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The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty

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Post by Rowley on Wed 5 Oct - 18:41

Been a while since we did one of these so thought it might be worth revisiting our oft debated topic of the top heavyweights. Just for variety and to push myself a bit I have broken with tradition and not stopped once I reached ten. Today you get a full top twenty. As tends to be the trend I have not included Sullivan, despite him generally being considered the first champion under Queensbury rules as most of his significant fights were under London Ring Rules it seems unfair to include him as he would either feature far lower than his talents deserve or far higher than his record under Queensbury rules warrants.
 
Putting this together was a lot harder than I imagined. I tend to have a solid seven or eight fighters I feel confident deserve to feature in the top ten and then around another six or seven fighting it out to make up the top ten. Splitting them or deciding who warrants to make up the top ten is nigh on impossible. All of them tend to have some significant highs in their career, i.e Tunney beating Dempsey twice, but some serious lows i.e Lewis getting sparked by Rahman.  Also once you get past those deciding who should fill out the top twenty is similarly a bit tricky. Despite being the flagship division the talent pool is not always that deep at heavy. Seems odd to do a top twenty for 120 years of the division where guys who either have one or two defences to their name or none whatsoever warrant genuine consideration.  Also saying one guy’s one defence is better than another guy’s one defence does somewhat feel like an exercise in sorting out who is the tallest dwarf.

1 Ali
2 Louis
3 Johnson
4 Jeffries
5 Holmes
6 Dempsey
7 Foreman
8 Frazier
9 Lewis
10 Marciano
11 Holyfield
12 Tyson
13 Tunney
14 Liston
15 W Klitschko
16 Charles
17 Walcott
18 Wills
19 Langford
20 Corbett

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 18:49

Jeffries and Dempsey......Too high......Tunney not for me..

1. Ali
2. Louis
3. Johnson.
4. Foreman
5. Holmes
6. Frazier
7. Jeffries
8. Tyson
9. Dempsey
10. Lewis
11. Holyfield
12. Liston
13. Marciano
14. Charles
15. Wills
16. Walcott./Bowe..
18. Fitzsimmons.
19 Corbett
20. Wlad
21. Langford

Heavyweight prie is the greatest in sports.....Those that didn't win it get marked down for me..... Wills and Langford no higher..


Last edited by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:25; edited 3 times in total

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 19:03

Good to see Tyson making top ten Truss. Very good list, but Lewis a tad low for me.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 5 Oct - 19:48

I do not know enough about the subject to comment as such, but I always felt Vitali would have kicked Wlad's butt all over the family home.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 19:53

I think Norton creams both Klits

If it is a list of who'd win a fight..

Lewis and Foreman would be joint second..

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:03

I really rate Vitali. Probably overrate him, but he is a tough fight for anyone.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:05

He's a face first average heavy.

Taller Chuvalo....In a crap era..

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:08

I think you're Half right. I think his size and awkwardness, makes him tough to beat. Te era was sh1t though

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:12

I know many casual fans overrate Tyson, butI think he is ridiculously underrated by many too.

He could beat everyone on the list. No doubt he could lose to a few, but Tyson was amazing.

He made some decent/good heavies look like bums. I guess Foreman and Frazier did the same.

Ali is the rightful number one. Don't really care were many are placed, long as he is at the summit.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:12

You really rate him but you half agree he is average..

Don't ever be a stockbroker...

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:14

No I mean he has flaws. But his strengths make up for it. He beats all your 80's Heavies Truss, bar Tyson and Holmes.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:18

Try watching some..

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:19

I have. Many a time. Tyson said the Klitschkos are better than many.

Do you know better than him? Starting to think your boxing knowledge rivals that, of your knowledge on Dorian Yates cycles.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:23

I watched a past it Tubbs outbox Bowe six months before he won the Undisputed Heavy....

Disgraceful decision..

Which reminds me I forgot Bowe in my top 20.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:26

Bowe maybe underrated him. Tubbs was fast, but I think Vitali would keep him at a distance. I think he's too strong.

Tubbs can be fat and lazy. He would win early rounds, then big Vitali knocks him out.

This is a younger Vitali. Not the old man that went 12 rounds with the hooligan.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:27

Bowe was really good, but I think he was scared of Lennox.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:31

You're doing a Haz..

Picking a crap version of a fighter you don't like and a top one of a guy you do....

Tubbs wasn't always a slob

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:33

Are you not doing the same?

Face first heavy?

Vitali was able to fight with his hands down. He had great reflexes. Honestly could Tubbs hurt him? Vitali could decapitate Tubbs easily.


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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:42

Tubbs was a good fighter. Fast and good skills. But he was an abc champ. He couldn't hold onto a belt and was broke in two rounds by Tyson.

No matter what you think of big V's competition, he smashed through most fighters and hardly lost rounds.

Anyway, we will agree to disagree. You don't rate him, I do. Nothing will change that.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:48

Beat Page...Smith and Bowe (Majority had him winning anyway ).....Lost a split to Tim.. All top heavies..

Who did Vitali beat ??..

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:51

All top heavies? In who's eyes? Yours?

Vitali beat every contender out there.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 20:55

Smith beat Witherspoon and Bruno....

Page made Larry vacate....Witherspoon said he was technically the best heavy he fought..

Witherspoon...Great heavy in my opinion...

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 20:57

Was Bowe at his peak then? Or was he fighting 10 rounders?

How long did he hold a belt? Did he make a defence? Was he never knocked out? Did he have 10 losses on his record?

Many people claim the 80's heavies were sh1t.

Tyson made these guys look like chumps. He obviously is the best ever then.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 21:10

You're chucking conjecture at me..

I'm chucking facts at you.

"Many people"..I mean really..

I don't know many people...Do you ??..

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Post by catchweight on Wed 5 Oct - 21:19

Holyfield should be a dead cert. His career had it all.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 21:26

Cruiserweight gets held against Holy...I reckon..

Does well in ATG lists...

Spinks always gets puked on at Heavy....Probably because he wasn't born earlier and was great at 175.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 21:31

Vitali only lost two fights due to injuries.

What's your favourite saying? Nobody outboxed the kid. Well same can be said for Vitali.

You said you can only rate someone for their time. Because you can know for sure who would win, unless someone fights.

Vitali had more wins.
Held more titles
Was the man at the weight. Tubbs wasn't ever.
Vitali had more knockouts.
Dominated for longer too.
Vitali didn't have ten losses.

Are they facts, or am I lying Truss?

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Post by Rowley on Wed 5 Oct - 21:35

Think I am generally with Truss on the 80s heavyweights. None of them put together the kind of form that warrants them making lists like that but most had talent. Most of them emerged from an American amateur programme that was very strong and well run and were still in an era where prospects were not too mollycoddled on the way up. Tended to bread in sound fundamentals.

Think their problem was Don King, Don pretty much run heavyweight boxing then and so of they wanted to get anywhere they had to deal with Don's BS and exploitation. Getting shorted on purses, ripped off left right and centre and having half of Don's family on their payroll meant half of them fell out of love with the game a lot of the time. Listen to stories from those guys and most of them were doing coke and weed when they should have been training. Inevitable their form is patchy as hell. Pity because fully motivated I suspect we could be looking back on it as a golden era. They are not known as the lost generation for nothing.

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Post by catchweight on Wed 5 Oct - 21:35

Coming up from cruiserweight is part of Holyfields appeal for me. What a career. He fought absolutely everyone worth fighting. Epic fights, huge upsets, great performances, big comebanks with a total fearlessness.

Ali was a bit before my time, so I never really had a personal connection with him. But Holyfield must have been the closest thing since. When I think of "greatness" in a fighter or their career Holyfield is one of the first that springs to mind.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 21:36

Are you also with him on Vitali?


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Post by Rowley on Wed 5 Oct - 21:40

AdamT wrote:Are you also with him on Vitali?


Probably not. I think he is a bit harsh on Vitali. Think the tragedy with Vitali is a lack of competition and injuries kind of stopped us ever really finding out how good he was. He may not be the most technically gifted of heavies, but had decent power an excellent chin and plenty of heart. Put all that in a well conditioned guy of 250lb and you've got a half decent enough heavyweight.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 21:43

Good post. I'm being a bit harsh also.

Difference is, I think some of his guys are good, Witherspoon especially.

I honestly don't think many have an easy night with Vitali.

The comparison to Chuvalo is pathetic. It is either ignorant, or a plain attempt of trolling.

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Post by Rowley on Wed 5 Oct - 21:47

AdamT wrote:

The comparison to Chuvalo is pathetic. It is either ignorant, or a plain attempt of trolling.

But still you bit!

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 21:54

I don't think any less of you Adam... Wink


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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 22:02

My top 10

1. Ali
2. Louis
3. Page
4. Tubbs
5. Johnson
6. Frazier
7. Foreman
8. Holmes
9. Witherspoon
10. Bruno

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Wed 5 Oct - 22:04

Not sure about Johnson at 5..

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 22:05

Haha!!


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Post by Rowley on Wed 5 Oct - 22:20

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Not sure about Johnson at 5..

Louis is a bit high as well. He could not have carried Jeff Merritt's jockstrap.

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Post by AdamT on Wed 5 Oct - 22:48

Was Joe Louis not a black belt in Karate??

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Post by huw on Thu 6 Oct - 10:04

Everyone seems to be missing out 'Prime' Tyson or is this just because he was so far ahead it is pointless including him?

Thought I'd try this but instead of ability and skill I would rank a top 10 favourites for other reasons:

1. Ali (All round entertainment)
2. Tua (that hook)
3. Harrison (he may not have achieved all he should have but was an absolute artist.... never known another boxer to spend so much time at the drawing board).
4. Tyson (the bat s*it craziness)
5. Cobb (the funniest)
6. Lewis (seems genuinely nice)
7. Foreman (great grill)
8. Johnson (the didn't care attitude is what I like and dislike - to authority I liked, blocking the path of other boxers I dislike)
9. Valuev (cartoon monster)
10. Chuvalo (Rocky)

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Post by AdamT on Thu 6 Oct - 10:05

huw wrote:Everyone seems to be missing out 'Prime' Tyson or is this just because he was so far ahead it is pointless including him?

Thought I'd try this but instead of ability and skill I would rank a top 10 favourites for other reasons:

1. Ali (All round entertainment)
2. Tua (that hook)
3. Harrison (he may not have achieved all he should have but was an absolute artist.... never known another boxer to spend so much time at the drawing board).
4. Tyson (the bat s*it craziness)
5. Cobb (the funniest)
6. Lewis (seems genuinely nice)
7. Foreman (great grill)
8. Johnson (the didn't care attitude is what I like and dislike - to authority I liked, blocking the path of other boxers I dislike)
9. Valuev (cartoon monster)
10. Chuvalo (Rocky)

Haha!

To be fair, it's better than Bert Sugars and you're having a laugh.

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Post by milkyboy on Thu 6 Oct - 10:15

Always tough - how do you credit great wins v longevity. Ultimately heavy is always a clear top 2, followed by a bunch of about 12 where the order is down to perdonal criteria or often just mood on a given day. Like rowley, I can normally split them into two groups of 5 or 6, but I wouldn't argue too much with anyone seeing it differently.

As for the original list, Dempsey too high for me ( though some have him higher) and the boiler man too... But you should be allowed a personal favourite 'mulligan' in these things so it's restrained of rowley to not have him top 2.

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Post by AdamT on Thu 6 Oct - 10:18

1. Louis
2. Ali
3. Dempsey
4. Johnson
5. Tunney
6. Marciano
7. Charles
8. Foreman
9. Frazier
10. Holmes

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Post by milkyboy on Thu 6 Oct - 10:29

huw wrote:Everyone seems to be missing out 'Prime' Tyson or is this just because he was so far ahead it is pointless including him?

Thought I'd try this but instead of ability and skill I would rank a top 10 favourites for other reasons:

1. Ali (All round entertainment)
2. Tua (that hook)
3. Harrison (he may not have achieved all he should have but was an absolute artist.... never known another boxer to spend so much time at the drawing board).
4. Tyson (the bat s*it craziness)
5. Cobb (the funniest)
6. Lewis (seems genuinely nice)
7. Foreman (great grill)
8. Johnson (the didn't care attitude is what I like and dislike - to authority I liked, blocking the path of other boxers I dislike)
9. Valuev (cartoon monster)
10. Chuvalo (Rocky)

Ahh. Prime Tyson... The different versions of Mike, all warrant a mention:

Post pubescent Tyson,
pre prime Tyson,
prime Tyson (historians are split on the precise day, hour and minute this occurred),
post prime Tyson,
penitentiary Tyson,
post-penetentiary Tyson,
putrefying corpse Tyson.

The lazier Tyson aficionados some times just split his career into 'Gus tomato Tyson' and 'post gus tyson'

It's a complicated and emotive field so its understandable why some are reluctant to place Tyson and assume he just has his own ranking table.

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Post by Rowley on Thu 6 Oct - 11:12

milkyboy wrote:Always tough - how do you credit great wins v longevity. Ultimately heavy is always a clear top 2, followed by a bunch of about 12 where the order is down to perdonal criteria or often just mood on a given day. Like rowley, I can normally split them into two groups of 5 or 6, but I wouldn't argue too much with anyone seeing it differently.

As for the original list, Dempsey too high for me ( though some have him higher) and the boiler man too... But you should be allowed a personal favourite 'mulligan' in these things so it's restrained of rowley to not have him top 2.

If I'd known about the personal favourite mulligan Barley would be top on the back of his win over JD Turner.

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Post by superflyweight on Thu 6 Oct - 11:40

Rowley wrote:Been a while since we did one of these so thought it might be worth revisiting our oft debated topic of the top heavyweights. Just for variety and to push myself a bit I have broken with tradition and not stopped once I reached ten. Today you get a full top twenty. As tends to be the trend I have not included Sullivan, despite him generally being considered the first champion under Queensbury rules as most of his significant fights were under London Ring Rules it seems unfair to include him as he would either feature far lower than his talents deserve or far higher than his record under Queensbury rules warrants.
 
Putting this together was a lot harder than I imagined. I tend to have a solid seven or eight fighters I feel confident deserve to feature in the top ten and then around another six or seven fighting it out to make up the top ten. Splitting them or deciding who warrants to make up the top ten is nigh on impossible. All of them tend to have some significant highs in their career, i.e Tunney beating Dempsey twice, but some serious lows i.e Lewis getting sparked by Rahman.  Also once you get past those deciding who should fill out the top twenty is similarly a bit tricky. Despite being the flagship division the talent pool is not always that deep at heavy. Seems odd to do a top twenty for 120 years of the division where guys who either have one or two defences to their name or none whatsoever warrant genuine consideration.  Also saying one guy’s one defence is better than another guy’s one defence does somewhat feel like an exercise in sorting out who is the tallest dwarf.

1 Ali
2 Louis
3 Johnson
4 Jeffries
5 Holmes
6 Dempsey
7 Foreman
8 Frazier
9 Lewis
10 Marciano
11 Holyfield
12 Tyson
13 Tunney
14 Liston
15 W Klitschko
16 Charles
17 Walcott
18 Wills
19 Langford
20 Corbett

Interesting list Jeff. Most of the expected names but I guess just about everyone is going to come up with a different combination.

I'd tend to go for Holmes top 3, Foreman slightly higher, Tyson above Frazier (but probably not as high as 8), and Liston jumping up several notches into the top 10. Bowe and Holyfield would be in there and both likely above Wlad.

My general rule of thumb for my top 10 is Ali top, Louis second, Holmes and Johnson interchangeable in 3rd and 4th, Jeffries, Liston, Foreman and Dempsey in the next tier and then Marciano, Lewis, Tyson, Frazier and Holyfield all there or thereabouts for the final places and Tunney just missing out.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Thu 6 Oct - 12:17

Maybe chuck in Joe Jeanette and Sam McVey who were ranked alongside Johnson, Langford and Wills as the top black heavyweights of their generation?

You got to reckon that was a good era for black heavyweights hence the suggestion for their inclusion. Maybe they just miss out I don't know but worthy of a mention

Although a top ten man pound for pound of all time how about Langford a bit higher in your list imagine the James Toney skill set with the punch of Mike Tyson and you got Langford?

And what about George Godfrey not sure if he belongs in the list maybe just misses out but you got to reckon he's too big for the likes of Tunney, Charles and Walcott?

Peter Jackson too worth a mention


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The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty Empty Re: The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty

Post by bhb001 on Thu 6 Oct - 12:20

No room for Tyson Fury? That will really depress him ... Run

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The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty Empty Re: The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty

Post by TRUSSMAN66 on Thu 6 Oct - 12:22

Herman Jaeger wrote:Maybe chuck in Joe Jeanette and Sam McVey who were ranked alongside Johnson, Langford and Wills as the top black heavyweights of their generation?

You got to reckon that was a good era for black heavyweights hence the suggestion for their inclusion. Maybe they just miss out I don't know but worthy of a mention

Although a top ten man pound for pound of all time how about Langford a bit higher in your list imagine the James Toney skill set with the punch of Mike Tyson and you got Langford?

And what about George Godfrey not sure if he belongs in the list maybe just misses out but you got to reckon he's too big for the likes of Tunney, Charles and Walcott?

Peter Jackson too worth a mention


Chuck the actor out of The Green Mile into the top 20....He looked pretty handy too....

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The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty Empty Re: The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty

Post by Herman Jaeger on Thu 6 Oct - 12:28

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:
Herman Jaeger wrote:Maybe chuck in Joe Jeanette and Sam McVey who were ranked alongside Johnson, Langford and Wills as the top black heavyweights of their generation?

You got to reckon that was a good era for black heavyweights hence the suggestion for their inclusion. Maybe they just miss out I don't know but worthy of a mention

Although a top ten man pound for pound of all time how about Langford a bit higher in your list imagine the James Toney skill set with the punch of Mike Tyson and you got Langford?

And what about George Godfrey not sure if he belongs in the list maybe just misses out but you got to reckon he's too big for the likes of Tunney, Charles and Walcott?

Peter Jackson too worth a mention


Chuck the actor out of The Green Mile into the top 20....He looked pretty handy too....


Point?

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The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty Empty Re: The Greatest Heavyweight. My All Time Top Twenty

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