FROM TIME TO TIME we hear fans (and experts) complaining about the "dire state of the current heavyweight division as witnessed by the amount of overweights". Then these fans may mention how in the 1970ies (the supposedly "Golden era of heavyweight boxing") Muhammad Ali's opponents were slick and slim while the current heavyweights are fat and slow.
Heavyweight division = Overweight division? The truth!
First of all: The claims of 1970ies-nostalgists are nonsense.
Below you see the picture of ·Joe Frazier, Clay/Ali's famous opponent against whom he fought 3 times. Frazier is far from athletic.
But more importantly: Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius X aka Cassius Clay) himself was a slow, plodding overweight.
Please note: This article is part of my multi-part heavyweight boxing eras comparison:
- Boxing eras (1) The best heavyweight era of all time -OR- Is Roy Jones Jr. a better cruiser than Rocky Marciano?
- Boxing eras (2) Current heavyweights are fat and out of shape -OR- Ali and the mystery of the six-pack
- Boxing eras (3) Wladimir Klitschko in the Golden Age of Heavyweight -OR- How abysmal was Ali's era really?
- Boxing eras (4) Golden Age of Heavyweight -OR- Is the Klitschko era the first heavyweight era in history?
- Boxing eras (5) The worst heavyweight era of all time! -OR- Americans play Basketball now!
- Boxing eras (6) Is heavyweight boxing dead or dying?
Don't get me wrong: Clay/Ali was not always so extremely fat ("muHAMad Ali"). At the beginning of his career (when he still boxed as "Cassius Clay") he was slim and fast. 1960 he even won the Olympic Gold as a light-heavyweight. Here is a picture of him in his third year as a heavyweight:
After he started to call himself "Muhammad Ali" he started to gain weight and metamorphosed from "butterfly to BUTTER fly" and soon he lost his speed and reaction. For his fight against ·Larry Holmes Ali started training at 253 lbs (= 10 pounds fatter than Chris Arreola's average weight).
Here's how the LIFE magazine (March 1971, supposedly Ali's prime) described Ali just before his fight against Joe Frazier:
"His belly billowing over his trunks, an overlump Ali weighed almost 230 pounds as he waited to spar in his 5th street gym 4 weeks ago."
"Ali's training camp is less disciplined than Frazier's. During the six weeks he lived in Miami Beach, there were days when he skipped a workout altogether. Some days he did not spar… He had trouble with his weight.
When training began, he was near 230 pounds and he vowed not even to look at scales until one week before the fight.
But three weeks ago he ambled by a scale in the gym, stepped on and whistled "226!" he cried. He vowed immediately to cut out the several Pepsis he drinks every day, but the vow did not last long. "
In other words: When 70ies-nostalgists make snide remarks ("Haha, Klitschko's opponents are fat, while Muhammad Ali's opponents are athletic") then it's not only false but it also completely misses the point, since Ali himself was overweight (except at the beginning of his career when he was a light-heavyweight and a cruiser) ("From light heavyweight to lard heavyweight").
Would fat Muhammad Ali and fat Frazier and fat Larry Holmes
they, too, would be a proof of the terrible state of boxing
The so-called athletic heavyweights of the Golden Age of heavyweight boxing (1970s)
But let me come now to the far greater logical fallacy of the comparison "Klitschko's era vs Ali's era":
The 70ies heavyweight division was a mix of the "heavyweight division" 200+ and the "CakaH-weight division" 175-200 which then was then also called "heavyweight division", see Definitions
In other words: Clay/Ali fought opponents that were CALLED "heavyweights" but who would now be called cruisers and would now box in the cruiserweight division (or even below).
As sub-heavyweights they OF COURSE had different bodies.
Take for example Clay/Ali's opponent ·Floyd Patterson: Patterson started at 160+ lbs (super middleweight) and was 188 lbs (cruiser) when he fought against Ali.
A boxer like Patterson has OF COURSE a different physique than a 200+ heavyweight boxer (whether nowadays or in Ali's era). It doesn't make sense to compare such a boxer (= who regularly boxed 3 weight classes BELOW 200-heavyweight) to ANY modern heavyweight.
Yet, this Patterson is one of the typical examples of how athletic Ali's opponents were AND of how great Ali was by beating such an athletic boxer.
Patterson is not the only example:
Of Clay/Ali's 61 fights only approx 50% were real[?] heavyweight fights. (If you exclude Clay/Ali's cruiser fights then his record is 28-4. If you additionally exclude former cruisers then Ali's record is 11-1).
Beginning of Ali's career (1961)
Ali fights against ·Jimmy Robinson (177 lbs)
Middle of Ali's career (prime Ali 1966):
Ali fights against cruiser ·Henry Cooper (188 lbs)
End of Ali's career (Heavyweight world title 1978):
Ali fights against cruiser ·Leon Spinks (197 lbs)
As you can see Clay/Ali's heavyweight record is padded with cruiserweight fights throughout his career thus OF COURSE Ali's average opponent looked slimmer than nowadays real heavyweight opponents.
To correctly compare the athleticism of Ali's era
to the athleticism of Klitschko's era
you would have to include all cruisers 175-200 lbs of Klitschko's era.
And modern cruisers are so athletic
that they beat the 1970s competition out of the water.
Comparing cavalry to infantry
I think I know why fans think current boxers are out of shape
From my yearlong discussions with boxing fans I think I have found THE MAIN reason why they think that nowadays boxers are more out-of-shape than in previous eras:
It's a logical fallacy that follows this pattern:
- "Look, how cut Tyson was. And Lennox Lewis."
- "And now look how nowadays boxers are out of shape"
What happens here is that EXCEPTIONAL CHAMPS (Klitschko, Tyson, Lewis) are compared to overall boxers (= the opponents in general): "Oh, how athletic Tyson was and now look how out-of shape Wlad's opponents are".
Or even worse:
- "Look how peak Tyson in his bestest world championship performance looked like"
- "And now compare him to modern boxers in the British title eliminator"
A correct comparison would be
champ compared to champ (e.g Klitschko compared to Larry Holmes)
champs' opponents compared to champs' opponents (i.e. Klitschko's opponents 200+ lbs compared to Ali's opponents 200+ lbs)
And when you line up the champs and opponents like this then it's more obvious that past eras have no athleticism edge on the current era.
Compare champs to champs
Champs' opponents to champs' opponents
In fact chubby champs (like Larry Holmes or Joe Frazier) are pretty normal.
And if you think that champs' opponents were in greater shape in previous eras then you have been spoiled by the Klitschkos' athleticism and the easy availability (TV, torrents, YouTube) of B-level and C-level fights.
The BMI (body mass index) is useless to assess how fat a boxer is
Sometimes fans try to "prove" that a boxer is overweight by calculating his BMI (Body Mass Index). Obviously it's a rather unknown fact that the BMI is not a method to calculate the obesity level for an individual but for a POPULATION (e.g. for comparisons across sub-groups over time).
The BMI does not distinguish between fat or muscles or between a certain kind of physique and clear obesity ("bull vs blubber").
Per BMI both Klitschkos are highly overweight and Prime Mike Tyson (= pure muscular manhood) would be OBESE level #1.
Thus instead the BMI boxing fans should rather use COMMON SENSE:
If you can see a six-pack then the boxer is NOT FAT.
You will have great difficulties to find
pictures of Muhammad Ali with a six-pack.
And let me tell you another "secret" that should actually be a no-brainer, but obviously isn't:
Just because someone is chubby
doesn't mean he has less muscles.
Calling someone "fat" is the favorite sport of keyboard warriors
Oh, what fun have haters to call nowadays' boxers "fat", "obese", "out of shape", "overweight", "in bad shape", "unconditioned" etc.
Just look at the pictures below. These are opponents of the Klitschkos:
The comments are ORIGINAL QUOTES about exactly the bodies that you SEE in these pictures (= the comments were made at fight time = when these pictures were taken).
The name calling got utterly bizarre and the fat level is completely blown out of proportion.
It also shows you how the complaints about "the dire state of the division" can be circular logic: The assumption that the heavyweight division is "dire" makes haters exaggerate the fat level, and then the exaggerated fat level is the proof for the dire state.
I can't even imagine what names Muhammad Ali and his opponents would have to hear nowadays.
Here is a quick reminder of how championship fights looked before the advent of modern heavies like Tyson or Klitschko. Featuring the all-American beauties Larry Holmes ("The EATON assassin") (the then-WBC champ) vs MuHAMad Ali just before their bout:
The MOST IMPORTANT reason why you shouldn't complain about fat boxers
But let me come now to the most important reason what is wrong with the complaint about fatty heavyweight boxers:
It's utterly unproven
that fat boxers are worse than
Of all the statements on this page the following is the most important:
There is no proof that fat (at heavyweight!) is a detriment.
If fat would be such an impediment then there wouldn't be successful chubby heavyweights.
Instead there are indications that fat is actually AN ADVANTAGE (at heavyweight) and thus chubby boxers are actually the MORE DANGEROUS opponents.
Just the fact alone that…
- Wladimir Klitschko had the most problems with guys like Everett Martin (overweight), Corrie Sanders (chubby) and Sam Peter (somewhat chubby)
- Vitali Klitschko lost to slightly chubby Lennox Lewis, couldn't KO Kevin Johnson, Shannon Briggs (slightly chubby), Chris Arreola (overweight), Dereck Chisora (chubby)
- while they had easy rounds against very athletic opponents (e.g. Eliseo Castillo, Albert Sosnowski etc)
- and overweight Ali and Larry Holmes and Nicolai Valuev were world champs for so long and compiled pretty impressive records
…should puzzle the athleticism fans.
That being chubby is not a proof of a dire state applies to other sports, too:
- There are sports where "athleties" are clearly better than "fatties": Pole-vault, hurdling etc.
- There are sports where "chubbies" are better than "athleties": Shot put, weight-lifting, sumo, Strongest man of the world contest etc.
Anybody who claims "Fat heavyweights are worse" does so without any proof whatsoever and thus it's a statement equivalent to
- "I am so upset that my favorite Sumo Wrestler doesn't come in cut shape"
- "This era of weightlifters is pitiful. They are all chubby!"
- " and ("It's raining men") could sing much better were they only in shape!"
_EVEN IF_ you could prove that athletic boxers perform better, then it's still pure speculation whether certain boxers (for example ·Chris Arreola or ·Chauncy Welliver) would perform better "had they fought in cut shape".
After watching fights for many years, I think that it's actually the chubby boxers who are more dangerous and more difficult than athletic boxers (at heavyweight).
Therefore I came to the following conclusions:
A good heavyweight can compensate for
his lack of body height (= his lack of body mass) by being chubby,
and would he be not chubby
his chances against tall boxers would decrease.
At heavyweight a boxer can be
as athletic as he is tall.
At heavyweight smaller a chubby heavyweight can cause more problems
than a smaller athletic heavyweight.
Mind you, I am talking about HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING, not about boxing in general.
In lower weight divisions the maximum allowed weight is limited (and therefore indirectly the body height) thus similar-sized boxers compete against other similar-sized boxers and therefore the athletic boxer (= usually the faster and more trained one) has an advantage. At heavyweight, where bodies can differ extremely, a chubby boxer might actually be the better one.
A conditioned fat boxer may be more dangerous than a conditioned athletic boxer
Try to remember how often you saw a fat boxer gas in a world championship?
It basically never happens, it's usually the athletic boxer who gasses (the more muscles the higher the need for a constant oxygen flow) ("Survival of the fattest").
It was athletic Foreman who gassed (1970ies), not fat Foreman (1990ies). And it was athletic Wladimir Klitschko who gassed. And it was athletic David Haye and who gassed.
Let me clarify again that it's not the fat that is bad but the un-conditioned'ness!
Because even when we use the word "fat" to describe a boxer, we don't talk about "some random fat guy from the pub". We talk about _trained & professional boxers_ who are not athletic YET CONDITIONED.
If you are well trained and you feel well at the weight you have then there is no argument (at heavyweight) against being fat.
However: If you are fat AND untrained then that's bad. Such a case may occur when an athletic boxer comes to fight FATTER than usual (= he trained less than he usually did).
But again, that's not a case of a "fat is bad" per se but of a
- "too-little-trained boxer" ("too many women, too little time")
- "unusually fat for his circumstances"
- "too fat athletic boxer"
But you can not deduct from the fat'ness of a boxer itself whether he is trained (conditioned) or not. Just as you cannot conclude that sumo wrestlers never train.
If being fat works for the boxer
then it works for the boxer
Boxing heavyweight world champions comparison
Let's check previous champs and whether they have been chubby or lean:
|Name||Start of career||Heavyweight world championships won||Heavyweight world championships won (200×2)||Average weight self||Average weight opponent||Body type|
|·Muhammad Ali||1960||22||19||211||204||early career athletic|
later career rather chubby or chubby.
With an average opponent weight of 204 lbs
Ali has barely something we consider a heavyweight record.
|·Roy Jones Jr||1989||1||0||167||167||Not a heavyweight|
|·Riddick Bowe||1989||5||5||234||226||rather athletic|
|·Michael Spinks||1977||3||2||177||181||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·George Foreman||1969||5||4||232||212||As a world champion in the 1970ies (3 wins) he was athletic|
as a world champion in the 1990ies (2 wins) he was chubby
|·Rocky Marciano||1947||7||0||184||192||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Joe Louis||1934||26||8||200||196||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·James J Jeffries||1895||8||1||214||185||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Oleg Maskaev||1993||2||2||234||235||rather athletic|
|·Samuel Peter||2001||2||2||245||239||rather chubby|
|·Corrie Sanders||1989||1||1||224||221||rather chubby|
|·Ray Mercer||1989||2||2||227||228||rather chubby|
|·Ingemar Johansson||1952||1||0||198||199||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Floyd Patterson||1952||8||0||180||187||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Tim Witherspoon||1979||3||3||227||227||rather athletic|
|·Primo Carnera||1928||3||2||267||208||rather athletic|
|·Oliver McCall||1985||2||2||234||229||rather athletic|
|·John Ruiz||1992||5||5||216||221||rather athletic|
|·James Buster Douglas||1981||1||1||236||220||rather chubby|
|·Chris Byrd||1993||5||5||209||223||rather chubby|
|·Ken Norton||1967||0||0||211||211||has not won a single world champion fight|
|·Gerrie Coetzee||1974||1||1||215||212||rather chubby|
|·Danell Nicholson||1992||1||1||222||229||rather chubby|
|·Trevor Berbick||1976||1||1||223||217||rather athletic|
|·Tony Tubbs||1980||1||1||238||222||rather chubby|
|·Max Baer||1929||1||1||204||198||Athletic but hardly a heavyweight|
|·James Smith||1981||1||1||244||227||rather athletic|
|·Pinklon Thomas||1978||3||3||216||215||rather athletic|
|·Max Schmeling||1924||2||0||181||181||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Jimmy Ellis||1961||2||0||181||185||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Jersey Joe Walcott||1930||2||0||188||189||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Jack Johnson||1897||7||3||196||190||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Ezzard Charles||1940||9||0||178||182||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Ernie Terrell||1957||3||1||201||202||athletic but barely a heavyweight|
|·Jess Willard||1911||2||2||230||198||rather athletic but barely a heavyweight record|
|·Jack Dempsey||1914||5||0||187||191||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Gene Tunney||1915||3||0||174||175||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Bob Fitzsimmons||1885||2||0||159||179||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Tommy Burns||1902||11||0||165||175||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Marvin Hart||1899||1||0||181||179||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Leon Spinks||1977||1||0||207||209||rather athletic, but is a bum|
|·James J Corbett||1886||2||0||182||180||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·Jack Sharkey||1924||1||0||191||193||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
|·John L. Sullivan||1879||0||0||203||190||chubby but barely a heavyweight record|
|·Jim Braddock||1926||1||0||174||180||CakaHweight (not a heavyweight)|
Fistic Statistic [#126.1]
As you can see it's far from clear that chubby boxers are bad or that athletic boxers are good. Would it not be for the 4 recent champs Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson and the Klitschkos chubby (and rather chubby) real heavyweight champs would have approximately as many real heavyweight wins as athletic (and rather athletic) heavyweight champs.
Who would be world champion if the Klitschkos weren't around?
All of the following guys are world champions or would be if the Klitschkos weren't around:
- ·Nikolay Valuev (chubby)
- ·Eddie Chambers (chubby)
- ·Sam Peter (chubby)
- ·Chris Byrd (chubby)
- ·Ruslan Chagaev (chubby)
- ·Sultan Ibragimov (chubby)
- ·Odlanier Solis (chubby)
- ·Kevin Johnson (chubby)
- ·Chris Arreola (chubby)
- ·Shannon Briggs (slightly chubby)
In other words: The TOP BOXERS of the planet (aside of the Klitschkos) are chubby. And even more: It's the chubby boxers that CAUSED THE BIGGEST problems to the Klitschkos or who couldn't get KO'ed.
And it's the slightly less athletic Klitschko brother (Vitali Klitschko) who was never knocked down in his heavyweight career.
Maybe you have to accept that
chubby heavyweight boxers IN GENERAL
are better heavyweight boxers
than athletic heavyweight boxers
EXCEPT if they have the luxury of being tall
"Watch out, Klitschko! Here I come… Once I finish my cheeseburger!"
Do not reduce a boxer's quality to his athleticism. Boxers can be athletic+bad or fat+good:
"He is fat!"
But is he fast or not?
"He is not athletic!"
But does he have a hard chin or not?
"He eats too much"
But does he have stamina or not?
"He trains at Burger King!"
But is he D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S ?
"His body! His body! I hate his body!"
But how is his P-E-R-F-O-R-M-A-N-C-E ?
It's far more important to be dangerous, fast and hard-chinned than to meet some Hollywood expectations.
Thus the correct response to the title of this chapter is: "OK, finish your burger and touch gloves!"
The heavyweight division is not a cruiser division for taller boys
The heavyweight division is a division in its own right: It's a unique division and it's neither good nor bad that there are fat boxers or athletic boxers (compare also to the Sumo fights Kirishima vs Konishiki). It's neither good nor bad that there are stiff boxers marching forward (Sam Peter, ·George Foreman) or slick movers (·David Haye, ·Eddie Chambers).
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Women's drool division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Athleticism division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "All-muscles-must-be-visible division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Great shape division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Rocky division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Muscle-to-fat-ratio division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Greek God division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Body fat percentage division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Dieters division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Chiseled Muscle division"
- The Heavyweight division is not the "Bodybuilder division"
It's none of those things. It's the heavyweight division because their division members are H-E-A-V-Y as they are supposed to be.
In lower divisions there are upper weight limits. That means that nearly all boxers are athletic and approximately same-sized (= the deviations from the typical body types are minimal). But at heavyweight you have not only different body builds (fat vs athletic) but also different body heights.
One of the reasons why heavyweight boxing is so exciting is because
all kinds of boxing styles
(with all the advantages and disadvantages)
meet all kinds of body types
(with all the advantages and disadvantages)
At Heavyweight you have special laws that don't apply to lower divisions:
- In lower weight divisions bodies are more or less standardized (similar weight, similar athleticism, similar height, …)
- In lower divisions speed kills. In the heavyweight division speed may kill.
- In lower division punch accuracy kills but at heavyweight it may kill. The same applies to other features like "punching power", "punch resistance", "punch count".
- In lower divisions you need to have the full package of speed, power, resistance, footwork, reaction, timing etc. At heavyweight you can become a world champion just by doing 1 or 2 things well.
- In lower divisions you basically only find athletic boxers of approximately the same height. In the heavyweight division you can find athletic natural cruisers (·Evander Holyfield types), overweight natural cruisers (Muhammad Ali types), athletic natural heavies (Wladimir Klitschko), bull-type natural heavyweights (Sam Peter) and sometimes overweight natural sub-cruisers (·James Toney)
It's almost as if heavyweight boxing would be a different sport than sub-heavyweight boxing.
You can't work at the Secret Service if you don't look like James Bond
Let's take a real example of one of Klitschko's opponents.
It's a boxer
- who in his last fight scored all-time #3 (punch output) in CompuBoxing's 25-year history
- while boxing with TWO injured hands (left hand broken in the 2nd round, right hand tendon torn in 9th round)
- knocked down his non-bummy[?] opponent 3 times and then won by wide decision (UD 117-108, 118-107, 118-107)
- who never gassed in his career
- who was never knocked down in his career (even against the opponent with the highest heavyweight KO'ratio of all time)
- who himself has one of the highest heavyweight KO'ratios of all time (fair KO'ratio nearly 90%+)
Seems good? Fits the definition of "impressive performance" and of "being in shape"?
Well, obviously not if the physique doesn't match the Hollywood's expectations to look like or Batman. Let's read what some boxing fans have to say:
"not only is he fat, but has to be the uglyest man I ever seen.."
"He need to gain chiseled muscle not tummy full of fat. "
"Fart slob, lazy, any questions?"
"His trainer did mention he came in heavier, but then went on to try and pass it off and and "In Shape" heavier. Which is a joke."
"He is junk for that Sport. WTF is going on with all these Lazy fat guys."
"He's AWFUL and always has been; as a boxing fan, his fights are an insult to the sport"
"Doesn't even deserve a TV slot "
"training camp isn't the training cantina or carneceria."
"He is a fat punk B class fighter who will never be that good because he cant train properly. Pathetic"
"anybody that doesn't properly prepare for each and every fight, is worthless in the ring, and taking advantage of the fans' support"
"a low life fat cockaroach"
(all original quotes)
Obviously boxing fans confuse the boxing ring with the catwalk.
The hate towards chubby boxers is especially ridiculous since an athletic heavyweight division is a Hollywood invention ("Rocky", "Hulk", "Batman"). It's pure fantasy. There never existed a heavyweight division 200+ lbs consisting of only lean boxers.
I don't mind if you don't ROOT for a chubby boxer, but this BLIND HATE DESPITE OF GOOD PERFORMANCE is too much and translates to "In the world of beautiful sportsmen YOU have no place" and "Tennis is a white sport for white people".
The truth about athletic eras
Since we now have the hardest hitting heavyweights of all time you may draw the conclusion that being fat is part of a natural evolution to be protected against extremely hard punches.
As some of you may know body-builders are prone to injuries. They have simply too little fat to buffer impacts. Even small falls can lead to severe bleedings and organ ruptures.
In other words: When you have an era with only little fatties in top rankings then it may be a sign that boxers had only a weak punch. Obviously the ability to take punches (punch resistance) gets more and more important the heavier the fighters are while the athletic agility (speed) gets less and less important. The correct conclusion thus would be: "A heavyweight era is featherfisted when there are many athleties" or "A heavyweight era is as powerful as there are fatties".
Maybe the perfect 200+ body type is someone who has a little fat buffer around his waist (= is a roundie but not a slobbie) somebody like ·Siarhei Liakhovich (and I am talking about his body type, not his boxing style since he always boxes as if he had the flu): Just watch Lyakovich (roundie) vs ·Evans Quinn (athletie). It's again the athletie that fails. Don't get me wrong: Athleticism is important in lower weight divisions (where speed kills while the punch itself is bearable). But when it comes to the heavyweight division then different rules apply.
Why you should never mention Ken Norton
Ken Norton is THE prime example that is brought up by athleticism-fans. ·Ken Norton ("The black Hercules") always appeared in shape and never boxed below 200 lbs, thus he comes extremely close to the dream of the "perfectly cut natural heavy".
Yet, what happened when he fought against the hardest hitters of his career (Foreman, Cooney, Shavers)? He was brutally knocked out (KO2, KO1, KO1). All his experience and skills were worthless. Some protective fat might have helped instead. Sometimes fat prevents being schooled more than experience.
Thus never mention the athleticism of Ken Norton without mentioning his performance against heavy punchers. Bull-type Samuel Peter survived Wladimir Klitschko, and fatty Chris Arreola survived Vitali Klitschko. Had Ken Norton been fatter he might have survived Foreman.
- I am so sorry for you that modern heavies don't look like your favorite fantasy fighter. But nobody forces you to watch heavyweight boxing. If you so much prefer athleticism then watch cruiserweight or welterweight.
- That "muscles are better than fat at heavyweight" is an utterly unproven statement based on movies like "Rocky" or "Hulk" or on long-gone eras which consisted of cruisers and former cruisers (= fighters with a cruiser-physique). Read also Boxing eras (1) The best heavyweight era of all time -OR- Is Roy Jones Jr. a better cruiser than Rocky Marciano?
- Fat is protective and is an indicator for the punch-power of an era. Thus a lot of chubbies may be a hallmark of an era whereas a lot of athletic heavies may be a sign of a butterfly era (= featherfisted pumped up cruisers like Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer, Muhammad Ali,…). If you have an era where the champs are featherfists (Frazier 44% KO'Ratio in real[?] heavyweight fights, Ali 34% KO'Ratio in real heavyweight fights) then opponents (like Ken Norton) have the luxury of being athletic. Thus all pictures of athletic opponents of Clay/Ali are actually a proof of how punch-weak (not necessarily bad) the era was.
- Fat is the stuff that can make heavyweight so exciting because (with a few exceptions) only at heavyweight you can see clashes of different body types and different boxing styles.
And last not least:
If you want to see proportional bodies
then watch the number girls.