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#1
Old 09-30-2014, 06:11 PM
LacedUp
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Default Lennox Lewis vs Evander Holyfield - Who should be considered greatest?

So these two fighters were undoubtedly the two best fighters of the 90s era - or at least the two who made it out on top.

Even though they had a huge unification fight at the end of that decade, it was an old, inactive Holyfield who if we're honest, hadn't looked the same after his trilogy with Bowe which took a lot out of him.

His punch output had gone down dramatically, and the wear and tear of a very very tough career had begun to take its toll.

He was basically fighting a close to prime Lennox Lewis, not too far removed from career best performance vs Golota where he really looked great. Lennox though, did have a couple of indifferent performances vs Mavrovic, Briggs and Akinwande and it could easily be argued that he also was looking at the beginning of the end of his career.

When discussing these two fighters and their careers, I feel the deciding factor in the discussion usually centers around their two fights where Lennox won (though the second fight was very close).

At the time, I think most people considered Holyfield to be the supreme fighter of the 90s, whereas it seems as time has passed, that Lewis has taken that mantel.

Who should be ranked higher and why?
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#2
Old 09-30-2014, 06:33 PM
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Both the fighters responded to loss's well. Lewis was brought along a little slower than Evander and seemed to have a little more in the tank at the end and retired with more grace than Evander did. In accessing there careers both fought good opposition but the edge in that category goes to Evander.

Last edited by rightsideup; 09-30-2014 at 08:14 PM.
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#3
Old 09-30-2014, 06:35 PM
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Holyfield should be ranked higher because he also has his amazing, though forgettable Cruiserweight run, a weight class in which he became the greatest in. Overall he should be ranked higher imo.

Lewis though is the greater heavyweight without question, and I think you're selling his win(s) over Evander short. This was shortly after some of Evander's best performances against Tyson and Moorer where he looked great. Hell, even in the rematch against Lewis he showed quite a few moments of his greatness. I think Lewis' win against Tyson is the overrated one, though he still ended up mashing Vitali's face in who became the next best heavyweight for the next decade.
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#4
Old 09-30-2014, 06:36 PM
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I don't think its out of order to suggest that they should both share the decade. Holyfield the first five years and Lewis the second five years.

Not unlike arguing who was the greatest heavyweight of the 80s. Holmes first five years, Tyson second five years.

Lewis fans could point to the fact that he only lost once (later avenged!) in the entire decade; whereas Holyfield had two losses to Bowe (one avenged), one loss to Moorer (avenged) and at least one loss to Lewis himself (albeit when post prime).

Holyfield does seem to have the greater signature wins in the decade:

Foreman, Bowe, a pretty good version of Tyson x 2, a still useful Larry Holmes, Moorer and a more dominant win over Mercer than Lewis.

Lewis did have some good wins over useful opponents in the decade too, though perhaps not quite in the league of Holyfield's resume:

Ruddock, Bruno, Mercer (v close), Golota, McCall, Morrison and of course Holyfield himself very late in the decade.


As for a prime for prime matchup, after watching 1999 Holyfield doing so well in the return with Lewis, I think I would favour a more prime (say 1991/92) Holyfield to nick a decision. He was so damned fast, had a great workrate, lots of heart and a brilliant chin.

For that reason I might edge Holyfield's case for heavyweight of the decade, but I wouldn't argue against Lewis's case too. It is very close!
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#5
Old 09-30-2014, 06:53 PM
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I will say Holyfield should be considered greater,,

Wins over Tyson, bowe, foreman, are better than lennox's best wins

Plus evander is the greatest cruiser ever...
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#6
Old 09-30-2014, 07:07 PM
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I prefer Evander's skill set over Lennox. Evander had all the combinations and worked bottom to top in combination he was not head hunter. He finished his punches well and other than squaring up at times and folding and remaining still he simply had more techniques than Lennox had. Lennox did very well for a tall fellow but he never finished well (combinations) and often had lapses in technique.
He was a basic 1/2 offensive fighter and showed his courage in defeat and his honor in successes.
I like to watch both work but I give Evander a higher status.

Ray.
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#7
Old 09-30-2014, 07:21 PM
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I think had Holyfield retired at the top as Lewis did more people might have remembered him as the greater of the two.

I won't talk resumes as i haven't seen all of their bouts, I just thought i'd point out how the way a boxer leaves the sport has an impact on how he is remembered.
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#8
Old 09-30-2014, 09:25 PM
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I am going to go unpopular on this one and go with Lennox...Lenox the sometime lumox who would trip over his own feet at times!

Holyfield did have the honor of fighting a primo Big Daddy Bowe, but...if you think Lewis was always better than Bowe, as I do, its not such an honor and quite a few of Holyfield's other wins are somewhat opportunistic...Tyson being less Tyson after his stint, Foreman being the older version, etc. I also think it counts that Lewis really beat him twice, though I have changed my mind and do give credance that maybe Evander was a little past it compared to Lewsi.

Heres my case for Lewis: a lot of guys he beat were, before he beat them, considered monsters. Briggs, GOlata, Ruddock, Morrison, Grant, etc... And Lewis beat them all...He also beat Vitali, so the argument regarding his comp is baloney. lewis got it done with a great punch, a solid d and a real thinking man's approach to the sweet science. His comp on the whole was better than Evander's, he beat evander, and a lot of guys he fought would have been a lot better if they had not run into him.
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#9
Old Yesterday, 02:55 AM
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Lennox Lewis obviously must rate higher than Holyfield regardless of criteria.

Holyfield's overall achievement at HW is formidable but doesn't even closely stand up to Lennox's in terms of quantity, quality and performance (win/loss or KO).

Considering the match up Holyfield vs Lewis, the version of Holyfield that Lewis fought was close to the toughest version of Holyfield overall despite criticism to the contrary. It should also be realised that Lennox himself continued to improve anyway after those fights.

Lennox comprehensively beat Holyfield imo when they in fact did fight.

And finally, the version of Holyfield that either beat Bowe or Tyson (his best opponents) which might really be considered his best.. Lewis could have beaten them soundly as well it stands to reason.

For this reason I always rank Holyfield as a second tier champion.

And Lennox really was, as he liked to say.. "CLASS A!"
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#10
Old Yesterday, 12:24 PM
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Holyfield, for his accomplishments both at cruiser and heavy. Lewis' resume isn't as strong when you scrutinize it. As fighters, they are both ATGs but I would again pick Holyfield, he had it all, a very versatile and tough fighter, tougher than Lewis.
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