Joe Louis vs Evander Holyfield: who wins? Fantasy match-up

Derivative work: Evander Holyfield by Shelka04  CC BY-SA and Joe Louis by Carl Van Vechten / Public domain

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Louis and Holyfield fought decades apart, but what would happen in a fantasy match between these two former heavyweight champions?

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In boxing, we tend to laud champions of the past - holding them at a standard which present-day champions couldn't possibly match. Today, people say the likes of Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury could never have fought in the 90s. In the 90s Holyfield and Lewis wouldn't have stood a chance against the likes of Ali or Foreman, and likely when Ali and Foreman were active there would have been those who said 'yes but they're nothing on a Joe Louis or a Rocky Marciano'.

It's human nature to do this. We're nostalgic creatures - never content with what we have, only pining for what is past. In reality, though, two top heavyweights of any era would likely give each other a competitive fight.

In this month's 'Fantasy match-up' we're putting the man who dominated the division through the late 30s and 40s head to head with one of the greatest heavyweights of the 90s.

We're talking about Joe Louis vs Evander Holyfield. The boxer-puncher vs the relentless brawler.

Joe Louis

6′ 2
Wins by knock out52

Joe Louis, otherwise known as the 'Brown Bomber', held the heavyweight championship of the world from 1937 - 1949. During this time Louis successfully defended his title 25 times, setting a record that stands to this day for the most consecutive title defences in a single division.

Considered by many as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, Louis fought with a textbook style that while not particularly flashy, saw him execute the basics almost flawlessly.

Not just technically brilliant, Louis also carried knockout power, particularly in his right hand which he'd often throw as a short cross over the top of his opponents lead.

Louis would lose only three times over a 69-fight career that ended in 1951 with a loss to future champion Rocky Marciano.

Evander Holyfield

6′ 2½″
Wins by knock out29

Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield moved into the heavyweight division after becoming undisputed at cruiserweight. On Oct 25, 1990, he knocked out Buster Douglas to become the first (and at the time of writing only) man to achieve undisputed status in two weight classes.

Best known for his trilogy with Riddick Bowe, and his two fights with Mike Tyson, Holyfield was more of a brawler than a boxer, employing a relentless front-foot style, often dragging his opponents into all-out wars. As Bowe once told HBO: "when you fight a guy like Evander Holyfield, I mean I'm gonna tell you, Evander comes to get it!".

Holyfield was an excellent in-fighter - always willing to take a punch to give one - he'd bob, weave, or simply force his way inside, but it wasn't always clean. The use of the head in his two fights with Tyson was clear to see and, according to Mike, is what led to the notorious ear-biting incident.

Unlike Louis, Holyfield faded considerably in the latter half of his career, but as always, for the purposes of this discussion, let's assume both men are in their prime and at peak condition.

Cast your vote below and don't forget to share this article so that we can get as many opinions as possible.

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Louis vs Holyfield: who wins?

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