To say Bowe was "chinny" and that he fought "hand-picks" in the form of Donald and Hide, and then use that as the basis for saying Tyson would have destroyed him... yeesh. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
About, Tyson, I'll repeat what I wrote at that link I posted: When he won the title at age 20, Mike Tyson essentially became the first fighter of this era to peak, and he peaked very early. He opened the 1990s by losing the title to James Douglas, but started his comeback well with two wins over Donovan Rudduck. Then he was sent to prison for rape, and in his comeback he beat a number of fringe contenders, but lost badly to Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. One of the great questions of the era is what would have happened if, instead of going to prison, Tyson had instead fought Holyfield in late 1992? As it is, he just barely eeks into the Heavyweight Silver Age Top Ten, mostly because his great accomplishments were made in destroying the tattered remnants of the preceding era. To make this clearer, since this is about the 1990s, we aren't considering what Tyson did in smashing the aged, coked-up dregs of the Lost Generation of Heavyweights. I could go toe-to-toe with you Tysoniestas on the merits of the 1980s, but that is for another thread. Feel free to start it. This is about the 1990s and early 2000s. If you think beating the Ruddock, Bruce Seldon, and Peter McNeely merit a higher place on the list, you need to make that case based on what he did during the period in question. For example, Floyd Patterson remained a contender for much of the period of the Golden Age of the division. Should his accomplishments prior to that time be considered when doing a Top Ten List about the Ali-Frazier-Norton-Foreman era? Of course not. That is making the whole thing about Patterson, which is what you Tysoniestas are doing here.
I think that the talent of the Klitschko's is often underrated. That is partly their fault, because they simply aren't exciting. I mean, Mike Tyson managed to be exciting by knocking out truck drivers and coked-out old guys from the Lost Generation. The brothers cannot pin that on their opposition. However, I have little doubt they would rise to the occasion if they met a real challenge. That said, a prime Bowe or Lewis would have beaten either of them handily. Mercer might have been able to do it. Evander Holyfield always had trouble with big guys, but I think if he were able to force the action for every minute of every round, it would be a bad night for the Klitschko's. The others would wind up in the same situation that everyone else does: having no answer for that piston-like jab in their face.
Yes, I agree that Frazier's peak did not extend into his 30s. He had a boxing style that pretty much guaranteed that he took a lot of punishment. If I recall correctly, he wrote in his auto-biography that by the time he went to Kingston, he had already lost a lot of peripheral vision and was having chronic back and shoulder trouble. However, when he was in his mid-to-late 20s, he was as fearsome a heavyweight as has ever climbed through the ropes. At the end of the day, the question of where Frazier ranks should be "who do you rate more highly?" It's a sound premise. Louis and Ali surely, but who else? I think ranking him at #4, 5, or 6 is fair. To say that there are 5 or more greater heavyweights in history than Frazier (5+ Louis and Ali)... that is something I'd like to see.
Sure I can The fact is that Leonard ducked McCallum. That is on record and in print. To say he would have ripped Kalambay a "new one" is debatable in the extreme on the basis of Leonard's behavior in general towards young lions in his own weight class. But the truth is that we will never know. What we do know is that Leonard did nothing - nothing - with any of the world titles he grabbed. His legacy at middleweight is weak and based on his robbery of Hagler.
If there is one thing I can never understand, it's this ridiculous attitude that appreciating Ali simply must mean that Frazier was a nobody. It's as if such a person's mind is too small to comprehend the idea of to truly great champions, fighter for the ages, occupying the same ring at the same time.
I decline to argue with anyone so ignorant as to think the only notable opponents Joe Frazier ever tangled with were Ali and Oscar Bonavena. I'd have better luck, a more enjoyable time, and certainly more progress debating the matter with a pile of floor tiles.
Tell me, did you get all this from watching ESPN or something?
Everyone who wants to dis Frazier trots out the first Bonavena fight. In doing so they basically ignore every detail of the fight and surrounding the fight, focusing instead on one abbreviaton: "SD." That was Joe Frazier's 12th pro fight. Do you remember the name of the guy Cassius Clay was meeting in his 12th bout? Neither do I. Yes, Frazier was knocked down twice in the 2nd. He was always a notoriously slow starter, and he was still a green fighter at the time. He came back from that calamity to win the right against a tough, legitimate contender. When he met Bonavena in a rematch two years later, a much more experienced Frazier beat him easily.
Funny how people LOVE jumping on this fight of Frazier's, but no one says the same of Clay vs. Jones, which was Ali's first big test. Two of the judges had that bout 5-4.
Also, the same crowd usually describes Ali's performance against Cleveland Williams as being his apotheosis, and proof that prior to his exile Ali was unbeatable. Poppycock. They say this even while acknowledging that Williams had lost a kidney and dropped 60 pounds in a hospital bed since his heyday, yet never acknowledge that perhaps the reason why Ali looked so great against him was that Williams was little more than a ghost.
But this is about Frazier, not Ali. All I can say to the people who think that by diminishing Smokin' Joe they are pumping up their god is this: I adore Ali as well. I adore him so much that I recognize that without Joe Frazier, there would be no Muhammad Ali legend today. You cannot have a great champion without a truly great rivalry. Why is Muhammad Ali greater than Joe Louis? As far as boxing goes (and without that, everything else follows) it comes down to one thing: Ali had Frazier, and Louis did not.
The reason I excluded Palomino and Cuevas was not because I thought they were inferior, but because they really belong to a different era. Those guys were solid champions, but of the 1970s. They helped define a different era. Of course, one could choose to include them as the guys Benitez and Hearns bumped off to start their championship reigns. It's all a matter of preference.
I think Curry is way to low. He would have popped at least Duran with no trouble. He was almost as slick as Leonard or Benitez, more durable than Benitez, and hit harder than Benitez.