View Full Version : Top 20 Heavyweights of All Time - #9 Lennox Lewis

06-20-2010, 05:48 PM
Name: Lennox Lewis
AKA: The Lion

Career Statistics:

Born: 1965-09-02
Bouts: 44
Won: 41
Lost: 2
Drew: 1
KOs: 32
WBHOF Induction: 2008
IBHOF Induction: 2009

Source (http://boxrec.com/list_bouts.php?human_id=1853&cat=boxer)


Lennox Lewis has 3 claims to fame as an ATG Heavyweight. For one, he beat every man he faced. For another, he's a 3 time World Heavyweight Champion, and 1 time lineal and undisputed Heavyweight Champion. Then finally, he's the only man who can ever say he beat Riddick Bowe, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, and Vitali Klitschko. Those are his claims to greatness. And if not for the holes, he'd rate as the #1 Heavyweight of all time rather than the #8.

Hole #1: While Lewis beat every man he ever faced, he also lost to two. Neither was particularly spectacular, and each man knocked him out. That said, both fighters were in their prime, a point to be brought back up in Hole #3. The other two Heavyweight Champions who beat everyone they faced were Rocky Marciano and Ingemar Johansson. Rocky never lost period, and Ingemar's only defeats came at the hands of the great Floyd Patterson. If we extend the scope of this accomplishment to Heavyweight Champions that avenged all of their defeats, Gene Tunney and Riddick Bowe would also have to be included. Their losses came at the hands of the great Harry Greb and the great Evander Holyfield respectively. Of this handful of Heavyweights everyone lost to prime opponents, but only Lewis lost to ones that weren't great.

Hole #2: While Lennox managed to win HW title(s) on 3 occasions, and unify them once, I can't say any individual win stands out as highly impressive. He picked up his first WBC strap by default. Riddick Bowe threw it in the trash, he collected it. (Not going to bother getting into who ducked who, but Riddick at least made an offer which Lennox refused) Anyways, he defended his gifted title 3 times before losing it to Oliver McCall in 2 rounds. 2.5 years later and 1.5 years after McCall lost the title himself, Lewis picked it up again in a vacant title fight with McCall. The title was stripped from Mike Tyson, who in no way ducked Lewis, but merely took the higher profiled fight against Evander Holyfield. So essentially the first two times Lewis won the title were rather meaningless. It wasn't until he met Shannon Briggs before he actually defeated a reigning Champion, 9 years into his professional career. Briggs was the lineal Champion after defeating George Foreman in a highly questionable decision. Lewis' next unification came against Evander Holyfield, where he drew in the first fight that he obviously should have won and won the second fight that he arguably should have lost. This made Lewis the undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the world, but the reign only lasted until his next fight. The WBA stripped Lewis for choosing to fight Michael Grant over John Ruiz. At the time, it seemed like a good idea. Then of course John Ruiz would go on to defeat Holyfield in an arguably more convincing fashion than Lewis did and became a 2 time Heavyweight Champion. Michael Grant on the other hand... He never won a World title and the best win of his career came against Andrew Golota, a man who was beating him on all three scorecards, by 6 and 7 point margins on two. To say Grant then proceeded to knock him out is a bit much. He knocked him down, then Golota just quit, literally. Anyways, 1.5 years after winning the undisputed Championship, Lewis lost his crown to Hasim Rahman in 5 rounds. By this point Lewis had appeared to have seen better days himself. But as limited as Rahman was, Lewis had no problems bouncing back and dominating in the rematch. Thus concludes his 3 time ascension to the status of Heavyweight Champion. The first time he won it by default, the second time he won it in a vacant title fight against a man who previously beat him, and the third time he once again won it against a man who previously beat him. Not exactly the most glamorous coronations.

Hole #3: Beating 4 HOF and arguably 4 ATG Heavyweights is impressive. Highly impressive. Only guys like Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali can claim that. But a deeper look is required. Lewis beat Bowe in the amateurs only. And it was pretty much a general consensus among knowledgeable boxing fans and historians that if the two ever met in the early 90s, Bowe would have won. The doubters that existed stopped doing so after Lewis lost to McCall in '94. But speaking of amateur boxing, Lewis made a pretty monumental decision to stay an extra 4 years in the game instead of turning pro around the same time that Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson did (and he's actually older than Tyson). His reason for staying was his failure at the 1984 Olympic Super Heavyweight Quarter Finals. He wanted to try his luck again at the next Olympics, where he successfully won the gold medal (against Bowe). In 1984 Tyson didn't even qualify for the Olympics, but he turned pro in 1985 regardless. Holyfield was robbed of a gold medal in the same Olympics, but he turned pro as well. It's too bad Lewis didn't to, then maybe he actually would have fought at least one of them in their prime. Neither was near that by the time Lewis eventually picked them off, Tyson especially. Then there's the last potentially great Heavyweight Lewis beat, Vitali Klitschko, and consequently the only one he beat who was prime. The victory was highly controversial, but to be fair Lewis was clearly on the decline. Like Joe Louis against Jersey Joe Walcott in the first encounter, Lewis was lucky to survive with his title intact. Unlike the great Joe Louis however, no rematch was given, and Lewis simply retired. Joe Louis left no doubts before his retirement, dispatching Walcott in 11 rounds. Lennox Lewis left many. And so is the legacy of Lennox Lewis...take it for what you will.


Resume Evaluation:

Notable Wins:
Ossie Ocasio <Post-Prime>
Gary Mason <Undefeated>
Mike Weaver <Post-Prime>
Tyrell Biggs
Levi Billups
Donovan 'Razor' Ruddock
Tony Tucker <Post-Prime>
Frank Bruno <Post-Prime>
Lionel Butler
Tommy Morrison <Post-Prime>
Ray Mercer
Oliver McCall
Henry Akinwande <Undefeated>
Andrew Golota
Shannon Briggs
Zeljko Mavrovic <Undefeated>
Evander Holyfield <Over the hill>
Michael Grant <Undefeated>
Francois Botha
David Tua
Hasim Rahman
Mike Tyson <Over the hill>
Vitali Klitschko
Notable Losses:
Oliver McCall [TKO 2]
Hasim Rahman [KO 5] <Lewis Post-Prime>
Questionable Wins:
Ray Mercer
Evander Holyfield II
Questionable Draws:
Evander Holyfield I (Lewis deserved to win)

'A' level wins:
Vitali Klitschko
'A-' level wins:
Ray Mercer, Evander Holyfield
'B' level wins:
Razor Ruddock, Gary Mason, Tony Tucker, Frank Bruno, Tommy Morrison, Oliver McCall, Andrew Golota, Shannon Briggs, Michael Grant, David Tua, Hasim Rahman, Mike Tyson
'B-' level wins:
Ossie Ocasio, Mike Weaver, Tyrell Biggs, Levi Billups, Lionel Butler, Henry Akinwande, Zeljko Mavrovic, Francois Botha

Point Total: 2 + 3 + 12 + 4 – 6 = 15

Back to List (http://sweetboxing.com/showthread.php?t=1488)

06-20-2010, 05:55 PM
Highlight Video #1

Highlight Video #2

Stone Roses
06-21-2010, 09:25 AM
Interesting info mate.....

imported_Mr Burke
06-21-2010, 10:06 AM
Very good. I like the assesment and objective approach. It captures the Lennox Lewis feeling I have and shared with friends: he feels like maybe the greatest, but has this unforgivable slumps.

But I agree he is Top 10 ATG heavyweight.