Hypothetical Heavyweight Boxing Tournaments


This is Rummy’s Corner. BARBER 1: Oh come on man! What about Joe Louis? OLD MAN: “The Brown Bomber”. Now that was a great boxer! BARBER 1: He was badder than Cassius Clay,
he was badder than Sugar Ray, he was badder than, now who that, the new boy? BARBER 2: Mike Tyson! BARBER 1: Mike Tyson, looks like a bulldog, he’s badder than him too.
BARBER 2: Hahahaha
BARBER 1: He’d a whipped Mike Tyson’s ass too. He’d whip all their asses. Good evening boxing fans and welcome back. Today we will be looking into two hypothetical heavyweight tournaments. The first of these tournaments will be based
on the results from my heavyweight ranking experiment from last year. And the second tournament is based on a list
of All Time Heavyweight rankings compiled by Ring Magazine a few years back. This is the first tournament bracket based
on the results of last year’s ranking experiment. For our purposes here, I’m going to assume that these hypothetical match-ups will all be taking place when each of these heavyweight greats was at or very
near his fighting prime. Each hypothetical match-up will take place
under modern day rules with 12 round durations. Note that this is all meant in good fun. I suck enough as it is when it comes to predicting
actual match-ups that really happen, so there is no reason whatsoever to believe my predictions
regarding hypothetical match-ups should fair any better. In the first match-up we have #1 seed Muhammad
Ali going up against #16 seed Zora Folley, and this fight actually happened on March
22, 1967. Ali was victorious, and he stopped Folley
in round 7. Ali was near his absolute peak at this time,
and Folley was past his best, but even if Folley was a little younger, I don’t things
would have played out much differently. So for this opening match-up, I’m comfortable
picking Ali here. I’m going with the same result here, Ali KO7. So Muhammad Ali moves on to the next round. In the next match-up, we have #8 seed Larry
Holmes going up against #9 seed Big George Foreman. This was a dream match-up that never ultimately
came together. It didn’t happen in the 1970s, it didn’t happen
in the 1990s, and even now all these years later, it’s very difficult to decide who would
have won if they were both at their best. Foreman had the firepower to stop any heavyweight
whoever laced them up. Big George at his best was an absolute powerhouse! But The Easton Assassin had the skills, the
smarts, and the mental toughness rquired to out-grit Foreman in a battle of attrition
– and I tend to believe that’s how things most likely would have played out. This is a very tough draw for both of these
guys in the opening round – as head-to-head – I would favor Foreman and Holmes against
most other heavyweights. I believe Larry survives the early onslaught
with a few scary moments along the way, and possibly even suffering a knockdown, but I
think Larry would persevere and outhustle Foreman late in the contest. I’m going with Larry Holmes by a very close
decision in a competitive contest. So Holmes moves on to the next round. The third match-up brings us another fight
that already happened, when #5 seed Lennox Lewis goes up against #12 seed Vitali Klitschko. This heavyweight clash still produces heated
debate to this very day. This was the best version of Vitali we ever
saw going up against a version of Lewis who was past his best with one foot out the door
– and still, Lennox won the fight against the best version of Vitali, even when Lennox
was past his best. I confidently believe that the best version
of Lennox Lewis from several years earlier would have performed much better against Vitali. So I’m taking Lennox Lewis in this one – let’s
call it TKO5. Lennox advances to the next round on my bracket. In the fourth match-up we have #4 seed Evander
Holyfield going up against #13 seed Alexander Povetkin. In fairness to Povetkin, he was a highly rated
heavyweight for many years, but I never saw anything from him that leads me to believe
he could have ever competed with The Real Deal. Even if you dismiss Povetkin’s lackluster
effort against Marco Huck as an off night, Povetkin never really put forth an awe-inspiring
performance. On the other hand, Holyfield made a career
out of putting forth awe-inspiring efforts, and he had much greater success at the highest
level against higher caliber competition. I’m taking Evander Holyfield in this one,
most likely by a wide points victory, and possibly even a later round stoppage. Either way, Holyfield advances for me. The fifth match-up is yet another one that
already happened between #2 seed Joe Louis and #15 seed Jack Sharkey. Sharkey was at the end of the road by this
point, and this was pre-championship Joe Louis. The Brown Bomber dropped Sharkey twice in
the 2nd, and twice more in the 3rd, the final knockdown which saw him get counted out. I’m confident picking Joe Louis in this one,
as I don’t think any version of Sharkey would ever beat The Brown Bomber. So I’m taking Louis, we’ll call it a 3rd round
knockout. In the next match-up we have #7 seed Iron
Mike Tyson squaring off against #10 seed Smokin’ Joe Frazier. To quote the late great Hall of Fame trainer
Emanuel Steward, �Oh my God!� Talk about a dream match! This, in my opinion, is the most difficult
fight to pick in the opening round. Frazier was typically a slow starter who tended
to get better and stronger as the fight progressed. On the other hand, Tyson was a fast starter
who frequently charged of the gate like an explosive firestorm. Fast hands are something that frequently caused
Frazier some problems, especially earlier on in the contest. Frazier had an incredible chin, but a powerhouse
like Big George was able to knock him down repeatedly. Tyson has a combination of speed and power,
and no matter who you think would win this one – Tyson is most likely going to jump out
to an early lead here. So the big question is, can Tyson take Frazier
out early? And if he can’t take Frazier out in the first
half of the fight, can Tyson survive a surging Frazier later in the fight? If Tyson got to Frazier early and was able
to drop him like Foreman – under modern 12 round rules, an early stoppage for Tyson is
a strong possibility here. My best guess? I do think Tyson jumps out to an early lead,
and that his faster hands and two-handed power act as a menace to Frazier over the first
6 rounds, where Tyson might even score a knockdown along the way. I think Frazier perseveres, and true to form,
Smokin’ Joe would start fighting more competitively in the middle rounds, before completely seizing
command of the momentum in the later rounds, possibly scoring a knockdown of his own later
in the fight. It would be an absolutely gruelling affair! But in a 12 round contest? I think Tyson holds on for a razor thin 12
round decision. I know a lot of people might disagree with
this one, and if it were a 15 round fight – well, the longer it goes, the more it favors
Frazier. But since it’s a modern day 12 round rules,
I think Tyson close on points with a slim chance of an early stoppage. But then again, Frazier might break Tyson
down mentally to score a late round stoppage, or he might pull ahead on points late in the
fight. Very difficult to call, but I have Iron Mike
progressing to the next round. In the seventh match-up we get #3 seed Wladimir
Klitschko going up against #14 seed Sonny Liston. This is a fairly tricky one to call. Prime Klitschko with Steward – he might be
able to outfox Liston and smother him inside to get a workmanlike decision or a late round
stoppage. I do believe prime Wlad is a force to be reckoned
with, and I like his chances against many All Time great heavyweights. But against Liston, you have a physically
strong guy whose powerful and who jabs well enough that Wladimir might have difficulty
controlling the range and winning the battle of the jabs. The physicality of Liston also makes it difficult
for Klitschko to rely on his inside smothering tactics, and on the whole Klitschko’s style
is pretty conventional where I believe Liston isn’t going to be baffled in the same way
he was against a young Ali. I think Liston gets to Wlad early and takes
him out. Bad style match-up for Wlad, I’m taking Sonny
Liston by 2nd round knockout. So Liston advances for me. In the final first round match-up, we have
#6 seed Floyd Patterson going against #11 seed Max Schmeling. This is a tricky one too, as I think Max and
Floyd both tend to be underrated in the grand scheme of things. Patterson and Schmeling are both skilled enough
and powerful enough that they can beat the other guy, but I think they’re also both flawed
enough that they could lose to the other guy. It’s a very difficult one to pick, but for
me, the fact that Schmeling was able to defeat the great Joe Louis. Not only is that victory a better win than
anything on Patterson’s resume – it’s arguably the greatest win in heavyweight history. I’m taking Schmeling by mid-round stoppage
in a blazing affair, but a mid-round stoppage for Patterson wouldn’t surprise me, either. So I have Max advancing to the next round. So looking back at the first round, the two
most difficult fights to predict as I see them were Holmes vs Foreman and Tyson vs Frazier. I’m at least fairly confident with most of
the others. That doesn’t mean I’m correct! I’m not claiming to be the final authority
here, again, this is just my opinion and all in good fun. Moving on to Round 2. First we have another fight that already happened
between #1 seed Muhammad Ali and #8 seed Larry Holmes. Of course, when this fight happened, Holmes
was probably at or getting very close to his peak ability, and Ali was well past his best. A lot of people believe that a prime version
Ali would have defeated Holmes, and some think he would have done so in dominant fashion. I do not believe that is the case. With Holmes and Ali both at their best – I
think you’re inevitably looking at a razor thin somewhat controversial decision that
could wind up going either way, or perhaps even being ruled a draw. These guys both have the type of styles that
were going to be a nightmare against each other – they do so many of the same things
so well, incredibly athletic gifted boxers, both with tremendous ring IQs, both incredible
heart and determination. This is a very winnable fight for Holmes,
and while my mind says Ali would probably win, my heart believes Larry would triumph. I’m reluctantly going to pick Ali by a razor
thin decision, mainly because I think Ali’s flashier in-ring charisma – I think that would
win the day in the eyes of the judges. But a really close victory for Holmes is a
definite possibility here. So Ali advances to the Semi-Finals. Next we have another match-up that really
happened, and this one happened twice, between #4 seed Evander Holyfield and #5 seed Lennox
Lewis. Their first bout was a controversial draw
that most observers believed Lewis deserved to win. Their rematch was a unanimous decision for
Lewis in a bout that some people though Holyfield edged it, or at least earned a draw. I myself thought Lennox won both bouts, but
at this point in time, Lennox was closer to his prime, whereas Holyfield was much further
removed from his. I think a younger Holyfield certainly makes
it a more exciting fight – however, at his best under the guidance of Emanuel Steward,
I think Lewis still edges it, and perhaps Lewis even has a better chance to score a
knockout because I believe younger Holyfield would take more risks. A Holyfield stoppage isn’t impossible here,
nor is a Holyfield win on points – but I still have to favor Lennox in this one. So Lennox moves on to the Semi-Finals to face
Muhammad Ali. Then we have a classic clash of styles between
#2 seed Joe Louis and #7 seed Mike Tyson. In an all time sense, Joe Louis absolutely
rates higher than Tyson, but head-to-head, I genuinely believe the styles favor Iron
Mike here. Louis was sometimes troubled by speedy fighters
like Billy Conn, and he could also be dropped early on in contests. While it’s true Tyson never fought anyone
like Joe Louis, I think the more pressing factor here is that Louis would have difficulty
coping with the raw explosive firepower of Iron Mike. In a 12 round fight, I think Tyson drops Louis
once or twice in the early going, and while I think Louis would make adjustments and get
better as the fight went on, I think the methodical approach from The Brown Bomber – I think this
would afford Tyson the ability to win more close rounds later on. You can never count Joe Louis out, so Louis
knocking Tyson out is a very plausible outcome here. It could definitely happen. I do think Louis would come on stronger later
in the fight, but I think Tyson wins a decision in this one. So I have Mike Tyson advancing to the Semi-Finals. The last fight in the second round is #11
seed Max Schmeling squaring off against #14 seed Sonny Liston. Simply put I like Liston in this one. Schmeling had a good jab and a beautiful right
hand, but I believe Liston had a better jab and a better right hand, and more importantly,
I believe Liston was more durable and packed a harder punch. I don’t think Liston would have much trouble
getting to Schmeling, so I’m picking Liston in this one by an early knockout. Moving on to the Semi-Finals, in the 1st match-up
we have #1 seed Muhammad Ali squaring off against #5 seed Lennox Lewis. This is a very winnable fight for Lennox. Lewis has the size, the skills, and the power
to give Ali all types of fits. More importantly, Lennox had the mental fortitude
that I don’t think he would be intimidated by the situation. A well prepared focused version of Lewis is
going to cause problems for Ali. But the reverse is true, too, and the big
difference here that ultimately makes me favor Ali is that I believe Ali would be able to
capitalize whenever Lewis was taking a breather where he had his foot off the gas. Ali had incredible instincts when it came
to turning up the heat whenever his opponent was trying to coast. Furthermore, it’s worth considering Lewis’s
two knockout losses against McCall and Rahman. Granted neither of these were the best versions
of Lewis, and despite the fact Ali arguably didn’t crack as hard as those guys – it wasn’t
really the power behind those punches that floored Lewis so much as it was the timing! These were right hands Lewis never saw coming. Contrary to popular myth, Lewis had a formidable
chin. Lennox could take a punch. But with a guy like Ali, whose bread and butter
was delivering well timed sneaky right hands? I think Ali has a better chance of scoring
a knockout here than Lennox, even though Lewis is clearly the bigger puncher. Think Rumble in the Jungle. Whether it’s a close win on points, or a well
timed stoppage any point along the way – I like Muhammad Ali in this one. So I have Ali advancing to the Final. In the other Semi-Finals match-up we have
#7 seed Iron Mike Tyson going up against #14 seed Sonny Liston. Tough one to call. Liston has a really good chance of taking
Tyson out early, and Tyson has a good chance of blasting Liston out early. But I don’t think it would be fast. I think it would be a brutal short war of
attrition – think something in the mold of Foreman vs Lyle. I think both guys would have moments and both
would find ways to land power shots. Tyson and Liston are often both criticized
for being mentally fragile, but I think it’s worth noting that the evidence of such largely
surfaced when both of these legends were past their best fighting days. I think this one is kind of a coin flip pick,
but I’m going with Iron Mike. I believe Tyson’s superior athleticism and
quickness would enable him to consistently get the best of the exchanges for as long
as it lasted, and I think Tyson breaks Liston in a tremendous tactical slugfest. And with that, I have Mike Tyson advancing
to the Final to square off against #1 seed Muhammad Ali. This is a match-up that I’ve long seen fans
discuss. It’s an intriguing clash of styles, and one
where I believe each boxer is capable of causing the other all types of problems. Ali and Tyson are both incredibly fast, and
their fighting styles couldn’t be more different. I believe Tyson probably gets off to a slightly
better start, but maybe not. Best case scenario for Tyson here, he closes
the distance early and finds ways to land quick power shots, in bunches when possible. But Ali was a master at disrupting his opponent’s
rhythm, and I think that even if Tyson got off to a fast start, that Ali would quickly
start making adjustments that helped neutralize Tyson’s ample offensive arsenal. In addition to believing that Ali would be
able to neutralize Tyson’s rhythm, I also think that Ali would be able to establish
his own rhythm before the halfway point. Make no mistake – Tyson would have a real
chance here, as he has all types of tools that have traditionally troubled Ali. But I it’s think Ali’s set of tools would
ultimately control the action in this one, so I like Muhammad Ali by 12 round decision. And with that, Muhammad Ali wins my first
of two hypothetical heavyweight tournaments. Let’s do another one, this one based on a
list of All Time Heavyweight rankings compiled by Ring Magazine a few years back. So our new tournament bracket looks like this. Same as before, we’re assuming all of these
guys are at or near their best under modern 12 round rules. And once again, this is just my opinion, all
in good fun. In the first match-up we have #1 seed Muhammad
Ali squaring off against #16 seed Wladimir Klitschko. This is another really tough draw for Wladimir. WIth Ali’s speedy hands and quicker feet,
I think Wlad has a hard time consistently getting leverage on his punches. Wlad will have some spots of success, and
in a lot of ways, I think this is a better match-up for Wlad than Liston would have been. But I still don’t believe this is a fight
Wladimir wins. Wlad was older when he lost to Fury, but a
lot of the things Fury troubled Klitschko with are areas where Ali always excelled. Klitschko could possibly score a KO, maybe,
but I don’t think he scraps his way to victory in this one. I like Ali either by comfortable points decision,
or even a later round stoppage. Ali advances to round 2. The next match-up is one we already covered
– #8 seed Frazier against #9 seed Tyson. I stand by everything I already said on this
one, and this for me, was the most difficult pick to make. I gave Tyson a lot of benefits of the doubt
in the last tournament, and I know a lot of Tyson detractors are going to say things like
he never beat an elite heavyweight in his prime, and he got beat every time he stepped
up – and while the criticisms of Mike certainly have some element of truth in them – the fact
remains that I believe Tyson ranks very high in a head-to-head sense. That said, I’m going to give Smokin’ Joe the
benefit of the doubt this time, so I’m going with Frazier by late round stoppage in this
one. Something I always thought there was a strong
possibility to happen. Frazier advances to the next round. In the third match-up we have another one
that already happened, when #5 seed Larry Holmes meets #12 seed Evander Holyfield. In their 1992 championship bout, Holyfield
defeated Holmes by unanimous decision to retain the undisputed heavyweight crown. Holyfield was at or very near his prime, whereas
Larry was pretty far removed from his prime years. I definitely believe that the best version
of The Easton Assassin outboxes Holyfield. To be sure Holyfield would have moments, and
he certainly wouldn’t be a pushover – but I believe Holmes would win a clear decision
over Holyfield if they were both near their peaks. So I have Larry moving on to the next round. Next up we have #4 seed Rocky Marciano going
up against #13 seed Gene Tunney. With Tunney it’s a little difficult to gauge
how he would fare against other heavyweights from different eras. He only had three heavyweight title fights,
two of those being against an older version of Dempsey – but Tunney only lost once in
his career, in a fight series he actually won against the great Harry Greb, and Tunney
was a highly skilled technician. Tunney had all of the right tools to make
things tricky for Marciano, and the fact that Rocky wasn’t especially big himself means
that Tunney has a real shot here. However, I’m inclined to believe Rocky’s relentless
pursuit catches up to him sooner or later, and I definitely believe a peak Marciano was
far better than the version of Dempsey who Tunney twice bested. I like Rocky Marciano by late round stoppage,
and I have him advancing to round 2. In the fifth match-up we have #2 seed Joe
Louis going up against #15 seed James Jeffries. I have a difficult time envisioning Jeffries
having much success against The Brown Bomber. Jeffries only lost when he was past his best
against Jack Johnson, but even at his best – from what I’ve seen of Jeffries, I think
the tactical prowess and the concussive power of Joe Louis ultimately proves too much for
Jeffries. I like Joe Louis by mid to late round stoppage
in this one, although Jeffries was pretty tough, so he might see it to the final bell. Either way, Joe Louis advances to the next
round on my bracket. Next up we have #7 seed George Foreman against
#10 seed Sonny Liston. Tricky one here! Liston threw punches that were straighter
and more compact, and this is an advantage that might serve him well against Big George. On the other hand, despite that fact, I don’t
imagine that Foreman will have too much difficulty finding the mark against Liston. In fact, I believe the uppercut specifically,
is a punch that Foreman would nail Liston with repeatedly. This one could go either way, you can make
strong cases for both guys, but I personally think Big George’s uppercut wins the day against
Sonny’s crisper and more compact punching technique. I’m going with Foreman by mid to late round
stoppage, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one ended up looking something like the epic
heavyweight war between Big George and Rony Lyle. Foreman moves on to the next round. In the seventh match-up #3 seed Jack Johnson
squares off against #14 seed John L Sullivan. It’s almost impossible to assess exactly what
Sullivan brought to the table due to a lack of footage, but even so, based on everything
I’ve read about Sullivan and based on everything I’ve seen of Jack Johnson, I’m perfectly comfortable
picking Johnson in this one. I believe Johnson would be able to neutralize
Sullivan and break him down to win a decision over 12 rounds. So Jack Johnson advances to round 2. And then the final match-up for the opening
round, we have #6 seed Jack Dempsey pitted against #11 seed Lennox Lewis. In theory, Dempsey has the speed, the power,
and the explosiveness that he could wind up being an absolute nightmare for Lennox. On the flipside, Lennox has a huge size advantage
to go along with his telephone pole jab and a menacing right hand. Dempsey would also likely be vulnerable to
the tremendous uppercuts from Lennox. While I give Dempsey an outside chance of
clobbering Lennox with something horrific, I tend to believe Lennox finds his range very
early on, before he is comfortable unloading right hand bombs behind that long range jab. I like Lennox Lewis by early knockout, 4 rounds
or less. So Lennox also advances to the next round. In the last tournament the trickiest match-up
for me was Tyson-Frazier, and I think that still holds true here. The runner-up for me in this round is the
Foreman-Liston fight – that’s one I can definitely see going Sonny’s way. Moving onto round 2, we have #1 seed Muhammad
Ali against career rival and #8 seed Smokin’ Joe Frazier. Of course this one we got to see three times
over the course of the most famous trilogy in boxing history. They were both past their best days for their
2nd and 3rd acts, but they were both still formidable. The one fight where they were both closest
to prime form was when they first met in The Fight of the Century. In that contest, Smokin’ Joe was firing on
all cylinders in what was arguably the greatest ever heavyweight victory. Ali wasn’t quite the same post-exile, but
he was pretty close. Ali was a little slower on his feet, his reflexes
weren’t quite as sharp, and he probably had a little something less in the fuel tank. All of those subtle signs of decline – those
are areas that would have helped Ali tremendously in his first fight with Frazier. If he was just a touch faster, and just a
bit more elusive. Simply put, pre-exile Ali may well have had
exactly what he needed to defeat that version of Frazier. So it’s very tempting to pick Ali here. But considering these guys were both so close
to their best on this night – both undefeated, each man having a legitimate claim to call
himself heavyweight world champion – I just can’t pick against Joe here. I concede that pre-exile Ali would have had
a better chance, but even if Ali was just a little faster and just a little sharper,
Joe’s determination was simply extraordinary on that night – so I tend to believe he would
have been every bit as relentless as he was. I’m taking Smokin’ Joe by 12 round decision,
and Frazier advances to the Semi-Finals. Next we have #4 seed Rocky Marciano going
up against #5 seed Larry Holmes. I’m not one of those guys who automatically
dismisses Marciano from hypothetical match-ups based on size and size alone. I also happen to believe that Marciano’s skillset
is vastly underrated, and I also think his resume doesn’t quite get the credit that it
deserves. To be sure, the likes of Joe Louis, Ezzard
Charles, and Jersey Joe Walcott – those guys were all past their best when Rocky beat them,
but they were still legit top heavyweights when Rocky beat them. Marciano was a lot sneakier than he gets credit
for, and he was unrelenting. I think he could beat a number of modern day
heavyweights who dwarfed him in size, but Larry Holmes certainly isn’t one of them. To be sure, I believe Marciano would have
his fair share of moments, but by and large, I think The Easton Assassin is far too skilled
for The Brockton Blockbuster. I’m taking Holmes in a wide points victory,
and Larry moves on to the Semi-Finals. In the third match-up of this round, we have
#2 seed Joe Louis going up against #7 seed George Foreman. Even though Joe Louis was the #2 seed in both
of thesetournaments, I think he got extremely difficult second round match-ups in Tyson,
and here again with Foreman. Joe Louis is absolutely one of the greatest
heavyweights ever, but I think a guy like George Foreman is all wrong for The Brown
Bomber. You can never count Joe Louis out, but I believe
Foreman overwhelms him with power, perhaps even sooner than later. I’m taking Big George by mid round stoppage,
and Foreman advances to the Semi-Finals. In the final match-up this round, #3 seed
Jack Johnson squares off against #11 seed Lennox Lewis. I feel comfortable picking Lennox in this
one. I actually see this one playing out as a vintage
Lennox-like performance. I think he controls the range with a long
jab while effectively neutralizing Johnson’s offense and sometimes sneaking in a powerhouse
right. I’m inclined to believe that Johnson would
go the distance, although a late round stoppage for Lewis is possible. I’m going with Lennox by a comfortable 12
round decision where Johnson keeps Lewis honest and prevents him from ever consistently landing
big and landing flush. So I have Lennox advancing. Moving on to the Semi-Finals, in the first
match-up we have #5 seed Larry Holmes squaring off against #8 seed Joe Frazier. This is a dream match, and another one where
it’s very difficult to choose. The relentless pressure applied by Smokin’
Joe is going to cause Holmes just as many problems as it caused Ali. Holmes was usually
good at maintaining a safe distance when he was on his toes dancing and using a lot ring
space, but Holmes usually couldn’t fight that way for an entire fight – granted a lot of
Larry’s fights were 15 rounders, and this hypothetical match-up is only 12. That helps Holmes. Furthermore, I think Holmes is actually more
versatile than Ali, particularly on offense. Ali was so good in the areas where he excelled
that he didn’t typically need to be as versatile, but against a guy like Frazier it certainly
wouldn’t hurt having greater punching versatility. I actually believe Holmes’ greater offensive
variety serves him well against Frazier. This is a 50-50 fight that might well wind
up a draw – but I think Holmes edges it in a crazy competitive crowd pleasing affair. And then the other Semi-Finals match-up we
have #7 seed George Foreman going against #11 seed Lennox Lewis. This is yet another dream match, where of
course, it is very difficult to pick a winner. Lennox had all the right tools that he could
be competitive with Foreman, and both of these guys threw some really wicked uppercuts. But the problem for Lennox here is that he’s
not going to be able to coast against Foreman. Lewis is going to need to fight in this one,
and he’s definitely going to be put to the test. I think Foreman is too good to allow this
one to turn into a boxing match, and I have a very difficult time imagining Lewis outfighting
Foreman. On the contrary, I think Foreman’s offensive
firepower would inevitably overwhelm Lewis, and probably early on. Lewis might be able to fend George off with
his long jab for a couple of rounds, but he’s going to have to exert an awful lot of energy
doing so, and I don’t think George slows down before catching up with Lewis. This is a bad style match-up for Lennox. I have Big George Foreman scoring an early
to fairly early knockout. With that, Foreman advances to the Final to
meet #5 seed Larry Holmes. This is a match-up we covered previously that
I was torn over. I still believe the strongest likely outcome
here is a points victory for Larry. I know with Frazier and Tyson, I picked Tyson
in the first tournament – which is my real pick, but I gave Frazier the benefit of the
doubt this time around. I’m going to do the same thing here, in the
name of being consistently inconsistent. Which is kind of part of the point here, because
Big George definitely had what it took to beat Larry. Foreman’s incredible power was enough to devastate
any boxer the sport has ever known. So George Foreman wins the second hypothetical
tournament. I want to add a final note about The Easton
Assassin. Try and imagine a situation where we could
take the best 25 heavyweights of all time, and bring them all together where they’re
each at the peak of their powers. Also imagine that it’s a magical place, where
none of these heavyweights ever age, and their skills never deteriorate. If we had a giant Round Robin, where each
of these 25 boxers faced the other 24 – I honestly believe that Larry Holmes is the
most likely to emerge with the best overall record of the bunch. I don’t believe Holmes was the greatest heavyweight
ever. I personally have him at #3 behind Muhammad
Ali and Joe Louis. But in a head-to-head sense, I really think
Larry probably finishes with the best overall record. When I look at these two tournaments, I have
Holmes losing to prime Ali, and then here I gave Foreman the nod. But the truth of the matter is, I’m not so
sure that Holmes wouldn’t be the overall winner in both of these tournaments. He’s a nightmare proposition head-to-head,
just like Iron Mike. And while I didn’t cover a fight between prime
Holmes and prime Tyson here, I had so much damn fun making this episode that I’m certainly
planning a follow-up edition where I try and explore more match-ups I haven’t covered,
and maybe even introduce some names we didn’t see here – guys like Riddick �Big Daddy’
Bowe, and Jersey Joe Walcott, and Ingemar Johansson along with a few others, maybe. I’ll also eventually try and do similar hypothetical
tournaments for middleweight, light-heavyweight, and welterweight, and maybe a few other weight
classes down the road. And that’s all I got! So who would you have picked as the winners
in these two hypothetical heavyweight tournaments? Please share your thoughts in the comments
section. I hope you enjoyed everyone. Thank you very much for watching, and have
a wonderful night. This is Rummy’s Corner.

100 thoughts on “Hypothetical Heavyweight Boxing Tournaments

  1. Oh C'mon rummy! Youre saying sonny liston would beat wladimir klitschko?? Thats ridiculous. Liston sucked, he was a bum who would lose to anybody in the top 10. and wladimir is one of the best ever, longest reigning heavyweight champion ever(second only to joe Louis).

  2. Excellent analysis!! I really couldn't argue with any of Rummie's picks. The Frasier/Tyson fight would be so interesting. Ali/Lewis….. Ali had the intellect that put him in a very separate catagory. Ali's sacrifice of 2 1/2- 3 years at a time when he was spot on his prime cheated all of us. I'm an old guy that watched Ali and his best opponents fight in the day. Ali was like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. They always seemed to find a way.
    I need to listen this one again. Yeah, the middleweights will be so interesting…..so much talent and skill.

  3. Tyson Vs Fraizer, G'd God Wut A Great Fight… Tyson Would Take It, Prime 2 Prime… But REALLY G'd Fight, There Really Isn't A Right Answer Either Way…

  4. Bracket 1:Tyson would destroy JoeListon KO2 Wlad? Umm…no, I think 6 or 7.Prime Ali beats Holmes hands down, come on.Ali beats Lewis. Chin and heart alone, let alone speed and decent power. Did you just say Lewis had a great chin???Ahh Tyson vs Liston… Prime Tyson was powerful, focused, sharp and technical. Tyson wins.Ali shakes off a flash knockdown early on, gets in Tyson's head and beats him soundly. I say UD.

  5. Tyson never had to try and survive against anyone in his career and would get knockdown if Frazier made it thru the first 5 rounds against him. Love Iron Mike tho

  6. Rummy your are legend. Please can you do something about the BoxRec all time ratings for heavyweights. Currently it has Deaontay Wilder at 73 in the all time listings behind guys like Mike Weaver and Gerrie Coetzee. It also has David Haye ahead of Vitali, but Vitali beat David Haye and was dominant. It's a real mess, help them sort it out with a great video please.

  7. Tyson and Frazier? Ohhhhh mama! That’s one hellova fight son! You’d have to go with Tyson early and Frazier late. I personally lean towards Frazier. Heart and determination usually wins boxing matches when the fighter’s skill sets are very similar and Frazier is much more willing to take punishment to get the win.

  8. I still like Rocky over Drago. But Apollo beats them both in his prime. And Mr. T? He’s just got a punchers chance.

  9. Great call on Frazier over Ali. I'm not sure Joe was the same after the Foreman match. Talk about a bad matchup. I do think you underrate Marciano though. He had no problem dispatching much larger guys. No other boxer had his combination of power, work rate, stamina, chin, and determination. None. He'd be my pick to win it all. When you punch like an artillery shell body weight doesn't matter as much.

  10. Don't agree with Ali and Liston being clear favorites over Wlad at all. Ali is a 50/50 proposition and I'm confident Wlad would turn in a typical jab-grab-frustrate-BOOM performance against Liston. Chris Byrd was an incredibly skilled, lightning fast 6'2" guy with amazing speed – and he couldn't get inside against Wlad for love nor money – Sonny Liston was PONDEROUS compared to both Byrd AND Klitschko.

    The only comparable 'big man' that Ali fought was Ernie Terrell, and Ernie in my opinion isn't fit to lace Wlad's boots. Nowhere near the power, nowhere near the legs, nowhere near the handspeed, nowhere near the ability to smother guys coming inside on him and nowhere near the ability to control the space in front of him with the lead hand (Terrell foolishly let Ali have a combination field day against him by keeping a high guard glued to his head against Ali rather than probe, feint and control the way Wlad would).

    Wlad could easily frustrate Ali with his reach, tie him up when he tries to slip under and come inside to shoeshine, and could punish Ali's low hands/head movement with his trademark explosive leaping lead hook. 6'9" Tyson Fury being able to land long jabs on Klitschko and to hit body shots when Wlad tried to smother him is no guarantee that a much smaller fighter in Ali could have the same kind of success.

    Wlad's often-maligned, 'boring' style often leads fans to write him off as unathletic, when nothing could be further from the truth – he's incredibly athletic, explosive, well-conditioned and equipped with quick hands and Ali would absolutely have his hands full.

    It's important to remember that the 70s and 80s guys never had to deal with the Steward/Soviet boxing style that emphasises long punching, pivots and lead hand control – it would be a rough adjustment for a lot of the old legends, who also didn't deal with cynical clinching as a defensive maneuver nearly as much as the modern guys do either.

  11. I think Bowe/Marciano/Dempsey would’ve been a much better choice than Povetkin, but I don’t think either one of them would’ve made it to the finals

  12. Vitali Klitschko would of been up there with all of them to be honest. Never lost to Lewis it got stopped on a cut and only lost 1 other fighter.

  13. one of ur best videos…would love to see a RJJ/Tarver trilogy review..and what went wrong in RJJ 's career i dont think you talk about him much on ur channel

  14. I'd have Lewis as slight fave over Foreman, Ali did knock out Foreman after he gassed, I feel Lewis would wear him down as well. Lewis vs Holmes would be a battle of the jabs. The way Mercer had success vs Lewis shows Holmes would beat him to the punch time and time again. I'd go with Holmes UD, or Lewis by KO. 50/50 fight. I'd also have Vitali on there, as he would beat a few of those people, for sure.

  15. You should've had Schmelling facing off against Joe Louis in the final four. Then Schmelling for the win. That would've been fun, though probably not realistic.

  16. Round 1 (Left Bracket): Ali, Foreman, Vitali, Holyfield… Round 2(Left Bracket): Ali, Holyfield – Winner: Muhammad Ali
    Round 1 (Right Bracket): Louis, Tyson, Klitchko, Schmeling… Round 2(Right): Tyson, Klitchko – Winner: Tyson Early or Klitchko R8-9. I think Klitchko is very underrated. Yes, his style is basic but he does it so well. I believe that Klitchko would've beaten AJ if he was 1-2 years younger. I believe that Klitchko could evade Tyson jab and move. I think Tyson could use his speed and get under quickly and early in the fight. I think Klitcho could keep him at a distance and win mid-late via TKO. I think Ali beats Klitchko on points. I would love to see Muhammad Ali vs Tyson Fury. I think a slimmer fury would surprise everyone, I really do! He deserves more credit and I hope the world sees it.

  17. Fun video man, good for you for doing it. Although I think vitali would've beaten Lewis. Remember klitchko only had 2 weeks to prepare for that fight and vitali was winning by 2 points on all the cards until that crazy stoppage that I dont know whose rules they were going by.
    Overall I think Wlad, vitali or Lewis would win this. Most likely Wlad or vitali. In their primes, too big too fast and too skilled even though they werent as good as some of the others from a technical standpoint. The size would be a factor….if we are talking about "prime versions".

  18. The disrespect for Frazier at 10 is unspeakable. Where is Marciano? Where is Wilder? You have Povetkin in there…….where you drinking?

  19. He should clone these guys and do a tournament, or maybe an AI will create simulations? (Thats the most humane thing to do. Hehehe)

  20. Why not have Morrison in the tournament, He could of stopped some of those guys Rummy, Anyways…Keep up the great work my friend

  21. Just a comment on the Liston vs Foreman one, Foreman said in an interview that Liston was the only man to ever make him back up consistently and that he was no doubt the scariest human being he's ever met in the ring. Love em both but I dunno if George could beat him

  22. Young Tyson (before Cus death) was unbeatable. there is no Ali no Clay no man woman alien or whatever… period.

  23. Dude, your boxing videos are consistently the most thoughtful and entertaining musings on the sweet science that I have ever seen. Thank you for your fine work.
    One suggestion for a possible future video: Howard Cosell—-his role and impact on the sport’s popularity during the great heavyweight era of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. His calls of Ali’s fights undoubtedly contributed significantly to the latter’s fame, and Howard’s calls of Foreman vs Frazier 1 and Foreman vs Lyle remain my two favorite all time ringside calls. Just a thought.
    Also, you should be supported for what you do, even if you love doing it. Do you have a Patreon page?

  24. Omg. Tbh. All this guys just having fun with hyping big names. Yes ali was fast wow. Still just cause mike was known for his strength he still is waaay faster than ali. look at his shadow boxing. boxing developed. fury or joshua could fight against all of them. But povetkin is save a lot better than most of this list and tbh every boxer or even hard training hobby boxer tries to copy tysons style. tyson would easily kill all of them in his prime.

    another thing ali would kill holmes xD. most people dont know that ali had a brain injury before the fight and was basically vegtables. ali was way better than holmes.

  25. Guys boxing developed. tyson would murder nearly all of them with ease and had a hard fight against holmes and ali and povetkin and lewis.

  26. Speed didnt trouble Louis, thinkers with lateral movement and evasive skills did. Tysons style is tailor made for Louis and his most underrated weapon, his power upjab. Louis KO 9

  27. Its not only than Wallin isn´t quite good enough. He also suits Fury very well. A good boxer but fairly orthodox and without a real knock out punch. He cant knock him out, and no one beats Fury on points. I would give Wallin better odds against any other top boxer.

  28. i wish there was footage of Sullivan fighting.
    who knows maybe he would be like George Mikan and have a technique most guys don't know existed back then

  29. Why is there no Bowe but there is Povetkin? Povetkin, for instance, only won the WBA Regular title, which I don't even consider a legitimate title.

  30. Any chance we can get a "contender, but never champ" tournament? Wills, Jeannette, Firpo, Galento, Quarry, Zora Foley, Cleveland Williams, Lyle, Shavers, Cooney, Jimmy Young, Carl Williams, Tua, Ruddock, Miske, and Arreola?

  31. All these fucking haters talk all this shit about he only fought bums, that he had shitty conditioning and can't go past a few rounds. Tyson in his "prime" was a fundamentally sound wrecking ball, with great stamina. Then haters cry about people using the prime excuse when talking about tyson, but it's fucking true. Rooney was booted out, and Tyson's prime went with him. Simple as that. Rooney kept Tyson disciplined. Tyson an immature kid, he couldn't discipline himself. Tyson would've destroyed Frazier, and I think it wouldve looked alot like tyson vs Marvis Frazier. Too strong and fast. Wouldve slept him quickly. Tyson would've destroyed liston too. Too athletic and fast. His chin was made of iron as well, you weremt gonna get tyson out of there with a single punch. Man could take a beating. I dont see Ali stopping tysom either. I think Tyson could run him down and dispatch him quickly, Ali jab isn't strong enough to keep Tyson off him. If he rope a doped tyson that would be suicide!! Foreman is the only one i could see beating a prime Rooney trained Tyson.

  32. Haha lots of fun this. Not to be taken seriously.
    But i do have a point.
    In this magical place where the fighters dont age and they all have their prime skillsets.
    That doesn’t account for what level of experience each fighter has? Are they at their oldest in their minds? Are they all physically prime and mentally old and wise? 🤨🧐

  33. I have 88’ version of Tyson winning both tournaments. I just don’t see anyone beating Mike when he had it all together. He was just too complete, powerful, quick, mean and supremely skilled as well as conditioning like no other.

  34. Noooooooo way in HELL Muhammad Ali would ever best Lennox Lewis

    Ali had trouble and (if we wanna be honest) lost ALL 3 fights with ken Norton, whom Larry Holmes beat, btw… Lennox is too big (3 inches taller and longer reach) and too smart to lose to ali.. man you tripping on that one, bro

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