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Holyfield versus Usyk: Head to Head and Career Records

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 05 Oct 2021, 8:40 pm

I know, I know. Not the most imaginative topic, but what with Usyk currently being flavour of the month I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on this.

Easily the two best Cruiserweights the sport has seen since the division's inception, and also two of just three Cruiserweight champions to go on and take a Heavyweight title. How would a fight between them go? Given Usyk's relative inexperience as a Heavyweight so far compared to Holyfield it probably makes sense to imagine this as a Cruiserweight fight, but if you think you've seen enough of Usyk as a Heavyweight to make a judgement, or if you think either weight class might favour one man over the other, then feel free to give a Heavyweight opinion too.

Usyk a shade bigger naturally, Holyfield slightly quicker with his hands. Usyk the better and more strategic offensive footwork, Holyfield a bit lighter on his toes and balletic on the outside. Usyk the better defence, Holyfield the slightly harder puncher for me. Usyk probably more of a natural ring general and strategist whereas Holyfield could sometimes forget himself and get caught up in the moment. Both blessed with tremendous stamina south of 200 lb. Two great technicians who can crack and throw fantastic combinations.

Not an easy one to call. Would also be interested to see if people think that Usyk, regardless of how you think he'd fare against Evander, has surpassed him as the greatest Cruiserweight in terms of record and wins there. I think he probably has, but not sure if I'm in a minority on that one. Also, does anyone see Usyk having a similar, perhaps even superior, level of success at Heavyweight as Holyfield had?
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Post by No name Bertie Tue 05 Oct 2021, 9:03 pm

Holyfield turned professional age 21, Usyk was 26. Holyfield moved up to heavyweight aged 25, Usyk was 32.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 05 Oct 2021, 9:28 pm

Evander was a wonderful athlete...Stronger...Great chin...Could box and brawl and most importantly fought at a higher pace than any Usyk opponent...Chuck in the triple jab....

Holyfield the greatest Cruiser by a Country mile..

Holy ko9..

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Post by No name Bertie Tue 05 Oct 2021, 11:35 pm

There were a lot of allegations regarding possible steroid use and the like.  It would certainly appear that in the past it was more common in sports than nowadays where it is frowned upon.  Would this have affected performance levels when comparing the present with past eras, it is difficult to determine.
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Wed 06 Oct 2021, 9:48 am

Steroids are more widespread than ever....The best Doctors are working against the system...

Telling me Ben Johnson would finish 6th in the 100m these days because People are eating more Greens and ingesting more Creatine.

I shouldn't think Holy took steroids at Cruiser anyway...Making weight would be difficult with the added water.

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Post by Soul Requiem Wed 06 Oct 2021, 9:59 am

Holyfield is still head and shoulders above anyone else at Cruiserweight, in fact he's the only champion of real note there.

In a head to head match up he's too quick, powerful and tough, his footwork is top drawer too. The current over rating of Usyk is getting a bit silly.

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Post by No name Bertie Wed 06 Oct 2021, 11:35 am

I would guess that Holyfield's physical peak was spent in the professional ranks, while Usyk's physical peak was spent in the Amateurs and maybe in the first part of his professional career. Holyfield had 5 years head start in the professional ranks (comparing age by age) and would have gained a lot more experience and development there, learning to deal with all types of seasoned individuals and styles. Holyfield had 57 professional fights and fought the best in the cruiserweight and heavyweight divisions several times. Usyk turned professional aged 26, had 16 fights in the cruiserweight division and 3 fights in the heavyweight division. I just don't see how their resumes can be compared. Usyk is belt hunting and doesn't plan to stick around. It is like trying to judge Tyson Fury when he currently has never defended a belt and his resume is extremely thin.
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Post by 88Chris05 Wed 06 Oct 2021, 11:45 am

The only champion of real note at Cruiserweight, Soul?

I don't see how that can be. Usyk totally cleared the division out, usually with a big margin of victory. Every belt he won there was taken from an unbeaten world champion in their back yard. Has moved up and beaten a genuine Super-Heavyweight for three belts.

Not as if his opposition there is anything to be sniffed at either, especially if Holyfield is the golden standard. Qawi a brilliant fighter, but peaked at Light-Heavy and despite his age and lack of size he still pushed Holyfield all the way in their first fight. Guys like Tillman, Parkey and De Leon were certainly no better than Huck, Briedis or Gassiev either.

Maybe I'm overrating Usyk, but if that's the case then I'd say you're definitely underrating him. Holyfield didn't exactly get great reviews in his first few fights before challenging for the Heavyweight title either but like Usyk he surprised a few people once he actually got there. Holyfield was a great fighter but always a beatable one, I think it's a stretch to say that Usyk has zero chance.

Oh and Bertie, in terms of resume comparisons I'm talking about Cruiserweight. No reason why they can't be compared and why it shouldn't be very close there. Obviously at Heavyweight Usyk has a way to go before he's in the same breath as Holyfield - but records don't determine hypothetical fights at a weight. Usyk's win over Joshua is already better than all but two wins Holyfield managed as a Heavyweight, I'd say, so there's still food for thought.
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Post by No name Bertie Wed 06 Oct 2021, 12:54 pm

Mayweather has shown that ring-craft, reading your opponents, evading punches, counterpunching, solid chin will tend to come out on top.  So if this is a fantasy fight, a one on one, then the ability to read, evade, counter is going to be very important.  It is like in tennis - if you can read your opponents game then you will tend to come out on top.  Holyfield's time at Cruiserweight he was 21 - 25 years of age, so youth, physicality, speed come to the fore.  Usyk's time at Cruiserweight 26 to 31 years of age, was more characterized by ring-craft, a high skill set, stamina. For me I could see Usyk winning on points.
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Post by Mr Bounce Wed 06 Oct 2021, 4:38 pm

I think it's a fascinating match-up. Holyfield was supremely tough, very well-conditioned and could certainly take a whack. I have no doubts that Usyk and his team could come up with an appropriate gameplan to counter Holyfield's relentless pressure. One thing's for certain, it would not be like AJ - Evander would be slamming that jab Usyk's way all night. He just has to be sure he can actually find the target.

A peak cruiser Evander vs a peak cruiser Usyk? Majority Draw for me!

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Wed 06 Oct 2021, 6:34 pm

88Chris05 wrote:The only champion of real note at Cruiserweight, Soul?

I don't see how that can be. Usyk totally cleared the division out, usually with a big margin of victory. Every belt he won there was taken from an unbeaten world champion in their back yard. Has moved up and beaten a genuine Super-Heavyweight for three belts.

Not as if his opposition there is anything to be sniffed at either, especially if Holyfield is the golden standard. Qawi a brilliant fighter, but peaked at Light-Heavy and despite his age and lack of size he still pushed Holyfield all the way in their first fight. Guys like Tillman, Parkey and De Leon were certainly no better than Huck, Briedis or Gassiev either.

Maybe I'm overrating Usyk, but if that's the case then I'd say you're definitely underrating him. Holyfield didn't exactly get great reviews in his first few fights before challenging for the Heavyweight title either but like Usyk he surprised a few people once he actually got there. Holyfield was a great fighter but always a beatable one, I think it's a stretch to say that Usyk has zero chance.

Oh and Bertie, in terms of resume comparisons I'm talking about Cruiserweight. No reason why they can't be compared and why it shouldn't be very close there. Obviously at Heavyweight Usyk has a way to go before he's in the same breath as Holyfield - but records don't determine hypothetical fights at a weight. Usyk's win over Joshua is already better than all but two wins Holyfield managed as a Heavyweight, I'd say, so there's still food for thought.

Struggled with big Derek at Heavy..Had it 5-5..

If he struggled with a strong Heavy... Love to see him over 15 with Qawi like a green Holy.

Have a feeling Qawi wears him down ...He was a clever old fox.

Other than that I agree with Soul...Holy miles ahead

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