What If Larry Holmes Fought Lennox Lewis? – What If? – It is a showdown of two of boxing’s all-time great heavyweight as we look at what if “The Easton Assassin” Larry Holmes (69-6-0, 44 KOs) had met Lennox Lewis (41-2-1, 32 KOs) in the ring?
Holmes held the WBC heavyweight title from 1978 to 1983, The Ring magazine and lineal heavyweight titles from 1980 to 1985, and the inaugural IBF heavyweight title from 1983 to 1985. He made 19 successful title defenses, placing him third all time, behind only Joe Louis at 25 and Wladimir Klitschko at 22. He also holds the record for the longest uninterrupted heavyweight title streak in post-war boxing history. Holmes is one of only five boxers—along with Joe Frazier, Ken Norton, Leon Spinks and Trevor Berbick—to defeat Muhammad Ali; he is the only one to have stopped Ali. Holmes won his first 48 professional bouts, including victories over Norton, Ali, Earnie Shavers, Mike Weaver, Gerry Cooney, Tim Witherspoon, Carl Williams and Marvis Frazier, and falling one short of matching Rocky Marciano’s career record of 49–0 when he lost to Michael Spinks in 1985. Holmes retired after losing a rematch to Spinks the following year.
After winning his first 21 fights, Lennox Lewis defeated Donovan Ruddock in 1992 to take over the number one position in the WBC rankings. He was declared WBC heavyweight champion later that year after Riddick Bowe gave up the title to avoid defending it against Lewis. He defended the title three times before an upset knockout loss to Oliver McCall in 1994. Lewis avenged the loss in a 1997 rematch to win back the vacant WBC title. Lewis won the lineal title by defeating Shannon Briggs in 1998. Two fights against Evander Holyfield in 1999 (the first of which ended in a controversial draw) saw Lewis become undisputed heavyweight champion by unifying his WBC title with Holyfield’s WBA and IBF titles, as well as the vacant IBO title.
Lewis was knocked out by Hasim Rahman in a 2001 upset, but this defeat was avenged later in the year. In 2002, Lewis defeated Mike Tyson in one of the most highly anticipated fights in boxing history. Prior to the event, Lewis was awarded The Ring magazine heavyweight title, which had been discontinued in the late 1980s. In what would be his final fight, in 2003, Lewis defeated Vitali Klitschko in a bloody encounter. He vacated his remaining titles and retired from boxing in 2004.
Who better than Frank Lotierzo to look at all the possibilities of a Lewis vs Holmes matchup. In very many ways, both men are unique and with more than 50 years around the ring, Lotierzo delivers a version as only he can.
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