Here's the deal:
You get to pick any HW champ from any era to fight one of the other HW champions (both in their prime, of course). The fight is 15 rounnds, no standing-8 or 3-knockdown rule, no b.s. stoppages because one guy got cut a little. The catch is, you don't know who your guy's opponent will be until the fighters step through the ropes. With the full understanding that 'styles make fights', who would you pick to have the best chance of beating whoever they throw him in with?
Here's the deal:
hmm, who do I choose? Ali? Louis? Marciano? Johnson? Dempsey? Balboa?
in his prime, I would have to say the youngest ever Heavyweight Champ Mike Tyson
Tyson over Balboa???
Man, your hook really is crazy!
I'd have to go with Louis. Why pick less than the best?
I'd have to say Joe Louis, just cause he's the most well rounded. I'd be tempted to pick Tyson against most champs, but Louis without knowing the opponent
Dempsey, but limiting it 15 rounds is unfair to lots of the oldtimers who often went over 20.
Stockybrawler - Why Louis? (I could come up with my own reasons, and might in fact pick him, but I'm interested in hearing yours). Would you be worried about Louis's chin? IMO, if a Schmeling or a Galento could knock him down, he could be in for a bad night against a guy like Dempsey or even Frazier.
dinofrang - you have a point about the distance, but I picked 15 because that was the championship distance for most of the modern era. Since you brought it up though, would you pick a different champ if the fight was scheduled for 20+?
W/out Question Ali.
In this sitch it would have to be a guy with great intelligence, an ability to figure his opponent out quickly and change game plans as the fight progresses. He would also need the physical tools to put all of this into practice, so he'd have to be a great boxer.
Who else other than Ali fits this bill better?
you must have a very limited imagination, tapout. Tyson could beat anyone on any given night. Even as washed up as he was, Lewis still looked scared of him for the first 2 rounds
I would pick Dempsey, any number of rounds, any
size ring, indoor or outdoor, any ref.
Jack was not a set fighter, he was quite versatile,
he could brawl and box, had an iron jaw, power in
both hands, an awkward style, tough skin, and the
balls of an elephant.
Louis was the greatest HW champion in terms of energy efficientness in the ring. No punch was wasted, no movement was for show. He was never wild and never lost his cool. Also his chin was not as bad as people think. In the Schmeling fight he was getting hit with wicked right hands over and over and he still lasted as well as he did so I don't think he had a glass chin by any means. Obviously his chin wasn't his greatest strength, but he had so many others to make up for it.
If I couldn't pick Louis, I'd go for Dempsey and if not him than Ali. In my opinion those three would be the best HW champions in terms of their potential of beating the others, but if I had to narrow it down to one it's Louis.
I think Ali was too weak of an infighter for him to be my pick against an unknown opponent