Decade-by-Decade Rankings: 1990-1999

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(1)  Lennox Lewis  6’5”, 245- From 1992 when he destroyed Razor Ruddock in the 2nd round to his dominating win over Evander Holyfield in 1999, Lewis was avoided by all the top contenders during the decade. Bowe and Tyson wanted no part of him. Oliver McCall’s fluke victory in 94’ was easily erased in his rematch in 1997. Others who felt Lewis’ destructive fist were Tony Tucker, Frank Bruno, Ray Mercer, Andrew Golota and Shannon Briggs. (29-1-1) *843
Few fighters in ring history have had the combination of size, power, skill and speed like the Brit.

(2) Riddick Bowe  6’5”, 246- Outside of the two victories over Holyfield there is not a whole lot on Bowe resume that looks very impressive, but Holyfield was in his prime and Bowe was the first to beat him. Bowe also has only one career loss although you could consider his two disqualifications against Golota as defeats. Bowe was on his downward slope when he met Golota in 1996. Bowe in his prime was one of the best fighters to ever enter the ring, he was big, strong, could take a punch as good as anyone and was great on the inside for such a big man. His prime was very short.  (27-1, 1NC) *727
When Big Daddy was in his prime he was one of the toughest fighters in the last twenty five years. He hit with power, could box, had massive size and could take a punch.

(3)Evander Holyfield  6’2 ½”, 217- Usually considered the top fighter of the decade, but his losses to Riddick Bowe , Michael Moorer and Lewis make you question if he was the best in the decade. Bowe beat Holyfield two out of three fights while Lewis clearly won both fights although one was called a draw. No question about his argument of being an all time great, his list of victims reads like a who’s who of boxing; Buster Douglas, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Bowe, Tyson, Moorer, and Ray Mercer. Even though he lost to Bowe twice his list of victories is much more impressive than Riddick's. (13-4-1) *1026
Holy fought the best of his generation, Lewis, Tyson, Bowe and Moorer and was the measuring stick of his time.

(4) Mike Tyson5’10”,220- In the 1990s Tyson was making a living off his reputation. He was not the same fighter who struck fear in everyone during the 1980s. He had very few meaningful victories over quality opposition. He lost to Douglas and Holyfield all by knockout. His biggest wins were his fights against Razor Ruddock who Lewis beat in only two rounds. His other top wins during the decade were against Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon, neither of which were even top five heavyweights during their careers. Tyson inability to take punishment was clearly exposed in his loses to Douglas and Holyfield. Imagine what Lewis and Bowe would have done to him.
(8-3, 1ND) *541
Tyson was an enormous disappointment during the decade living life in the fast lane.

(5) George Foreman 6’3”, 257- Foreman recaptured the heavyweight title in 1994 with a 10th round knockout of Michael Moorer. His one punch knockout was not his only glory during the decade. He went 12 rounds with Holyfield at his peak and defeated Gerry Cooney and Alex Stewart. He was totally out boxed by Axel Schultz but given the decision and should have gained the decision against Shannon Briggs but lost his title in 1997. He was greatly criticized for avoiding the top fighters of the period but he picked his opponents wisely. Mike Tyson was always his goal but Tyson wanted no part of the big fellow. (12-3) *331
Foreman resurrected his career like no fighter in history to recapture the title.

(6) Ike Ibeabuchi  6’2”, 235-  His big marks on the heavyweight division were his 12-D over David Tua and his 5th round KO of Chris Byrd. The remarkable thing about Ibeabuchi is that both fighters were undefeated when they loss to Ike and both were avoided by all the top heavyweights in the division at the time. How good could Ike have been is anybodies guess. People will always wonder what might have been. (20-0) *131

(7) Michael Moorer  6’2”, 214 – Moorer had a real erratic career of highs and lows. His biggest high of course was winning the title from Holyfield with a 12 decision in 1994. His big low was his knockout loss to Foreman. Other key wins were against Alex Stewart, Axel Schultz, Francois Botha and Vaughan Bean. Botha and Bean entered their contest against Moorer a combined 62-0 before losing. Although not an overwhelming list of opponents it’s good enough for number sixth. (21-2) *651
First southpaw titleholder, Moorer could not get his life together outside the ring.

(8) Buster Douglas 6’4”,230- It is hard not to put Douglas ahead of Tyson because he won the title from Iron Mike with a 10-KO. His only other meaningful fight during the decade was his 2-KO to Holyfield when he lost the title. (9-2) *156
On the night Douglas defeated Tyson for the title he was a formidable force.

(9) Oliver McCall 6’2”, 237- The highlight of McCall’s career was his 2nd round knockout of Lennox Lewis. Other victories included Larry Holmes in 1995, Bruce Seldon and Oleg Maskaev. Losses include Tony Tucker, Orlin Norris, Frank Bruno and Lewis. He had a very up and down career. (20-4) 1-ND *245
His erratic behavior in and out of the ring limited his boxing success.

10) Larry Holmes 6’3”, 233- Holmes big victory in the decade was his 12 round decision over Ray Mercer. He lost two decisions to Holyfield and Oliver McCall. These were the only really competitive fighters he faced during the decade. (19-3) *90
Although just a mere shell of his former self, Holmes was avoided by most top contenders.

(11) Ray Mercer  6’1”, 239-  Mercer’s knockout of Tommy Morrison put him on the heavyweight map in 1991 only to be upset by Holmes. His other tough fights of the decade were two very close decision losses to Lennox Lewis and Holyfield. He also defeated a 39 year Tim Witherspoon by decision. (14-4-1) *268
Mercer ability to absorb punished made a tough force in the heavyweight division.

(12) David Tua 5’10”,226- Tua man destroyed John Ruiz in 1996 in 19 seconds and followed that up with a 11-KO of Oleg Maskaev. His other big victory in the decade was a 10-KO of Hasim Rahman in ’98. His only loss was a close decision to Ibeabuchi. (35-1) *144
Suppose to be the next coming of Tyson only to come up short.

(13) Tommy Morrison 6’2”, 226- Morrison came out of Oklahoma knocking out everything in sight but finally ran into Ray Mercer who ended the party with a 5-KO. Michael Bentt knocked him out in 1 round and Lennox Lewis KO’ed him in five. His biggest victory was over Foreman in a 12-D, other wins were over and over the hill Pinklon Thomas, Carl Williams and Razor Ruddock.
(25-3-1) *100
Great punching power with a questionable chin.

(14) Frank Bruno 6’3”, 238- Britain’s Bruno was very tough in the 1990s as well defeating Jose Ribalta, Pierre Coetzer, Carl Williams, Jesse Ferguson, Mike Evans and Oliver McCall. His only losses during the decade were to Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson. (8-2)
Bruno only two losses during the decade were to two legends.

(15) Razor Ruddock 6’4”, 238- Ruddock had two great fights against Tyson in the early 1990s losing both fights. His other losses were to Lewis in a 2-KO and to Tommy Morrison in 6th. His biggest wins were against Michael Dokes, Greg Page and Phil Jackson. His ratings are based more on his Tyson fights than his victories because they were not very impressive. (14-4) *371
Ruddock was a big powerful heavyweight with an unorthodox style which made him a threat in the early part of the decade.

(16) Michael  Grant  6’7”, 250- Looked like at the end of the decade Grant was headed for stardom only to fall apart over the next few years. The only name opponent was Andrew Golota who he defeated in a 10 round knockout after being down twice in the first round. *144(30-0)
Grant would end up being mostly hype, but many felt he would become a champion.

(17) Andrew Golota 6’4”, 240- Golota will always be remembered for his two bouts with Riddick Bowe in which he was winning both fights but lost on disqualification. Lennox Lewis blasted him out in one round and Michael Grant knocked him out in the 10th. His only key victory was over 41 year old Tim Witherspoon over 10 rounds.(34-4)  *149
The pride of Poland never showed much courage as he lost every big fight.
Big, fast, quick and powerful with unlimited potential: Run-ins with the law ended his career.

(18) Tony Tucker  6’5”, 235- His only big victory was in 1992 against Oliver McCall in a 12-round split decision. He lost to Lennox Lewis, Orlin Norris, Henry Akinwande and Bruce Seldon during the mid 90s. (22-6) *144
His best years were in the 80s.

(19) Tim Witherspoon 6’3”, 236-Hard to believe Witherspoon was in the rankings as long as he was because he had a very questionable record during the decade. Who did he beat? Great questions, can’t really find anybody outside of Carl Williams and Jorge Luis Gonzalez. He lost to Ray Mercer, Larry Donald, Everett Martin, Jimmy Thunder, Andrew Golota, Brian Nielson and Greg Page. None the less he was in the thick of the division in the early part of the decade. (16-7) *237
Well past his prime as he watched Don King steal millions from him.

(20) Henry Akinwande 6’7”, 237- Akinwande has a very impressive record but never really was able to get any great matchups with the exception of the Lennox Lewis fight. Akinwande was disqualified for lack of effort against Lewis. His only other negative mark on his record was a draw against Alex Schulz who he later defeated. Other wins were over Jimmy Thunder, Tony Tucker, Jeremy Williams and Alexander Zolkin. Not a real impressive group but he only lost one fight during the decade. (32-1-1) *106
Boring style of holding and grabbing.

{average weight 234 of the top heavyweights of the 1990s}

* Fighters Ring Rankings Totals for the Decade:
(Record is from the decade of the 1990s)

Top Heavies During the 1990s

1990  Mike Tyson               Holyfield                Douglas                Witherspoon         Francesco
1991  Holyfield                    Mike Tyson           Ruddock                Witherspoon        Bowe
1992  Holyfield                    Bowe                     Ruddock                Foreman               Witherspoon
1993  Bowe                         Holyfield                Lewis                     Moorer                   Foreman
1994  Bowe                         Lewis                     Moorer                   Holyfield                McCall
1995  McCall                       Bowe                      Foreman               Moorer                   Lewis
1996  Bowe                         Tyson                     Lewis                     Moorer                   Holyfield
1997  Lewis                         Holyfield                Moorer                   Mike Tyson           Golota
1998  Holyfield                    Lewis                     Moorer                   Foreman               Ray Mercer
1999  Lewis                         Holyfield                Michael Grant       Ibeabuchi             David Tua

History of the Heavyweight Division 1990-99

1990-Champion, Evander Holyfield (2-0)

def. Buster Douglas 3-KO

#1 Mike Tyson    (2-1)

loss Buster Douglas 10-KO

#2 Razor Ruddock  (3-0)

def. Michael Dokes 4-KO
1991-Champion, Evander Holyfield

def. George Foreman 12-D

#1 Mike Tyson                                    

def. Razor Ruddock 7-KO
def. Razor Ruddock 12-D

#2 Riddick Bowe   (5-0)

def. Tyrell Biggs 8-KO  
def. Tony Tubbs 10-D

1992-Champion, Riddick Bowe (5-0)

def. Evander Holyfield 12-D
#1 Lennox Lewis      (4-0) def. Razor Ruddock 2-KO
#2 Evander Holyfield                         def. Larry Holmes 12-D
loss Riddick Bowe 12-D

1993-Champion, Evander Holyfield      

def. Alex Stewart 12-D
def. Riddick Bowe 12-D
#1 Riddick Bowe (2-1)        

def. Michael Dokes 1-KO 
loss Evander Holyfield 12-D

#2 Lennox Lewis                               
def. Tony Tucker 12-D
def. Frank Bruno 7-KO

1994-Champion, George Foreman        

def. Michael Moorer 10-KO
#1 Oliver McCall        (2-0) def. Lennox Lewis 2-KO
#2 Riddick Bowe                                def. Larry Donald 12-D

1995-Champion, George Foreman        

def. Alex Schulz 12-D bad decision
#1 Riddick Bowe                                 def. Herbie Hide 6-KO
def. Jorge Luis Gonzalez 6-KO
def. Evander Holyfield 8-KO
#2 Lennox Lewis   (3-0)                              def. Tommy Morrison 6-KO

1996-Champion, George Foreman       

def. Crawford Grimsley 12-D
#1 Evander Holyfield                         

def. Bobby Czyz 5-KO
def. Mike Tyson 11-KO

#2 Lennox Lewis                                 def. Ray Mercer 10-D 

1997-Champion, Shannon Briggs          

def. George Foreman 12-D bad decision
#1 Evander Holyfield                        def. Mike Tyson 3-Disq
def. Michael Moorer 8-KO
#2 Lennox Lewis                                def. Oliver McCall 5-KO
def. Henry Akinwande 5-Disq
def. Andrew Golota 1-KO

1998-Champion, Lennox Lewis

def. Shannon Briggs 5-KO
def. Zeljko Mavroic 12-D
#1 Evander Holyfield                        def. Vaughan Bean 12-D
#2 Michael Grant                                def. David Izon 5-KO
def. Obed Sullivan 9-KO

1998-Champion, Lennox Lewis

def. Shannon Briggs 5-KO
def. Zeljko Mavroic 12-D
#1 Evander Holyfield                          def. Vaughan Bean 12-D
#2 Michael Grant                                def. David Izon 5-KO
def. Obed Sullivan 9-KO

1999-Champion, Lennox Lewis                        

draw Evander Holyfield 12-DR bad Decision Lewis won
def. Evander Holyfield 12-D
#1 Evander Holyfield                       draw Lennox Lewis 12-DR bad decision
Lewis won
loss Evander Holyfield 12-D
#2 Michael Grant    (3-0) def. Andrew Golota 10-KO
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

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