Top 10 Heavyweights of the 1990's
Let's revisit one of the greatest decades in heavyweight boxing.
I am counting down the 10 best heavyweights of the 1990's.
This decade had about everything you could ask for. Shocking upsets, colossal rivalries and just plain weirdness.
Let's take a look at the top 10.
No. 10: David Tua
90's Record: 35-1
Notable Wins: Hasim Rahman, Oleg Maskaev, John Ruiz
Notable Losses: Ike Ibeabuchi
David Tua slips in a number 10 on the list. Although he did not get his title shot until 2000, his undeniably great record and victories against three future title holders is why he makes it in at number 10.
His loss against Ibeabuchi doesn't take as big of a hit against him as you would think. Ibeabuchi was a great heavyweight in his own right and 20-0 in the 90's.
No. 9: Donovan Ruddock
90's Record: 14-4
Notable Wins: None
Notable Losses: Mike Tyson (2), Lennox Lewis, Adam Morrison
Donovan "Razor" Ruddock get's the number nine slot because he was an all or nothing fighter who took on one of the greatest fighters ever (Tyson) in two brutal matches.
Although Ruddock didn't have any notable wins in the 90's I had to include him on this list because of what he did in the ring against Mike Tyson when Tyson was still in his prime in 1991.
His guts and leaving it all in the ring fighting style gets Ruddock on this list.
No. 8: Tommy Morrison
90's Record: 46-3-1
Notable Wins: George Foreman, Donovan Ruddock
Notable Losses: Lennox Lewis, Michael Bentt, Ray Mercer
Tommy Morrison was the epitome of 90's boxing, with almost all of his career fights coming in this decade.
Morrison had two tremendous victories against the aforementioned Ruddock and against "Big" George Foreman during the legend's comeback in the mid 90's.
But Morrison was also inconsistent. His losses were as big or even bigger than his wins. A loss against journeyman Michael Bentt really hurt his stock on this list. Bentt had losses against guys named Herbie Hide and Jerry Jones. Sounds made up doesn't it?
All in all, a great fighter who was game for a brawl and fought 50 times in the 90's.
No. 7: Oliver McCall
90's Record: 20-4-1
Notable Wins: Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Oleg Maskaev
Notable Losses: Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno, Tony Tucker, Orlin Norris
Unfortunately Oliver McCall was sadly included in the weird section of the 90's because of his mental breakdown in the ring during his rematch loss to Lennox Lewis.
But McCall was a great fighter. Huge wins against Lennox Lewis and Larry Holmes is why he makes the list at number seven.
If you knock out one of the greatest heavyweights of all time then you have a pretty good chance of making the list, and McCall did that in a big way by flattening the future face of the division with a second round knockout.
His win against Lewis overshadows a few sketchy losses in the 90's.
No. 6: George Foreman
90's Record: 12-3
Notable Wins: Michael Moorer, Gerry Cooney
Notable Losses: Evander Holyfield, Tommy Morrison, Shannon Briggs
What can you say about "Big" George? The fact that he came back and won the heavyweight title at age 45 was amazing, but that isn't the only reason he is on this list.
Foreman beat titlist Michael Moorer with a devastating punch in 1994, but he took Holyfield the distance in 1991, which earn him big time kudos.
George could have even been higher on the list if it weren't for his losses to Morrison and Briggs.
No. 5: Michael Moorer
90's Record: 21-2
Notable Wins: Evander Holyfield, Francois Botha
Notable Losses: Evander Holyfield, George Foreman
I know what you are thinking. How come Moorer is ahead of Foreman, who beat Moorer while he was in his prime? I'll tell you why.
He beat Evander Holyfield while he was in his prime in 1994, which is almost enough to put you in the top five alone.
People will always remember Moorer lying on his back after being knocked out by "Big" George, but Moorer was a solid 90's heavyweight with only two losses to men who are both on this list.
No. 4: Riddick Bowe
90's Record: 27-1 (1 NC)
Notable Wins: Evander Holyfield (2), Andrew Golota (2)
Notable Losses: Evander Holyfield
When you first look at Riddick Bowe's overall record you think to yourself, "Why isn't he number one?" Well...he could have been.
His two wins against Holyfield in his prime were enough to get him into the top half of this list. The Bowe vs. Holyfield trilogy is a very memorable one, with Bowe taking two of three in the mid 90's.
At this point in his career Bowe looked like the man to beat in the heavyweight division.
His two notable wins against Golota act more like losses on his resume. Bowe was losing both fights to "The Foul Pole" on every judge's scorecard up to the point where Golota earned his nickname and was disqualified for repetitive low blows.
These two "wins" for Bowe really took a hit on his 90's resume and after his two wars with Golota he was never the same and has only fought three times since.
No. 3: Mike Tyson
90's Record: 9-3 (1 NC)
Notable Wins: Donovan Ruddock (2), Frank Bruno, Francois Botha
Notable Losses: Evander Holyfield (2), Buster Douglas
Even in the 90's "Iron" Mike was still "Iron" Mike. One of the most feared heavyweights of all time and he still carried that moniker in the 90's.
With a crushing defeat to start the decade against Buster Douglas, Tyson bounced back with two big wins against Ruddock.
Although he wasn't very active in the 90's I still believe he deserves to be in the top three of the decade. This is very debatable as he did not face very tough opposition later in the decade, except for his two losses to Holyfield in 1996 and 1997.
This one could be debated all day, but he deserves the number three spot in my mind.
No. 2: Lennox Lewis
90's Record: 29-1-1
Notable Wins: Evander Holyfield, Shannon Briggs, Andrew Golota, Ray Mercer, Frank Bruno, Oliver McCall, Donovan Ruddock, Tommy Morrison
Notable Losses: Oliver McCall
Many people would argue that Lennox Lewis is the best 90's heavyweight because he never lost to Holyfield the two times he faced him and his only loss he avenged against Oliver McCall.
His resume is quite good. Look at all of the quality victories Lewis racked up in the 90's. Eight quality victories are on Lewis's resume, with four of the men being on this list.
His knockout loss to McCall makes a little bit of a dent on his resume plainly because he was knocked out quickly. And his lone draw on his record was to Holyfield, which is a damn good draw if you ask me, even if he won the fight on everyone's scorecard except for one.
Lewis is a solid number two on this list and was very dominant in the following decade as well.
No. 1: Evander Holyfield
90's Record: 13-4-1
Notable Wins: Mike Tyson (2), Riddick Bowe, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Michael Moorer, Buster Douglas
Notable Losses: Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe (2), Michael Moorer
Evander Holyfield was the greatest 90's heavyweight. He had seven victories against quality opponents and five victories over other men on this list.
You may look at Holyfield's record and think how can a guy with four losses be number one? Holyfield never lost to anyone outside of the top five on this list and only once he did not avenge a loss.
Yes, Lennox Lewis beat him in 1999, but I firmly believe that a 1993 Evander Holyfield would beat a 1999 Lennox Lewis any day. This can be debated, but it's the way I see it.
Holyfield's two victories against a still young and dangerous Mike Tyson were monumental for his positioning on this list. Tyson still had plenty left at this point in his career but Holyfield had more and beat him down.
His two losses to Bowe make this race for number one close, but overall Holyfield was truly a warrior. He fought so many top tier heavyweights during the 90's and every fight he lost was a close battle.
Evander Holyfield: Greatest Heavyweight of the 90's.