Originally Posted by Sugarj
The second Schmelling fight was the most significant historically, certainly better known and most one sided. But thats it.....
Your quote in bold has no relevance here. A best win is surely a win over the best opponent a fighter faces when the opponent is also at their best.
Thats why for example Sugar Ray Leonard's win over Thomas Hearns would be considered a better win than Leonard's win over Hagler.
Not only was 1948 Walcott most likely a better heavyweight than any version of Schmelling. He was also probably better at that point than any fighter Joe Louis had ever met previously. It stands to reason that Walcott is therefore the better win. It was a huge event at the time too.
For a different example ask yourself, what was the better win for Duran? The rematch with DeJesus or the first match with Leonard? Duran was more prime for DeJesus, arguably more dominant. But Leonard would have been counted as the better win
For me it's a toss-up between DeJesus III and Leonard I for Duran. I DO think beating your best opponent who happens to be at their best means quite a bit, but it doesn't necessarily rule over or out other factors- like how dominant you were/how phenomenal you looked. It does if there's a HUGE gap between the levels of the guy you crushed and the guy you struggled to beat, of course. There's a bunch of factors that go in to determining what a fighter's best or most impressive win was