Originally Posted by chloelloyd
I get what you are saying. The thing is, Lewis should have hit his first prime in the early 90's, but didn't. He had to rebuild and find his prime with Stewart.
The early 90's version was the all out aggressive athlete who came to bang and just throwing right hand after right hands in repetition. He came to knock you out, regardless of your style. He progressed fight after fight all the way up to Ruddock. The Lewis who fought Ruddock? I pick to knock out a Prime Wlad even. Despite, being so inexperienced he really did had it all. He was ultra motivated and getting better day by day. He really believed he was set up for that mega fight because of the 4 men tourney.
Lewis-Bowe-Ruddock-Holyfield. When Bowe ducked him, Lewis regressed with every fight. Over on the E Side, the interview with Stewart also talked about how Lennox had to 'rebuild' with Stewart because of the severe let down from Bowe avoiding him.
I feel that if Bowe had fought Lennox right after Lewis knocked out Ruddock. Bowe would have been knocked the **** out.
Riddick Bowe was one of the laziest guys around, he was 100% motivated for all of one fight. Holyfield I. After that fight, there was NO WAY he could have gotten in shape for Lewis. I just don't see it.
To envision someone as lazy as Bowe getting in to 100% fighting shape back to back against Holyfield -leading into Lewis is a bit of a stretch. I see a out of shape fat Bowe getting starched by Lewis should he had hold up to his words and fight Lewis for the unification.
I think the reason Lewis didn't hit his prime in the early 90s was simply because Pepe Correa wasn't the ideal trainer for him (he didn't do much for Ray Leonard either!). Lewis had it athletically but not defensively and his chin hadn't really been exploited yet so he was a little more right hand happy.
He did look good against Ruddock, but we didn't see how he'd have handled one of those left hook/uppercuts from Razor. Tyson absorbed a few, but I'm doubtful as to whether Lewis would have. Full credit to Lewis, his fight strategy was perfect.......but Bowe was rather better than Ruddock in just about every department, not to mention chin (no one ever knocked him out!). At that point he was technically superior to Lewis. I can't see Lewis knocking Bowe out in the same fashion as Ruddock.
Bowe gets a tough time in these parts for apparently being only great in one fight (1992 Holyfield 1). But the return was much closer than people remember. It was a majority decision (a draw, 2 point margin, 1 point margin by the judges). How many heavyweights these days would get so close to beating the Holyfield from 19 years ago? 1993 Bowe was no joke either despite him weighing more!
He'd have surely been too much for Lewis right then. Bowe's poor shape in the 90s was quite a myth! Between Holyfield 2 and the first Gotota fight his conditioning/stamina and focus seemed spot on. It all fell apart with Golota in 1996. But 1992-1995 I'd put money on Bowe to beat the Lewis from those years.