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Thread: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

  1. #1
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    Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    The cruiserweight division dates to 1979. Ask a knowledgeable boxing fan to name the best cruiserweight ever and he will inevitably come up with Evander Holyfield. But goodness, many years have passed since Holyfield last fought as a cruiserweight.

    I can certainly see the need for a cruiserweight division, but as my friend Herb Lambeck wrote way back in 1995, the division has little fan interest and has produced hardly any memorable fights save for Holyfield-Qawi.

    The best cruiserweight other than Holyfield may have been James Toney, but Toney parked his ever-expanding torso in the cruiserweight division for such a short period of time that no one thinks of him as a cruiserweight.

    If you nominate Vassiliy Jirov as the best since Holyfield, I have no problem with that. Other worthwhile candidates? That's a head-scratcher.

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    Quote Originally Posted by ArneK. View Post
    The cruiserweight division dates to 1979. Ask a knowledgeable boxing fan to name the best cruiserweight ever and he will inevitably come up with Evander Holyfield. But goodness, many years have passed since Holyfield last fought as a cruiserweight.

    I can certainly see the need for a cruiserweight division, but as my friend Herb Lambeck wrote way back in 1995, the division has little fan interest and has produced hardly any memorable fights save for Holyfield-Qawi.

    The best cruiserweight other than Holyfield may have been James Toney, but Toney parked his ever-expanding torso in the cruiserweight division for such a short period of time that no one thinks of him as a cruiserweight.

    If you nominate Vassiliy Jirov as the best since Holyfield, I have no problem with that. Other worthwhile candidates? That's a head-scratcher.
    Sore toe David "Hayemaker" Haye, Virgil Hill and Juan Carlos Gomez. Holla!

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    David Haye. Orlin Norris?

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    Two things.

    1) Cruiserweight division actually goes back much further than that although for many years it was dormant. I have a fight program (I believe it may have been Britain from the '40's) that had Cruiserweight stated on the cover.

    2). Best Cruiser ever? Let me know when you guys are done guessing. ;-)

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    Carlos "Sugar" DeLeon. Holyfield was the man though.

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    De Leon is probably the closest to Holyfield. James Toney, Guillermo Jones, and Anaclet Wamba all had some pretty decent runs as well.

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    Al Cole was a very good cruiserweight. A lot of people forget that because his heavyweight days were very forgettable to say the least. But Holyfield clearly the best and De Leon would be the closest behind him.

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    I have to respectfully disagree with Good Doctor and Oubobcat. I saw Sugar DeLeon fight several times and came away very unimpressed. His showing against Holyfield was very weak. I have to think that others would have been much more competitive.

    It's hard to argue against the selection of David Haye. Shucks, he went the distance with W. Klitschko and even won a few rounds. But Haye had only two fights recognized as world cruiserweight title fights by one of the major organizations. That's the problem with trying to rank cruiserweights. For most, the division is only a way station, a stop-over on the way to better paydays as a heavyweight.

    Juan Carlos Gomez, the German via Cuba, was a pure cruiserweight, but I personally wouldn't rate him as high as Jirov. And with respect to him, I'm mystified why eight of his last 10 fights were scheduled for only eight rounds. Does it have something to do with his advancing age? Gomez is now "40."

    When I asked the question, I was thinking only about the modern era of cruiserweights, an era that begins in 1979. If we want to back-fit, there were some great fighters that did their best work weighing 185-190 pounds.

    I'm thinking that when Dino throws us his curveball, he'll back-fit. If so, I'm pretty confidant I know who he will pick.

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    Quote Originally Posted by ArneK. View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree with Good Doctor and Oubobcat. I saw Sugar DeLeon fight several times and came away very unimpressed. His showing against Holyfield was very weak. I have to think that others would have been much more competitive.

    It's hard to argue against the selection of David Haye. Shucks, he went the distance with W. Klitschko and even won a few rounds. But Haye had only two fights recognized as world cruiserweight title fights by one of the major organizations. That's the problem with trying to rank cruiserweights. For most, the division is only a way station, a stop-over on the way to better paydays as a heavyweight.

    Juan Carlos Gomez, the German via Cuba, was a pure cruiserweight, but I personally wouldn't rate him as high as Jirov. And with respect to him, I'm mystified why eight of his last 10 fights were scheduled for only eight rounds. Does it have something to do with his advancing age? Gomez is now "40."

    When I asked the question, I was thinking only about the modern era of cruiserweights, an era that begins in 1979. If we want to back-fit, there were some great fighters that did their best work weighing 185-190 pounds.

    I'm thinking that when Dino throws us his curveball, he'll back-fit. If so, I'm pretty confidant I know who he will pick.
    Honestly, I forgot about Jirov. He was a ferocious cruiserweight. He did lose to James Toney but that was a fight that I think was much closer than the official judges scorecards showed and was if I remember correctly a fight of the year candidate. And I think that was his only loss at cruiserweight. I would put him ahead of both Haye and Gomez myself.

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    Re: Best Cruiserweight Ever....other than Holyfield ??

    I think four of today's champions could more than hold their own with the best of the best. They are: Juan Pablo Hernandez; Marco Huck, Denis Lebedev and Guillermo Jones.

    And how about these old-timers who we knew as heavyweights. In fact, they were all heavyweight champions: Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Ezzard Charles, Rocky Marciano and Floyd Patterson. If any of them were boxing today, you can rest assured they would be fighting as cruiserweights, not as heavyweights.

    For most of his title reign, Louis was below 200 pounds. The other guys regularlyweighed in anywhere from 185-195. Sounds very cruiser to me.

    And wouldn't you just love to see Joe Louis v Evander Holyfield? Rocky Marciano v Holyfield?

    So, when I think of great cruiserweights, I think of some of the biggest names in heavyweight history.

    They may have been heavyweight champions, but that's only because the only division after light heavyweight was heavyweight. Today, none of them would have been heavyweight champion.

    My apology to the legion of Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Floyd Patterson and Ezzard Charles fans out there.

    -Randy G.
    Last edited by The Commish; 04-22-2014 at 09:15 PM.

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