Originally Posted by Stokely
This may well incite derision 'cause the man doesn't get the respect he deserves on this site, partly because of his nationality, but Lennox Lewis would defeat a 70's Foreman.
Not only would he beat him, he'd knock him out before the fight went into the later rounds. A 90's version of Big George would fair better and could probably last the distance if the ref doesn't stop it late on.
In his 40's he wouldn't pose the same kind of threat so Lennox would be content to fight him at range, stay away from his right hand, pick him off with accurate punching and fight at a slow and steady pace.
In the 70's Foreman was a man too enamoured by his own power. Now while you could argue that he had good reason, it was at the detriment to his craft and conditioning. Physically and psychologically he'd be prepared to go five rounds. That wouldn't be enough to deal with a boxer of Lewis' calibre.
Lennox is bigger, has a longer reach, is naturally more athletic; had better movement; better hand speed; superior punch accuracy; strategically and tactically he was a better fighter than Foreman in the 70's; and he had a better grasp of the craft of boxing.
Also, Lennox would be feared half to death by the thought of getting caught by a man with George's size and power, and rightly so. When Lewis was afraid, he came out focused, sharp and willing to take his opponent out early.
I would never be so disrespectful as to suggest that Foreman would have had a puncher's chance, because he was a better boxer than that in the 70's so he would have brought more to the contest. He just wouldn't have brought enough.
Lennox might well have a shot, he had plenty of tools at his best. I'd put my money on Foreman though.
Alot depends on what Lewis showed up. Even at his most nervous and focused he wasn't the most elusive. Lewis wouldn't pull off a Ruddock/Golota/Grant demolishion job on prime Foreman.
Pre Manny Steward Lewis simply gets hit too much. He'd get drilled by something much nastier than McCall or Rahman could dish out. Check out the Bruno fight and imagine prime Foreman in there with him.
As for post Steward, Foreman would surely beat the Lewis that met Mercer. Actually, come to think of it; can anyone think of a Lewis fight that could give some support to the notion of Lewis beating Foreman? We'd need to see a Lewis that was defensively very sound for at least 5 or 6 rounds. Foreman had the power to turn the lights off very quickly. I don't fancy that Lennox could cope with that sort of power.
Lewis had a tough time with Shannon Briggs, he certainly shipped some decent shots off Holyfield in both fights, Tua was woefully out of shape. Nobody should dare mention the corpse of Mike Tyson who met Lewis in 2003.
No two ways about it Lewis is one of the best heavyweights ever, I just don't like his chances against prime Foreman. Did Lewis ever meet a heavyweight close to Foreman's level and not ship some punishment early? Foreman would have only needed one punch.
Granted, if Lewis got past round 7.....he'd have a great shot.