EXCERPTS FROM MUHAMMAD ALI VS TODAY’S TOP 10
… well this is the opinion of one reporter.
reprinted from World Boxing , fall 1999 by Eric Raskin
back to Heavyweight History index
LEWIS IS THE BEST HEAVYWEIGHT IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, AND ACCORDINGLY, WOULD HAVE THE BEST CHANCE OF UPENDING ALI. At 6’5″ and 245 pounds, Lewis has the size to force Ali to work a little harder to get the job done. Stylewise, the two champions have little in common. Ali’s strenght were his grace and speed, his offensive accuracy, and his defensive savvy.
Lewis’ best assests are his all-around power, his height and reach, and maybe the best right hand in boxing. It’s basically great skills and decent power vs. great power and decent skills, and it’s easy to see both of them struggling all night long to really hurt the other.
Lewis v Ali of the ’60s probably goes something like this:
Ali with his hands at his sides, repeatedly suckers the WBC champion into making mistakes and has the quickness to counter, and Lewis awesome right is always coming in a little too slowly to connect. The big Brit’s chin, which isn’t as great a weakness as his detractors like to beleive, holds up until the final bell, but Ali wins a comfortable decision. Lewis chances of controlling the fight with his jab and right hand stand at about 10 or 15 percent.
But Lewis vs Ali of the 70’s is much tougher for the Greatest, who won’t be able to rope-a-dope the patient Lewis and wouldn’t want to stand and trade with him. There’s always an inclination to beleive Ali will find a way to out-think his opponent, but the physical match-up is close enough that Lewis has roughly a 35 percent shot at getting the nod.
When informed of the writer’s opinion of the mythical fight Lennox Lewis simply replied,
“It could have gone either way – or even maybe a draw!”