Jump to content

Top 10 British Heavyweights of all time, where does Tyson Fury rank?


WSMFC64
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greatest British Heavyweights

Once upon a time, British Heavyweights were not respected by many in the United States. That all changed with the arrival of Lennox Lewis, who turned in the career of a top 5 all-time heavyweight. Today, we will look at the top ten British heavyweights of all time.

10) Herbie Hide

The 6ft 2in “Dancing Destroyer” could not compete with the giants at the beginning of the super-heavyweight era of boxing. Hide took out Michael Bentt at Millwall’s The Den in 1994 to earn the WBO title, which was then a lightly-respected title. Hide could hit Riddick Bowe with ease, but he couldn’t take the American’s return fire and was eventually stopped by a courageous effort. Hide’s high-level ambitions were ended by Vitali Klitschko, in 1999 with KO2.

 

9) David Haye

If Haye could have fought as well as he talked, he would be much higher on this list. Haye was one the greatest cruiserweights ever. Haye was also a good heavyweight, which allowed him to show off his punching power. In 2008, he switched from Cruiserweight to heavyweight and stopped Monte Barrett in five rounds. This set up a title fight against Nikolai Valuev in the next year. Haye defeated the Russian 7-footer to win the majority decision and a part of the heavyweight title. Haye knocked out John Ruiz, a former multi-time belt holder, and Audley Harrison in just two defenses. He then agreed to fight Wladimir Klitschko to win the inaugural WBA “super”. It didn’t work out. Klitschko defeated Haye, who was much smaller. Haye blamed  the loss partly on his sore toe. Although he was able to stop Derek Chisora, that was his last chance. He won victories over two journeymen and lost to Tony Bellew in back-to-back bouts. However, he left his mark at heavyweight. In my opinion, the effort against Wlad hurts Haye because wins over Valuev and Ruiz are not outstanding victories.

😎 Joe Bugner

Hungarian-born Briton was also an Australian citizen. He had a long career (1967-1999), broken by long hiatuses. However, he never stopped fighting. Although he had a lot of success, including winning British, Commonwealth, and European titles, his most notable fights were against Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali twice. Neither fighter was able to drop the blonde underdog. His only chance at a world title was a 1975 loss to Ali by unanimous decision. Henry Cooper, the British heavyweight champion, was his most significant win. It was a close decision that ended Henry Cooper’s reign in 1971. Bugner returned to Australia in the 1990s and performed well despite his advanced age. He then left the sport. He was 49 years old when he fought his last fight in June 1999. It was a victory that disqualified Levi Billups. People not to go back and watch his first fight against Frazier, Bugner gave a good account of himself.

7) Frank Bruno

Bruno is a popular figure in British boxing history due to his cheerful personality and great success in the ring. He proved that perseverance could pay off. In 1982, he became a professional wrestler and defeated 21 opponents to make a splash. He also had his ups as well as downs. He failed to win three world titles between 1986 and 1993. But he kept going. At 33 and in the final stages of his career, a dream became a reality. Bruno defeated Oliver McCall, the belt holder at the time who had prevented Lewis from winning the title.  His countrymen greeted him joyfully, but the good fortune didn’t last. In his first defense, he agreed to face Mike Tyson after his release from prison. He was defeated in three rounds and lost his newly won belt. Bruno has never been able to fight again, but he is still a fan favorite.

 

6) Tommy Farr

In a well-remembered unanimous-decision defeat to the great Joe Louis, the Welshman proved that he was among the best heavyweights of his time. Farr had great victories and a few draws when he went to New York in 1937 to face Joe Louis, the newly-crowned heavyweight champion. The fight took place before 37,000 fans at Yankee Stadium. Although he didn’t win, Louis would not lose for many years. Farr pushed Louis to the limits and could have had his hand raised if he were able to punch harder. He left the ring with more respect than when he entered it. He said, “I gave them an excellent effort.” Indeed, he did. In the first of four consecutive fights held at Madison Square Garden, he lost to Jim Braddock by a split decision. He lost his next three fights, and then he went back to Europe to end his career. British fans will never forget him for his efforts against Louis.

 

5) Henry Cooper

Cooper is most well-known for hurting Cassius Clay in their 1963 fight at Wembley Stadium. His chance to make history was lost. Ali won the next round and stopped Cooper on cutsThree years later; Cooper lost to Ali via cuts in his world title fight. However, he was much more than the two fights against a legend. “Our Henry”, a British heavyweight champion, held the title for over a decade. This is still a record. His victories over skilled opponents like Zora Folley and Karl Mildenberger are a sign of his talent. In 1971, he lost his British title in a narrow decision to Joe Bugner, 21 year old. That fight was disputable. He never fought again. He will never be forgotten and will always be one of the most-beloved fighters in British boxing.

 

4) Anthony Joshua

The 2012 Olympic super heavyweight champion appeared to be unbeatable. He began his career at 22-0 with 21 KOs and won a heavyweight title by stopping Charles Martin. In 2016, he defended the title six more times, adding two more belts. Wladimir Klitschko, Joseph Parker and others were also unsuccessful challengers. Then disaster struck. The American Andy Ruiz Jr., a pudgy American, hurt Joshua in round three. He stayed with the champ and stopped him in round seven. Joshua appeared more confused than injured, but he couldn’t continue. He bounced back by beating Ruiz in the rematch six months later to regain his titles, only to lose twice to the smaller but equally talented Oleksandr Uzyk in his most recent fights. Joshua is tough to rate this high, but he has some quality wins. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here, but I doubt he will go any higher on this list.

 

3) Bob Fitzsimmons

Bob Fitzsimmons, a man with a strange appearance, was tall and thick with long legs. He had great success in the modern divisions of boxing, ranging from heavyweight down to welterweight. Fitzsimmons was an international man, having lived in Australia, New Zealand, and England. Fitz, 167 pounds, was already a middleweight champion when he faced James J. Corbett (184) to win the heavyweight title. “Gentleman Jim”, who seemed to be winning in the 14th round, until Fitzsimmons landed the famous “solar-plexus” punch, which severely hurt Corbett, and he couldn’t continue. Fitzsimmons became the heavyweight champion. Fitzsimmons held the title for two more years but lost it in an 11 th-round knockout to Jim Jeffries (206) in 1899. Fitz was not done. Fitz won the newly established light heavyweight title, beating George Gardner in 1903. Fitzsimmons, the great fighter, was only 40 at that time.

2) Tyson Fury

Fury is an enigmatic big man who you either love or hate. Either way, you cannot deny the skill of this giant. He was the first man to defeat Wlad Klitschko in a decade, but things went awry, like drug tests. Fury was away for a few years and ballooned up to over 400 lbs. Somehow he pulled his life together and mounted a comeback that even George Foreman or Bernard Hopkins would be proud of.

He dominated Deontay Wilder over three fights and surprised people with his punching ability. He then beat the likes of Whyte and Chisora.

The only thing left to accomplish is a super fight with the unbeaten Oleksandr Usyk. Hopefully, that fight will take place sometime this year.

 

1) Lennox Lewis

Lewis’s punishing jab, crushing righthand and ability to use them efficiently under the tutelage of Emanuel Steward made him a great heavyweight regardless of nationality. He was Canada’s 1988 Olympic gold medalist. Lewis held the heavyweight title for 15 years, beating all heavyweights except Riddick Bowe, who Lewis believed wanted nothing to do with him. Lewis fell twice and was knocked out in 1994 by Oliver McCall and in 2001 by Hasim Rahman. But he became more determined and focused, winning both of these rematches by stoppage. In 1999, he also drew with Evander Holyfield, a fellow Hall of Famer. However, most observers believed that Lewis had been robbed. Eight months later, he outpointed Holyfield easily in a much closer fight. He terrorized Mike Tyson by defeating him in 2002 and defeated Vitali Klitschko in 2003. Lewis retired as champion, perhaps sensing his slippage.

https://thegruelingtruth.com/boxing/top-10-british-heavyweights-of-all-time/?fbclid=IwAR3InavKq_w7aZGitpDZq57ECu5baYpQK1jM7MbjHGqpWDlGvUkIpsPxCT0

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent breakdwon and hard to argue with much of it.

 

But, well,   I'm seriously not sure I'd put Lewis at #1.    

I guess his resume is slightly better, so there's that, (although he also lost twice)   - But head to head, who do you think would win at least 3 fights out of 5:  A prime Lewis, or the Tyson Fury from the third Wilder fight?     My money would literally be on Fury.

 

It's sort of like arguing how good prime Larry Holmes was.

We'll never know.

 

Or look at it this way:   If Fury were to beat Usyk,  and maybe even beat him again in a re-match,  you'd HAVE to consider putting him at #1, right?

- And if Fury-Usyk ever happens,  who is clearly the most likely winner?

 

There you go.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lewis's resume is more than slightly better. Fury's only noteworthy wins are a razor thin decision over an aged Wlad (that could easily have gone the other way) and a series of fights against the seriously flawed Wilder. If Wilder could put him down on numerous occasions then I'm pretty certain Lewis could as well. Lewis was a good finisher as well.

Edited by robprosser
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fury has to be at 1, I know most will edge towards Lennox, but the whole back story with Tyson puts him into a different stratosphere for me, a lot is made about boxer comebacks/redemption but where he came from to achieve what he did, is phenomenal and only possible because of his ability - his only downside is that he just happenes to be an irritating arsehole

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lennox beat better opposition than the rest on the list. Was a superb boxer and the first Brit to win the titles since Bob Fitzsimmons.

Head-to-Head Lennox knocks out Fury, he's beaten better opposition and didn't duck fights. Also, isn't tainted with PED allegations/bans.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, WelshDevilRob said:

Lennox beat better opposition than the rest on the list. Was a superb boxer and the first Brit to win the titles since Bob Fitzsimmons.

Head-to-Head Lennox knocks out Fury, he's beaten better opposition and didn't duck fights. Also, isn't tainted with PED allegations/bans.

 

Lennox also lost twice, during his prime. (And via KO, no less,  and against less-than-stellar opposition.)

Fury never did.

 

And H-to-H I'd pick the Kronked-out version of Fury every time, though it would be one helluva' great matchup.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/22/2023 at 2:35 AM, Cableaddict said:

 

Lennox also lost twice, during his prime. (And via KO, no less,  and against less-than-stellar opposition.)

Fury never did.

 

And H-to-H I'd pick the Kronked-out version of Fury every time, though it would be one helluva' great matchup.

Fury is Kronk light. Lennox was with the Kronk originator.

Lennox avenged his defeats. As Fury avenged his defeat to John 'Big Mac' McDermott. I would take Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman over Deontay Wilder, Dereck Chisora and Dillian Whyte (Fury's best opposition). Almost forgot Wlad but in fairness he was at the end of the road, when Fury edged past him.

Ageing shop worn Chisora and Whyte are not better than a prime Gary Mason and established Frank Bruno.

Many men have dropped Fury despite his size. Lennox would finish him. Lewis had the better jab and more powerful, to go with superior skills and technique.

Both men showed they can box away from home. Lennox made a career of beating Americans in the US. Lennox' list of wins, in the second toughest period of Heavyweight history, is hugely impressive and cannot be denied by anyone who seriously follows the sport.

Fury's career is not over yet, but he has a lot to do to accomplish the same status as Big Len.

Edited by WelshDevilRob
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fury cements his legacy by taking on the mighty...Demsey McKean.

https://www.badlefthook.com/2023/5/23/23734653/tyson-fury-vs-demsey-mckean-reportedly-in-talks-for-summer-in-australia

I admit I'm not as up on boxing as I used to be but I've literally never heard of him. Do WBC not have mandatories anymore? It's 13 months since the Whyte "fight" and there's not even a mutter.

Edited by robprosser
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, robprosser said:

Fury cements his legacy by taking on the mighty...Demsey McKean.

https://www.badlefthook.com/2023/5/23/23734653/tyson-fury-vs-demsey-mckean-reportedly-in-talks-for-summer-in-australia

I admit I'm not as up on boxing as I used to be but I've literally never heard of him. Do WBC not have mandatories anymore? It's 13 months since the Whyte "fight" and there's not even a mutter.

The WBC ordered a Final eliminator between Andy Ruiz and Deontay Wilder ages ago but that fight isn't happening. Maybe, too risky for unable to find the money for it?

Ruiz now has a ton of issues concerning his wife/partner who kicked him out and has made a lot of claims. Wilder just seems to be doing nothing.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/23/2023 at 7:51 PM, WelshDevilRob said:

 

Lennox avenged his defeats. As Fury avenged his defeat to John 'Big Mac' McDermott.

When did Fury lose to McDermott?  In the Ams?

 

As for Lennox avenging his losses, he still lost.  You have to factor that in to a rating.  I realize you're the LAST guy on this forum to ask this, but do you not lower AJ's rating due to his loss to Ruiz,   just because he won the rematch?

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, Cableaddict said:

When did Fury lose to McDermott?  In the Ams?

 

As for Lennox avenging his losses, he still lost.  You have to factor that in to a rating.  I realize you're the LAST guy on this forum to ask this, but do you not lower AJ's rating due to his loss to Ruiz,   just because he won the rematch?

There are excuses for those defeats but he still lost. I think it shows admirable qualities when a fighter can adjust and avenge a loss. Particularly, when it's done soon after the loss.

Head-to-Head I can't see Fury beating a prime Lennox. Career wise Lennox is obviously a head on competition and achomplishments, that's not debatable. But, Fury is still boxing so has time to surpass Lennox. I doubt he will.

I give Joshua credit for beating Andy Ruiz. Like you state, I'm a fan of Joshua. He, righly, ranks behind Fury. He can change that by beating Fury. Hopefully, he gets the chance.

For reference, the article is written by American Mike Goodpaster.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/21/2023 at 8:35 PM, Cableaddict said:

 

Lennox also lost twice, during his prime. (And via KO, no less,  and against less-than-stellar opposition.)

Fury never did.

 

And H-to-H I'd pick the Kronked-out version of Fury every time, though it would be one helluva' great matchup.

--- They'd both duck each other...repeatedly...duh!!!

Re: Flubber vs McD, FOY quality toe to toe could go either way...however, watch the fight, or at least watch the last round where novice Fury was robbed of a TKO when McD turned tail, literally sprinting to the other side of the ring to avoid the KO. TKO or DQ in any legit regulated fight. 

Where Brits lose the plot is not backing Big John whooping Danny Williams, but such is sadly expected in boxing then and now.

 

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/31/2023 at 11:09 AM, LondonRingRules said:

Re: Flubber vs McD, FOY quality toe to toe could go either way...however, watch the fight, or at least watch the last round where novice Fury was robbed of a TKO when McD turned tail, literally sprinting to the other side of the ring to avoid the KO.  TKO or DQ in any legit regulated fight. 

 

 

 

Yep.

 

But it's one of those rules, like ducking below the opponents belt line, that I don't think I've ever seen enforced in a pro fight.

 

Wlad running from Fury:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fx45641xzq0t5kz/Wlad running from Fury.jpg?dl=0

 

Wlad running for his life when Povetkin managed to break one of the octopuss's 164 clinches:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wnremd2gs3lp9m1/Wlad Runs From Povetkin - A.jpg?dl=0

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wgaexjoa30ytwtl/Wlad Runs From Povetkin - B.jpg?dl=0

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...