Some good thread going on here between Ivan, Nick and Mike.
No doubt about it, Lewis has deficiencies. Then again, no one has
claimed he's Ali's second coming, or that he'll be a champion for long,
for that matter. i think Lewis is the type of person that will be
totally up and at his best for this challenge, and then will have a hell
of a hard time to motivate himself to stay at his peak. he was like that
when he won his first belt, and while I can't creep into his head, I
sense that's what will happen again.
But if we're talking about Lewis deficiencies, in all fairness it ought
to be stated that it's not like Hoylfield has looked like a million
dollars in every of his outings himself. For every fight where Lewis was
shaken early, there's Holyfield being rocked to his toes by Cooper, for
every McCall I there's a Bowe III, for every uninspired performance by
Lewis there's a Bean, Moorer or Czyz performance by Holyfield.
Holyfield looked awesome against Tyson, but that was the Tyson that
Botha was taunting for 5 rounds before becoming a victim of his own
***iness. Holyfield also looked distinctly shaken and fading a few
times in his performances against Tyson. He was soundly outboxed by
Moorer, and got his knees buckled even in his winning fight against
Moorer. He looked plain shot against Czyz, he got resoundingly beaten in
his third fight against Bowe... the same Bowe that looked ordinary
against Golota, who in turn was easily disposed of by Lewis. Holyfield
has caused e***ment, but in part that has been because he's looked so
beatable at times. And at times he's caved in and fallen far deeper than
Lewis ever did. Lewis at times looked poor, but he always had power to
carry him through in the end.
The McCall I fight? He got caught by a monster punch, no disgrace in
that. McCall looked really fired up that night, and I must wonder
whether Holyfield would have beaten a McCall that was as sharply and
maniacally focussed. The shaky start against Briggs? Who punches harder,
Moorer or Briggs, gentlemen? Briggs was fired up for that fight, and for
once came out fighting real well. I think Briggs that night was a
superior foe than Moorer, who -in their second fight- hurt Holyfield and
went with him toe to toe. Neither a testament to Holyfield's punching
power nor to his allegedly far superior chin.
Facts in hand, both fighters have only been knocked out once. And rocked
a few times. Nothing there indicates Holyfield's heart is larger. Lewis'
fights have been usually shorter and more one-sided in the end, and
lewis hasn't taken half the punishment Holyfield has taken.
Against Mercer, Holyfield did not look that superior.
What is worse, if there is one punch Holyfield has always looked likely
to get hit with, it is a right hand. Which is very bad news against
Holyfield's claim about a third round knockout can only be a head game.
Holyfield, in the past, has been a far better student of his
adversaries' weaknesses, and he must know that that the only guys who
made Lewis look bad were the ones that devised strategies to neutralize
Lewis right hand. He ought to take a look at what Mercer did. The
question is whether Holyfield has Mercer's chin. Evander has got to
fight with a hell of a lot of mobility - and when he did that in the
second Bowe fight, he never looked like knocking Bowe out. Or Foreman.
Think about fights where Holyfield has fought taller fighters - he never
knocked 'em out. His style isn't made for it.
Lewis has always been at his sharpest under pressure and with a mountain
to climb. Lewis showed durability and heart in his fight against Mercer.
I don't think Holyfield can count on being lucky enough to land the
perfect knockout punch, with closed eyes, a la McCall. Don't forget,
that is the only fight Lewis ever lost. Even though I think he only
ought to have gotten a draw against Mercer.
Holyfield might try to continuously crowd Lewis, taking things to the
infight - a strategy he has consistently stuck to in his last bouts. He
hasn't look like in the Bowe 2 fight ever since then. If he does that
like he did against Tyson or Bean, with no adjustment, he'll take far
too much punishment on the way in, plus Lewis is decently effective at
dictating the distance of a fight. Holyfield find it troublesome to deal
with a good jab - Moorer's key factor to effectiveness against
Holyfield. So you *know* Lewis' jab will be ready. It better be. And you
know Lewis will not allow the infights to go on for long. He'll fight
holyfield like he did Butler. Butler had a style similar to what
Holyfield has tended to do of late, and he looked utterly chance less
against Lewis. Holyfield has the potential to offer far more movement
I just think Holyfield has to implement a far narrower set of strategies
to win the fight. He *must* be very disciplined to capitalize on his
advantages given the two fighters' styles, and yet he's shown a
pre-disposition to throw strategy aside and try to engage in war every
time as of late. Lewis', on the other hand, had the advantage in the
distance both with jab and cross, both punches Holyfield is susceptible
for, and has the size to tire Holyfield in the infighting and drain the
I am pretty convinced that Lewis will win very decisively and make it
look easier than most people anticipated, and then of course, once more,
he won't get much credit, for the word will be how Holyfield just had
gotten too old and maybe was distracted etc. Wrong. I think it's a bad
styles matchup for Holyfield. I said the same before Morrison fought
Lewis. Their styles didn't match up well, Morrison's strengths played
right into Lewis'. The Holyfield I've seen in the last 3 years was an
awesome match for Tyson, but think he just doesn't have the tools
anymore to overcome the challenge of Lewis. he needs a far more complete
tool set than he's displayed in a while, and at 36 I doubt he can pull
the rabbit out of the magician's head again.