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Heavyweight Legends - Dream bouts


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People often talk about heavyweight clashes between legends of the division including bouts such as Ali vs Tyson or Marciano.


So it got me thinking. If you could choose let's say 20 (or however many you want) heavyweight legends and pit each one against one other fighter in a dream match, which bouts would you make? Take into consideration each fighter is the PRIME version of himself.


I would choose these 20 fighters:


- Muhammad Ali

- George Foreman

- Joe Frazier

- Sonny Liston

- Floyd Patterson

- Rocky Marciano

- Joe Louis

- Primo Carnera

- Sam Langford

- Jack Johnson

- Harry Willis

- Jim Jeffries

- John L Sullivan

- Jack Dempsey

- Larry Holmes

- Mike Tyson

- Lennox Lewis

- Frank Bruno

- Herbie Hide

- Vitali Klitschko


I know i've missed out some obvious names like Ken Norton, Ernie Shavers, Max Schemling etc. But, this isn't necessarily the BEST heavyweights of all time, just the fights you would've most like to have seen.


These are my 10 mega bouts:


1. Muhammad Ali vs Joe Louis - Who is THE greatest HW ever?


2. Mike Tyson vs George Foreman - Most explosive HW bout of all time?


3. Jack Dempsey vs Rocky Marciano - This is a bout of the power punchers. Would end by KO 100% sure.


4. Vitali Klitschko vs Primo Carnera - Clash of the giants.


5. Jim Jeffries vs Harry Wills - Would be fun to see Jeffries beaten up by the "inferior" black man.


6. John L Sullivan vs Sam Langford - Continuing with the black man beats up fat white man scenario.


7. Lennox Lewis vs Jack Johnson - Battle of the big guns.


8. Larry Holmes vs Sonny Liston - Both guys had huge reach advantage. Tough one to call.


9. Joe Frazier vs Floyd Patterson - Styles make fights. Here we have the the powerful come forward tank vs the stylish former champion.


10. Frank Bruno vs Herbie Hide - Great battle of Britain. Neither guy had a great chin and both had power in their punch.

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If you want to make it a knockout tournament where they all fight each other, the final is LL / Ali. I'll go for Ali, because I'm old, but if Lennox won i wouldn't cry about it.


Thats amazing since you cry about everything else! lol


Oh, I couldnt pass on a jab you set up beautifully for me! bud//

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I think Joe Louis would take the prize home. Of course I know but a little..., but for me it's enough to make a fairly decent assumption that a combination puncher who could box and was old school who had heart could beat ali!

I would say Mike Tyson but was a better version of Frazer and he got figured out by ali so I'll go for Joe Louis on this one.


Foreman could neutralize Tyson I think. The rest I'll comment on in about another 3yrs when I had time to dedicate to watching more of them.

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As you say Edsel, Ali beat Frazier who was a slightly more talented Tyson IMO (although perhaps not quite as powerful). And Ali beat Foreman who destroyed Frazier twice. So IMO Foreman would destroy Tyson in 4 or 5 rounds but it would be mayhem while it lasted.


Ali would beat Tyson because he beat Frazier (and Foreman).


Marciano, Dempsey and Johnson were all good but i'm not sure they'd be able to beat the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Larry Holmes and Lennox Lewis. Marciano was too small and easy to hit. I think Lewis, Holmes and Klitschko would jab them all night long on the way to lopsided decision wins. Dempsey and Johnson both had power but they were from a different era. I think the 3 tall guys i mentioned would've just been too good to be beaten by any "primitive" boxing skills from 100 years ago. I know that sounds VERY insulting, i just mean boxing has developed so much since then.


The black fighters from a century ago are very hard to class. Most boxing experts are unanimous in their belief that Langford is one of the greatest boxers ever P4P. I tend not to disagree with the experts. But, does he match up to Lennox Lewis or Muhammad Ali in the same ring? It's so hard to know.


As for Primo Carnera, to be honest i don't know much about him except for the fact he was one of the biggest heavyweights of all time. The whole Mafia thing, i'm not sure about. Maybe someone else on here does.

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If you want to make it a knockout tournament where they all fight each other, the final is LL / Ali. I'll go for Ali, because I'm old, but if Lennox won i wouldn't cry about it.


If people want to turn this into a tournament i suppose we could. Would be a good idea if enough people wanted to. I'd remove Frank Bruno and Herbie Hide though and probably replace them with Max Schmeling and Ken Norton or have a vote on the 20 who people want to include and total up all the votes then do the bouts after.

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The reason I said either LL or Ali, is because Lennox was quite an athletic Heavy, though not as fast as the great man. However his size and reach advantages cant be ignored, and those coupled with his jab, make me think he can win this fight.


I feel he could set Ali up with the jab for the bigger shots and KD him. Ali on the other hand didn't have the one shot power to hurt Lewis, so he would have to keep hitting and moving for the full distance.


It could well be a close fight, with KD's being the deciding factor.

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Carnera was a very crude fighter, arguabl;y worse than Valuev. A massive reach advantage over everyone, the ability to set his feet reasonably well and a pretty solid jab. That's literally it. He was huge but nobody bothered to teach him how to use his height to his advantage the way Valuev seems to.


However, there's a story about Carnera's early career that is, for me, the most fantastic fix of all time. Carnera was fighting some guy who'd agreed to take a dive but changed his mind when he got in the ring. Carnera takes a few of the early rounds, then the other guy starts to come on strong around the 6th round and begins really taking the fight to the Alp. Carnera lands a very ordinary one-two in return, to little effect, but the opposing corner throw in the towel! It seems Carnera's promoter wasn't all that trusting with his bribes, so he bought a cornerman as well as the fighter.

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I chose each HW on my list only once each. But, i think like most fans, i'd probably have Ali, Louis, Foreman (and maybe a couple of others) in ALL of my dream bouts.


For example:


- Ali vs Tyson

- Ali vs Louis

- Ali vs Marciano

- Ali vs Dempsey


I think if i was to mix up my original list a little, i could also come up with the following fights:


1. Joe Louis vs Mike Tyson - Two of the hardest punchers in boxing history.

2. Goerge Foreman vs Lennox Lewis - Two Titans do battle.

3. Rocky Marciano vs Sonny Liston - Two of the baddest HWs in history. Both with rumours of Mafia/mob links.

4. Vitali Klitschko vs Jack Johnson - Another clash of the giants.

5. Jack Dempsey vs Muhammad Ali - The big puncher vs the skillster.


Or even Mike Tyson vs Joe Frazier - Clash of the tanks.


I think it's safe to say any clashes between at least a dozen of the HWs named would make for Iconic bouts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just piting these three against eachother and Jack Dempsey would be fantastic.: Sam Langford - Jack Johnson- Harry Willis. (Johnson holds a win over Langford but their are claims he didn't want a rematch, while Wills and Langford fought many times - be good to see the outcome at their very best)

I believe Harry Wills was around 6'4 and 220lbs so could more than likely compete in any era.


I'd think you could make 100's of combinations of great fights and I'd even be happy to see how people like Earnie Shavers, Tommy Morrison, Frank Bruno, David Haye, Joe Bygraves, Ike Ibeabuchi, Greg Page, Ken Norton did against others at their best.


I believe Gene Tunney only lost once and it'd be great to see him matched against both versions of Ali (before and after exile)

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Just to clarify lads, when I said if its a knockout tourney, i'd say it would be LL / Ali in the final, I was talking Ali over his total career.


If it was Ali pre exile, he treats Lennox, and every other name on that list with the same disdain he treated Liston, Moore, Williams, Patterson, Terrell, Folley et al.


None of them get a look in.

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