fights to ATG Greb which was reversed 4 times and beating Demspey in two of the biggest mega fights in the history of boxing. I think Tyson should go above Charles. He was a complete fighter, and was more natural and meaningful in the Heavyweight division than Charles was.

Ali at #1 and Louis at #2, common but not my choice and I don't mind it. I think Holyfield should be in 11-15 and not 10 personally, and if in the top 10, definitely not number 3. It's hard to classify Holmes, because you have one group that says he's underrated and one that says he's overrated.

That wasn't at Heavy-Weight though his previous 60 fights have nothing to do with this list in my opinion.

Barn
12-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Not the worst list I've seen to be honest, some interesting choices but I've seen alot worse. When was this list done?
It was done in 1998.

IronDanHamza
12-28-2010, 06:41 PM
It was done in 1998.

Ahhh thanks don't know how i missed the title lol That would explain Holyfield being so high i guess.

Great John L
12-28-2010, 06:44 PM
What is your choice for No. 1 and No. 2?

Well my personal choice for 1 and 2 are Louis first, then Ali. I think Louis had more impact during his tiem politically and sociologically, and I also give him the nod due to his 25 defenses and 12 year reign. But it's a very cloe edge. If Ali was a 10 point fighter, Louis on my list would be a 10.5. Very close but I just give Louis a slightly higher rating.

I guess your right when you say Tunney's previous fights had nothing to do with the list, but I just think it's an extra plus to him as a fighter in general, not just at heavyweight or lightheavyweight.

Barn
12-28-2010, 06:51 PM
Well my personal choice for 1 and 2 are Louis first, then Ali. I think Louis had more impact during his tiem politically and sociologically, and I also give him the nod due to his 25 defenses and 12 year reign. But it's a very cloe edge. If Ali was a 10 point fighter, Louis on my list would be a 10.5. Very close but I just give Louis a slightly higher rating.

I guess your right when you say Tunney's previous fights had nothing to do with the list, but I just think it's an extra plus to him as a fighter in general, not just at heavyweight or lightheavyweight.
Oh right I thought you were saying someone apart from those two was in your top 10, and I agree with you on the Louis stance.

Scott9945
12-28-2010, 10:32 PM
Ahhh thanks don't know how i missed the title lol That would explain Holyfield being so high i guess.

Yes, all of the sudden after beating Tyson he went from being a "blown up cruiserweight" to Top 3 all time. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it.

Hitman Hodgson
12-29-2010, 01:04 PM
I always think Tyson gets overrated in these lists, but I think his place in this list is about right. Foreman is too high, somewhere between 7 and 10 would be about right. I'd put Lewis at 3 behind the top 2.

Barn
12-29-2010, 02:39 PM
I don't think Lewis' resume warrants a Top 5. I find you have Ali and Louis and the rest the order is pretty much acceptable in any order, no-one has an outstanding resume after that.

Joeyzagz
12-29-2010, 03:26 PM
I don't think Lewis' resume warrants a Top 5. I find you have Ali and Louis and the rest the order is pretty much acceptable in any order, no-one has an outstanding resume after that.


My top 4 consists of boxers who defeated the top contemporaries of their era..

1. Ali (def Frazier/Foreman/Liston/Patterson)
2. Louis (def Baer/Schmelling/Walcott/Braddock/Sharkey/Carnera)
3. Lennox (def Bowe/Tyson/Holyfield/Klitschko)
4. Marciano (def Walcott/Charles/Moore/Louis)

5. Foreman

Foreman is the only member of my top 5 who didnt dominate his own era, but I give him HUGE points for winning a beltin a foreign era. No one else has done this.

RubenSonny
12-29-2010, 05:54 PM
My top 4 consists of boxers who defeated the top contemporaries of their era..

1. Ali (def Frazier/Foreman/Liston/Patterson)
2. Louis (def Baer/Schmelling/Walcott/Braddock/Sharkey/Carnera)
3. Lennox (def Bowe/Tyson/Holyfield/Klitschko)
4. Marciano (def Walcott/Charles/Moore/Louis)

5. Foreman

Foreman is the only member of my top 5 who didnt dominate his own era, but I give him HUGE points for winning a beltin a foreign era. No one else has done this.
C'mon Lennox didn't defeat Bowe and Tyson was done, not to say Lewis isn't a top HW.

BennyST
12-29-2010, 06:12 PM
My top 4 consists of boxers who defeated the top contemporaries of their era..

1. Ali (def Frazier/Foreman/Liston/Patterson)
2. Louis (def Baer/Schmelling/Walcott/Braddock/Sharkey/Carnera)
3. Lennox (def Bowe/Tyson/Holyfield/Klitschko)
4. Marciano (def Walcott/Charles/Moore/Louis)

5. Foreman

Foreman is the only member of my top 5 who didnt dominate his own era, but I give him HUGE points for winning a beltin a foreign era. No one else has done this.

Please don't say you're talking about him beating the amateur version of Bowe? :nonono:

Does that mean Lewis also has losses to Gonzales, Biggs and Ruddock? I always thought he beat Ruddock....Obviously they are 1-1 according to you. That would also mean he didn't beat everyone he faced and lost to guys like Biggs and Gonzalez. Geez, that has to kill his standing a fair bit especially as Bowe easily knocked Gonzalez out.

Barn
12-29-2010, 06:12 PM
My top 4 consists of boxers who defeated the top contemporaries of their era..

1. Ali (def Frazier/Foreman/Liston/Patterson)
2. Louis (def Baer/Schmelling/Walcott/Braddock/Sharkey/Carnera)
3. Lennox (def Bowe/Tyson/Holyfield/Klitschko)
4. Marciano (def Walcott/Charles/Moore/Louis)

5. Foreman

Foreman is the only member of my top 5 who didnt dominate his own era, but I give him HUGE points for winning a beltin a foreign era. No one else has done this.
Fair enough but, as said earlier it's Ali, Louis at Top and then there is no standout candidates and any order is acceptable. Lewis didn't defeat Bowe though lol. He does have a lot of good wins, Lennox but, no wins a la Foreman, Frazier, Schmeling etc which is his only downfall but, not really his fault and Bowe would have been that super-fight that bever happened for whatever reason but, don't want to get into it as it gets debated at least once per week on this forum for some reason.