T Nation

Lewis better than Ali

“Lewis Better than Ali” was the title of a newspaper article I read today. George Forman said that “Lenox is beyond doubt the greatest heavywight if all time.” “He is not second anymore he is there at the top of the tree” “It reminded me of a young george foreman and an elusive Muhamad Ali- everything you want in a fighter.” Personally Lenox reminds me of neither ali nor foreman. But then again these are words from the mouth of one of the greatest boxers ever. I personally would put ali above lewis but maybe im confusing Ali with his legend just like everyone that thought tyson had more than a ‘punchers chance’ confused tyson legend with the real tyson young or old.
What do you guys think

Well a lot of people will disagree, not because they know anything about boxing but because they dislike Lewis and don’t want to give him any credit. It really pathetic when you think about it. I’m sure George Forman would be a better judge of Lewis’s skills than the people who post on forums, amateur boxers and probably most pro boxers.

Lewis is the greatest heavy weight boxer of our day. (Notice I said “heavy weight” and “our day”). But the sad truth is the entire heavy weight division is a joke. No real contenders have appeared in over 10 years. The only ones left are aging “has beens” and rejects. Lewis wins that title by default.
Part of the reason for the above stated situation is that there is little money to be made in boxing unless you are ranked incredibly high. If you are big and athletic the smart choice is to go into a professional team sport. There you can be ranked 150th and still get at least a million a year deal.
Lightweight divisions are still alive. Again, mostly because if you are althletic and 130lbs your only option is to become a boxer or a horse jockey.

Remember, George Forman really isn’t there 100%, as he took some serious blows from the mentioned Ali (and several others for that matter). For real though, to say that a former or present athlete has a better perspective of the talent in a particular sport can be true but there are always exceptions to such rules. For instance Bill Walton is an ass and I wouldn’t consider for a minute his interpretation to be more accurate than say Marv Alberts. With athletes commenting on other athletes or the sport itself, there can certainly be greater insight but at the same time there’s a great possibility for bias or ignorance.

BOP - you’re right in your assessment of the current heavyweight class.

There is NO WAY that Ali should be compared to Lewis or vice versa. That's insane. So, Foreman, after losing to Ali in the Rumble in the Jungle, believes - after NEVER fighting Lewis, that Lewis is a superior boxer. Plus, Lewis fought a Tyson who was not at the top of his game. AND I firmly believe - and I have seen Ali fight (granted, on TV and I was a kid) - that Ali is the superior boxier. He was far more gifted. Ali is one of the few boxers who could and did actually "walk the talk". I am not speaking on the "legend" but you also can't compare the Tyson legend with Ali either. In anyway, Ali, Tyson and Lewis (and Foreman) will all have their place in boxing history.

Me thinks that Foreman has breathed in WAY too many fumes eminating from his grill.

I don’t think Lewis is as good as ALI was but I think he is one of the best heavyweights of all time. When people say there have been no talent then what about Tyson and Holyfield. I bet none of yall whould last a second with these heavyweights. People box because they excel at it and like it. Yea the money is great but I bet you most of them started boxing because they like it or was good at it. I also don’t see why people dislike Lewis. He might not be as charismatic as ali but he is a great fighter.

Lewis is not even close to Ali.

There was an interview with Lewis in one of this year Playboys issues. There he said that Ali himself called him the best, and he added that he is better and stronger than Ali though he left an impression that he thinks Ali was greater as a champion.

Ridick Bowe at his best would have KILLED lewis (which is why lewis ducked him untill he retired then he loves to go, “Bowe was afraid of me” please lenny, I remember you ducking him) ok, Bowe was not at his best for long , maybe 4-5year, but if any of you are REAL boxing fans you can see that lewis was made for Bowe (and no talk about olympic boxing). Bowe destroyed a young and good holyfield, lewis should have lost the second fight with holyfield (he should have won the first easy but if you watch the second and score round by round I think you will see that holyfield should have won that fight). lewis got starched by TWO stiffs (Mccall and rachman, sp??). forman knows that if he would have fought lewis he would have killed him but he is a great salesman and the more people that believe lewis is great the more people that will watch and pay for his fights.

To rev i: First, Lewis should have won both fights with Holyfield. The first one Holyfield won by decision, but there was a huge controversy surrounding that that brought up how dirty boxing was becoming. Second, Lewis beat Bowe in the Olympics and Bowe’s career burnt out too early. Third, Holyfield beat Bowe twice and the time he beat Holyfield it was a decision. Just don’t see were you are coming with this.

I think Ol George Foreman needs to stick to selling his grills and peddling oil changes. Ali in his prime would not only waste Lewis he would make him look really bad. outlaw.

Let’s think about this too: Who did Ali have to fight to become Heavyweight Champion? Compare that to who Lewis has had to fight. Now I think it would be safe to say that who ever was on Ali’s list could easily beat Lewis AND who ever was on his (Lewis) list. Easy. I mean, c’mon, even a young Foreman could beat Lewis. I’m still pretty astounded over Foreman’s comment.

I think Forman would know a lot better than you would. Just because you have something against Lewis is no reason to disrespect his skills. Plus people can speculate all they want but the fact is we will never know who is the best boxers of all time unless they fought each other and that is jus not possible.

molsonman: " Plus people can speculate all they want but the fact is we will never know who is the best boxers of all time unless they fought each other and that is jus not possible. "

I'm quoting you, since this is the reason why what Foreman said is insane. We'll never know. He should know better.

But regarding my post, you honestly believe a David Tua or Rahman could outbox a Ali in his prime? Or a Frazier? What has been said is that in the last several years, the Heavyweight Division has not been at all that impressive. Now, there are some really good "up and comers" (Klitschko, Byrd). An awakening of the giants, I guess you could say. BUT, I just read that Lewis doesn't feel like a fight with Byrd will "offer" him anything(?!).

And in no way am I disrespectful of Lewis' abilities. As a matter of fact, I love boxing, probably more than I love football (and in my case, that's saying alot). I have a huge amount of respect for boxers. I consider boxers to be the absolute best conditioned athletes out there. Nothing but praise from me. Be it Lewis, Morales, Klitscko, Tszyu, Hamed...etc. Man, nothing but respect for anyone willing to put their ass on the line in the ring...especially in front of an audience.

The problem with analysing athletes of the past is that their performances are so well known that they become legendary. Truth and fiction become intertwined. They are elevated to god-like status, invincible. The truth is they are just men.

But regarding my post, you honestly believe a David Tua or Rahman could outbox a Ali in his prime?

Tua is a really interesting case. He has the hardest, heaviest punches in the heavy weight division and from the looks of it the hardest jaw. What he lacks is ringcraft.

If Tua could catch Ali [no chance unless he broke Ali’s Legs first] then sure he could knock him out. Tua’s problem is that he doesn’t have a clue what to do against the big guys who jab to keep him away. Now, Tua against Tyson [Tyson would be lucky to go three rounds] or Foreman
would have been great.

jason, I don’t want you to feel dumb so PLEASE go check you facts.

Lewis beats fighters that stand in front of him and try to duke it out. Ai had the movement, hand speed, durability and smarts to beat Lewis. Lewis is top dog now, but thats not saying much.If you take a look at Ali’s record, it reads like the top 10 greatest heavyweights, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Leon Spinks, Larry Holmes, Archie Moore, Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Ken Norton. Ali was King during the Golden age of the Heavyweight division. Then take a look at Lewis’ record, two names stand out, A old Holyfield, who he could not decisively beat or knockout, and a mentally screwed Tyson.Yes great athletes are raised to god like status and fact and fiction can become intertwined, but when the athletic endeavors are captured on film, its kind of hard to dispute it.

holyfield v. Lewis is the next big fight… and i still have faith in holyfield

Ali, Foreman in prime, Holyfield of 4-5 years ago, Norton, Frazier, Holmes, Shavers, Liston, Tyson in prime, and I am sure others that I cannot think of right now…all were better than Lennox Lewis is, or ever will be. Who has Lewis EVER beaten that is any good???