Convicted Artist Magazine

Jun 05th
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lennox_lewis_vs_tysonThere is certainly a wide variance as to what makes an individual an easy mark for a stoppage.  Mike Tyson never had a decision loss, yet few would argue he has a weak chin.  His KO losses were more the result of a lack of desire, and/or an accumulation of punches.  Also, Juan Manuel Marquez is frequently dropped and wobbled by opponents, yet has never been stopped.  Here, however, I am looking at three multi-title winning fighters whose careers were still hindered in a way by their vulnerability to head punches.  That criteria is based on one question about their chin... did they have more than one winnable fight that was lost because of it?
Junior Jones - Other than Erik Morales, one would be hard pressed to find a loss on Jones' record that would not have been a win had he not been caught early or late.  Paul Ingle, Kennedy McKinney, Darryl Pinckney, and John Michael Johnson all looked to be headed for either a close, or widespread defeat when they exposed the achilles heel of this Brooklyn-fighter.  Jones managed to lift the WBA Bantamweight title without much of a hiccup, but once the word was out, it was only a matter of time before the big punchers caught him.  He even seems to have suffered what few weak-chinned fighters stay upright long enough to sustain... lasting neurological damage.  The one bright spot?  The knowledge of his vulnerability made Marco Antonio Barrera employ the wrong strategy for 17 rounds against Jones, leading to his two biggest wins.
Roger Mayweather - As he proved in his rematch with JC Chavez, Mayweather was capable of hanging offensively with anyone, but as he also proved in their first match, he had to be very careful just to remain in the fight.  He was able to win multiple world titles, and didn't always lose when he got caught, but Rafael Pineda, Chavez, and Rocky Lockridge all found lightning in a bottle that made their potentially difficult nights quite easy.  and when you are struck by lighting as many times as Mayweather, you are giving that infamous golf groundskeeper (7 strikes!) a run for his money.
Lennox Lewis - A first ballot hall-of-famer probably isn't furting for career clean-up... but it is hard not to notice how untouchable Lewis' career comes off when you erase his chin-related disasters.  Other than a ridiculous robbery draw agaisnt Holyfield (which he still avenged), Lennox Lewis' only defeats came at the hands of overmatched opponents via the lucky punch.  Lewis had a habit of taking lesser fighters lightly, which also led to sub-par outings agaisnt Frank Bruno, Ray Mercer, and Vitali Klitschko (we didn't know how good the elder Klitschko was then).  however, in thsoe matchups, Lewis pulled it together, and earned a victory.  He even stood up well to punishment to any other part of his body.  Lennox was rarely rattled by temple shots, or drained by body shots.  However, when his magic chin button was touched, he was never able to recover.  The way he not just beat, but humiliated Oliver McCall and Hasim Rahman in the rematches, was proof that we may have been one iron chin away one of the most dominant champions in history.

Chris Strait

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