Boxing eras (5) The worst heavyweight era of all time! -OR- Americans play Basketball now!

HOW MANY ALIFANS do you need to screw in a light bulb?

Four.

One will screw in the light bulb and three will discuss how much better light bulbs were in Ali's times.

 

This joke approximately sums up the attitude of AliFans (and American and British boxing fans in general) towards modern heavyweight boxing:

The 1960s? Pure talent!

The 1970s? Oh, my god! The Golden Age of heavyweight boxing!

The 1980s? Fades in comparison to the 1970s!

The 1990s? Worse heavyweight era!

The 2000s? Terrible, because the last great American heavyweights retired!

And now? We live in the worst heavyweight boxing era of all time.

Please note: This article is part of my multi-part heavyweight boxing eras comparison:

 

Here are a few examples:

  • "the K-bros are not unbeatable. its been done before it can be done again, but not in this shitty HW era""
  • "Wlad beats no person worth anything. You have your head so deep up the K_bros azz , your nose has peanut butter stuck on it."
  • "the Klitschkos are dominating a mediocre heavyweight era"
  • "Wlad reigns in a relatively weak era compared to some other era's that produced True Greats"
  • "Help me from this pain I feel. Will the heavyweight division ever get better? They are all big turds."
  • "The Heavyweight Division is abysmal and has been for a number of years now!"
  • "the bros are great fighters in a very weak era nothing more nothing less"
  • "The standard of Heavyweight Boxing at present is poor, it's a FACT!"
  • "Wladimir Klitschko's trainer is an opportunist. An idiot could train that big Ukranian muthaf*cka to beat the sh*t out of these tomato cans."
  • "Klitschkos vs anybody has been a bore for a decade. Can we please search the earth for real fighters who can make a difference? It has been painful watching the top 25 heavyweights dance their way into history's worst era in boxing"
  • "Look at the sad state of today's heavyweight division. Vitali Klitschko appears to be the best of a talentless crop of heavyweights."
  • "this toilet bowl of an era"
  • "This era is the biggest running joke in sports"
  • "I'm definitely not a fan of the Klit brothers. That being said it's not their fault that the division is at an all time low"
  • (all original quotes)

Well, you get the point.

The haters stopped a long time ago to come up with concrete explanations why this era should be considered bad.
Now it's merely "We*must*hate*era*we*love*no*heavyweights".

It's just strange that Americans/Britons never give a proper an answer to the following question:

If the current era is so weak
then why doesn't an American/Briton rule it?

Sometimes I get the feeling that this broken record ("This era is bad") indoctrinates THE SAME TYPE OF PEOPLE who have been easily indoctrinated by Ali's broken record ("I am the greatesss") since usually the people who complain about this era are the same people who want to convince everyone "How fabulous Ali's era was".

BUT ASK YOURSELF:

How do you differentiate one era from another?

 

1300+ fighters form the bulk of Ali's era (= Ali + opponents + opponents' opponents).

How would you know that these 1300+ fighters are from era X and not form era Y?

How do you define out of thousands of fighters that "those thousand" are worse than "these thousand"?

Fighters fight. Fighters brawl. Fighters bleed. Fighters are happy when they win and sad when they lose. It's always the same.

 

Ali has faced 50 different opponents. How do you know that these 50 opponents were any good? How many of their other fights did you watch? Do you honestly claim that the opponents of these 50 fighters (= Ali's opponents' opponents) are superior to, letsay, Lennox Lewis' opponents' opponents?

Do you claim that you watched all 2600+ fights that Ali's opponents fought and seriously concluded that these 2600+ fights are superior to the 1800+ fights that Lennox Lewis' opponents fought?

Do you claim that I could show you some random unknown boxers from 3 eras and you could tell me which era is which?

It's a ridiculous claim, but this is basically at the core of the claim that this era (which consists of hundreds of fights)
is worse than Ali's/ Holmes'/ Lennox'/ Tyson's era (which also consists of hundreds of fights).

The graphics feature uniques (= 3 fights against the same opponent counts as 1 unique opponent). More graphics at Graphics.

Now, let me tell you a way how you can tell whether an era is better than the other.

It's a simple method AND EVERYBODY KNOWS IT:

General rule #1

Every era (= consisting of hundreds of fighters)
is better than the previous one
because sportsmen get better and better
from generation to generation.

Everybody knows it. It's a no-brainer. It's obvious.

(The only exception would be in times of catastrophes (epidemics, wars), thus eras like the Mack/Marciano era might break the continuity).

Thus anybody who claims that this era is "dire" has the burden of proof. Not the ones who claim that this era is good have to prove it. Instead the ones who claim that Ali's era (= an era 40-50 years ago) is much better have to prove it.

And by "prove it" I mean _concrete proofs_ (not non-answers like "If you don't see it then you are blind"):

  • a proof that training methods are worse than 40+ years ago
  • a proof that sports nutrition (and pharmaceuticals) are worse than 40+ years ago
  • a proof that the fighting knowledge of trainers is worse than 40+ years ago
  • a proof that the preparation methods for a fight (sparring, video taping, computer aided practice) is worse than 40+ years ago
  • a proof that past-time techniques would equally work on nowadays opponents who are bigger and stronger

And don't only compare champs:

Compare the totality of an era, including the champs' B- and C-level opponents. Because already these opponents have a worse sport nutritional background than nowadays (protein milk shakes, amino acids, computer aided training etc).

 

 

Comparing CHAMPS of different eras

THE ONLY QUESTION (= the only point worthy a discussion) about the quality of an era is whether the TOP GUY (champ) of an era is better than the TOP GUY of another era (= "Is Larry Holmes better than Joe Louis?").

But again, since the hundreds of fighters of an era have better sports nutrition and better training methods it means that the winners won against better overall opposition and the winners amongst the winners (= champs) won against even better opposition.

This is also visible when you consider that ancient boxers like ·Archie Moore and ·Sugar Ray Robinson had 200+ fights on their records which is CLEARLY a sign of weak opposition (fighting for a few dollars) since nobody could withstand 200+ fights against good opposition.

But even if you think that the previous champ is better than the current champ then at least you have to accept that…

General rule #2

Any heavyweight champ (= the top guy of an era)
can be competitive in any era.

-and-

General rule #3

Certain fighting styles  may be competitive in any era.
Masters of "escape-ology" like ·Chris Byrd ("defensive wizards")
might be competitive even 50 years from now.

 

 

"Heavyweight boxing is so bad right now"

These ads demonstrate approximately the difference between Muhammad Ali's times and today.

Bodybuilding Ad in our times:

bodybuilding-now
"Sick pumps
Sick results"

Bodybuilding Ad in Ali's times:

bodybuilding 1954
"Muscular
red-blooded
head-to-toe
HE-MAN"

Can you imagine such an ad nowadays? It would be ridiculous.

If you want to know the difference between nowadays era and Ali's era, then compare these ads and watch some black and white soccer matches from the 1960ies and compare them to nowadays. It's a difference like between foosball and football.

In athletics nearly all world records have been set since 1980+. There is hardly any world record left from the 1970ies or 1960ies as you can see from the (WikiPedia) List of World Championships in Athletics records.

Now, I understand that athletics is not combat sport, but that doesn't change the fact that the burden of proof is on those who claim that combatants have been getting worse and worse since 50 years.

This applies ESPECIALLY to heavyweight boxing, since in lower weight division you have a body weight limit (equivalent to a leg length limit in athletics), whereas at heavyweight there is no such limit. Thus welterweights (then) and welterweights (now) might indeed be more similar than heavyweights of different eras.

But if someone claims that "All sports get better EXCEPT heavyweight boxing" then he is obviously fooling himself.

"I don't buy the idea that today's fighters are not as good as the old fighters. If you had asked Joe Frazier if he could beat me when I was at my best, he would have said, "Hell yeah."
That's the way boxing goes. I think I could beat the next generation of fighters but the reality of history is that the fighters get better and better, bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger. I think the heavyweight scene is pretty good right now. The Klitschkos are doing great."

Mike Tyson

I am also open to an argument that combat sport can reach a peak where there is hardly any more advancement (e.g. from the 1980s onwards), but to claim that the sport of boxing peaked in the 1930ies (Joe Louis) is ridiculous.

 

 

The main reasons why the current heavyweight division is worse than in previous eras

Over and over again I witnessed that fans think that previous eras were better because of the following reasons:

(#1) Fans compare PEAK performances of a champ ("Lennox Lewis Career Highlight YouTube Clip") to the overall performance of a current champ.

Or fans watch signature bouts of whole eras ("DVD with the 10 best fights of the 1960s to 1970s") and then compare them to some random fight of today.

This reason applies to all weight divisions, not only to heavyweight and I mentioned it already at Boxing eras (2) Current heavyweights are fat and out of shape -OR- Ali and the mystery of the six-pack (chapter "Comparing cavalry to infantry").

After watching hundreds of boxers of the past I can honestly say that there is NOTHING special about them, except for the following "fantastic four of the past":

  • ·Mike Tyson (due to being tiny and furious)
  • ·George Foreman (for to his annihilating punching style, for having 2 remarkable careers, for putting Ali's supposedly good opponents where they objectively belong, for being the oldest heavyweight world champ, for his lean mean fat reducing grilling machine)
  • ·Sugar Ray Robinson (welterweight, middleweight) (for his total body of work = the best boxing record of all boxers of all time)
  • Prime ·Roy Jones Jr (sub-heavyweight) (due to his smarts 'n' speeds)

All the other boxers of the past are very comparable to nowadays' boxers or are even grossly overrated (especially the boxers of the 1970s) and I couldn't discover anything special about them.

 

(#2) The second most important reason is that Americans (and Britons) like a certain fighting style ("Excitement is when they slug it out") which the current champs (= the Klitschkos) don't deliver because they perfected the art of keeping their opponents at bay. But this is a topic of its own and is analyzed at Heavyweight boxing died since boring Wladimir Klitschko killed the division -OR- American and British Complainers

 

(#3) The third most important reason is that boxing fans watch how the current champs (= the Klitschkos) have NO PROBLEMS in dispatching their opponents and hence conclude that the opponents were weak.

The correct approach would be to watch their previous fights (= not against the Klitschkos) and then realize that the Klitschkos "bummify" their opponents, because they are such skilled boxers (and not because the opponents are so bad).

See also: Heavyweight boxing died since boring Wladimir Klitschko killed the division -OR- American and British Complainers

 

 

Are the Klitschkos not black enough? -OR- "The great white hope is too white to be be great!"

Now you don't need to go as far as to claim that the American disdain for the current era is somehow racially-founded

"TRANSLATION: "Heavyweight division sucks" = "There are no black heavyweights who can beat Wlad"
(original quote)

but here is something (that someone else wrote) which I find the correct summary of the current situation:

"If former Soviet Union fighters were allowed to travel and fight professionally back in the days, I am sure there would of been less American legends like Ali, Tyson, Foreman. That is what people fail to understand. Americans are big, big, nationalists. If another country is more dominant in a sport then Americans, Americans don't want to cover it and discredit the state of that sport. The reason that heavyweight devision is in this state is that the fine brothers dispatched everyone who could have or would have. If Klitschkos were black and Americans they would be on every TV channel, everyday. Their accomplishments would have be elevated to out of the world proportions. Every fighter that they would have fought would have been considered the biggest threat. That is a FACT. But if it's Ukrainians.. "Who the hell are they and why bother? We will just say that this division is dead as we got no one left to represent us!"

Boxing is a world known sport, not American sport. If Americans can't produce a descent fighter, then it is their fault and not this eras fault. Stop making excuses as it is very obvious what you are doing. It just happens that America has a great history of boxing and that is where the money is, but remember, back in the days Americans only fought Americans, and American world legends were born, as almost no other country competed professionaly. Now, once European fighters emerge, kick ass, destroy… "the boxing is dead".

Bullsh*t.

Klitschkos have a museum in Ukraine that showcases their achievements, hundreds of medals, different titles, memorabilia through the roof. I would assume to have a museum you would need lots of materials to show, so I don't think they got all that by not being what they are, super successful athletes, with boxing skills beyond of any proportions. Many years of training, sweat and victories got them there. Now, they come to America, whoop ass and all they get that "they are boring", "competition is not good enough" and so on. Have you ever thought that they are just that freaking good? So the Klits are not the problem, the contenders are not the problem, the Klitschkos' skills are the problem for many. You know it, I know it, the whole world knows it."

(original quote)

and

"Let's just say Wladimir was an American and his name was was "Tommie Williams". He would be a God here just like he is in Germany… Your old heavies couldn't stand a chance against Wladimir either no matter how many praising articles get written and how much criticism is placed on the current undisputed champ. Rewatch Saturday's fight with eyes on Wlad as if you loved and adored him and you'll see just how all around good he is."

(original quote)

and an example from tennis:

"Any dominant non-American athlete is hated by Americans for the most part. Many of them think they're entitled to be the best at everything, and when they're not they start whining. Just take a look at tennis boards for example and look all the clowns that are starting "weak era" threads week after week since Federer broke Sampras' GS record."

(original quote)

 

 

Once I even read why BLACKS in the USA are supposedly the superior race:

Because of slavery!

Only the toughest survived the trip from Africa and only the toughest survived the life in America, thus black descendants of the former slaves have supposedly superior bodies, thus when black Americans don't rule boxing anymore it's a sign of a global crisis.

This ignorant argument basically sums up as "We are the strongest and if you beat us then there is a global crisis, otherwise there isn't any explanation how you could beat us".

Another ridiculous theory why American boxers are supposedly superior is that some of them (e.g. Mike Tyson) are descendants of so called "super slaves", produced by slave dealers by combining only the "best selection of slaves". *uff*

 

 

Heavyweight Boxing at the Olympic Games

OK, so what about the Olympic Games?

Didn't US Olympic Athletes dominate East-Bloc'ers?

"No way todays American heavies are as good as the ones from the past. Back in the days Americans ruled over the world!"

 

Hmm, let's actually check it how US athletes performed at the Olympic Games (= the only major place where they could meet Eastern-Europeans):

  • 1960: Italy wins at heavyweight, South Africa 2nd, Soviet bloc 3rd.
    Soviet Bloc wins 3x more medals than the USA.
  • 1964: USA (·Joe Frazier) wins a close decision at heavyweight, Soviet Bloc 3rd.
    USSR+Poland win 6x more gold medals than the USA.
    Soviet bloc wins everything from middleweight to featherweight
  • 1968: USSR wins the most Gold medals.
    USA (·George Foreman) wins at heavyweight. Soviet bloc 2nd.
  • 1972: Cuba wins at heavyweight. Soviet Bloc 2nd
  • 1976: Cuba wins at heavyweight. Soviet Bloc 2nd
  • 1980: USA boycotts the games. Cuba wins at heavyweight. Soviet Bloc 2nd
  • —- Superheavyweight Division is established 201+ lbs —-
  • 1984: Soviet Bloc boycotts the games. USA wins a record 9 gold medals.
  • 1988: Canada (·Lennox Lewis) wins at superheavyweight
  • 1992: Cuba, Germany, Italy win everything from superheavyweight to light-welterweight
  • 1996: Soviet Bloc (·Wladimir Klitschko) wins at superheavyweight.
    Cuba and Soviet Bloc win everything from superheavyweight to middleweight
  • 2000: Great Britain (·Audley Harrison) wins at superheavyweight, Soviet Bloc 2nd.
    Cuba (·Felix Savon) wins at heavyweight, Soviet Bloc (·Sultan Ibragimov) 2nd.
    Cuba and Soviet Bloc win everything from heavyweight to bantamweight.
  • 2004: Soviet Bloc (·Alexander Povetkin) wins at superheavyweight, Cuba (·Odlanier Solis) wins at heavyweight, Soviet Bloc 2nd.
  • 2008: Italy wins at superheavyweight, Soviet Bloc (·Rakhim Chakhkiev) wins at heavyweight
  • 2012: Great Britain wins at superheavyweight, Soviet Bloc wins at heavyweight and light heavyweight.

Sorry, I see absolutely no dominance (USA > Soviet Bloc) here, especially since Cuba was actually part of the Soviet Bloc. Thus the only major place where the US actually competed against the Soviet bloc (= at Olympics) the US boxers were far from dominant in the last 50+ years.

Now, I actually don't care too much about Olympic Boxing (since it's a different sport than pro boxing). But this argument ("USA always ruled over Soviet Bloc boxers thus this era sucks as witness by the sudden lack of US dominance") pops up from time to time, thus I needed to address it here.

In reality the US pro-boxers never "ruled over the Soviet bloc" because they hardly ever faced professional East-Bloc'ers.

Add to it that they hardly ever fought OUTSIDE of the US and you see that the 50ies-70ies are mainly consisting of "locals fighting locals" and thus the "era of the Greats" was rather the "era of the States". Some went even so far as to claim that it wasn't the "1970ies heavyweight division" but the "1970ies heavyweight illusion".

That Soviets weren't allowed to compete in pro boxing was a political decision of the Soviet bloc. As soon as borders opened US boxers got dethroned.

 

 

Cassius Clay won the heavyweight title at the Olympics, didn't he?

No, he didn't. This is one the stubborn myths. Muhammad Ali didn't win the heavyweight title, neither the superheavyweight title, neither the cruiserweight title.

Neither as Muhammad Ali, nor as Cassius Clay.

And he didn't throw any medal in the river. You didn't believe it anyway, did you?

In 1960 (when Clay took part) the heavyweight Gold medal was won by Italy, South Africa won the Silver medal, Soviet Bloc and Germany won the Bronze medal.

 

 

"All the good American sportsmen play Basketball and Gridiron now"

Oh, sure. All the Evander Holyfields (6'2"), Rocky Marcianos (5'10"), Mike Tysons (5'10") and Joe Fraziers (5'11") play basketball now.

It's as ridiculous as claiming that "Americans ruled in the Golden Age of Boxing because Englishmen played Golf".

See also: Wladimir Klitschko only wins by outweighing his opponents

The opposite is probably true: Since Eastern Europeans are hardly interested in Basketball and Gridiron (e.g. American Football) Americans can still be at top in these sport fields.

And I wonder why Muhammad Ali wasn't playing basketball if it was so much better. And I wonder why some of the current top basketball players don't decide to step into the ring with the Klitschkos to earn millions, if it's so easy.

But wait! It's not only American football and basketball:

"Klitschko brothers Doing their BEST at this Time when HW Boxing is Low cos of OTHER INTEREST like Gangster Music"

(original quote)

What the heck...

Probably that's also the reason why there is no Irish world champion: Because he's piping the bag instead of punching it.

 

"There are much more NBA/NFL teams in the US now than in previous eras"

Sure there are. The US population is now twice as large as in Ali's times thus there are more teams. There should still be enough population to find 1 Klitschko-conqueror if the USA was always the "toppest of the game", shouldn't there?

 

 

"All the good fighters are at MMA"

Interestingly UFC (Ultimate fighting = MMA mixed martial arts) is pretty much alive in the US. Americans who complain about the terrible state of boxing think on the other hand that MMA is great. Since a fighter can make so much more money in boxing it leaves only 1 conclusion: American fighters choose MMA (instead of boxing) because they can not compete against modern boxers.

Currently as I write this (2010) these are UFC statistics:

  • Hall of fame (100% Americans):
  • Heavyweight (90% Americans):
  • Light-Heavyweight (93% Americans):
  • Middleweight (80% Americans)
  • Welterweight (90% Americans)
  • Lightweight (90% Americans)

Thus again MMA gives the same illusion as did the Golden Age of Boxing: As long as you have Americans ruling the sport is "fun" and "exciting" and a proof of "dominance".

I have no doubt that the American hype machine (should they ever need to) could even hype up…

Transsexual Judo!

Already expect MMA to become "dire", "boring" and "the worst era ever" as soon as more countries will decide to compete and start to dethrone Americans. The opposite is also true: As soon as Americans will be BOXING world champions again MMA may lose a large part of its appeal. But so far hardly anybody overseas is interested in MMA thus the hype machine still runs oiled.

 

 

End words

That this heavyweight era is bad is nothing but a misconception of  fans (mostly Americans and British) and experts (mostly Americans).

A heavier, stronger (= punch power), more global, more diversified, more number-of-boxers time has never existed.

Please also read Heavyweight boxing died since boring Wladimir Klitschko killed the division -OR- American and British Complainers and Wladimir Klitschko sucks because he KOs his opponents

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Rating: 4.4/5 (24 votes cast)
Boxing eras (5) The worst heavyweight era of all time! -OR- Americans play Basketball now!, 4.4 out of 5 based on 24 ratings
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Comments (21)

  • Anonymous says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Jeji Puma]
    #100 (2011-03-03rd)

    This blog utterly SUCKS!

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    Rating: 1.7/5 (15 votes cast)
  • Anonymous says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Jeji Puma]
    #101 (2011-03-03rd)

    Seriously, it blows donkey dick!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 1.7/5 (11 votes cast)
  • Anonymous says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Jeji Puma]
    #102 (2011-03-03rd)

    Are you a total moron or are you just begging for attention? What you know about boxing could fit on the back of a stamp in large print.

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    Rating: 1.3/5 (12 votes cast)
  • Anonymous says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Jeji Puma]
    #104 (2011-03-04th)

    Biggest load of crap I've ever read, the whole lot of it. Kill yourself!

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    Rating: 1.5/5 (13 votes cast)
  • Anonymous says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Poje Bivu]
    #108 (2011-03-15th)

    First boxingblog I've seen dealing properly with statistics and coming to plausible conclusions. To the haters: Audiatur et altera pars

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    Rating: 4.2/5 (14 votes cast)
  • bcs says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Bymo Wedi]
    #495 bcs (2011-07-05th)

    While I suspect that you may have a little more invested in the Klitschkos than is mentally healthy … I do love a man that can lay out a good argument. And you sir, lay out an excellent argument. Notice that the best your detractors can do is along the lines of "blow donkey dick".

    LOL.

    Man up fellas. The author is giving you a thrashing. Is that the best you can do?

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (11 votes cast)
  • Galactus says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Vyno Peli]
    #3864 Galactus (2012-04-08th)

    I agree with everything except saying that MMA fighters are in MMA because they are no good at boxing. I think a lot of MMA fighters enjoy the combination of wrestling, submission, and 8 limb striking (fists(2), elbows(2), Kicks(2) knees(2). Other than that, spot on.

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  • Bruce Crichton says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Sivu Valy]
    #4019 Bruce Crichton (2012-07-03rd)

    Seriously? You've only seen 4 noteworthy fighters from boxing history?

    Who have you been watching? Were you not impressed with Thomas Hearns? Marvin Hagler? Bob Foster at light-heavyweight?

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    Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  • Mr. Objective says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Wewi Nuwa]
    #4155 Mr. Objective (2012-08-15th)

    REALLY THE BEST AND THE MOST SOLID AND DECENT BOXING BLOG EVER. So much unique information. Author you need to do some advertising, this great job deserves to be heard of. HUGE RESPECT MAN! All the best!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (4 votes cast)
    • Admin says:
      flag
      [ip2username: Suva Mywo]
      #4185 Admin (2012-09-02nd)

      Only the real fans and experts can grasp the statements of this blog.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)
  • Ned Foyle says:
    flag
    [ip2username: Moe Jigu]
    #5278 Ned Foyle (2012-11-12th)

    The haters once again prove the old adage correct; the truth hurts. The fact is black and hispanic fighters were built up as superior while fighting it out amongst themselves and with a very, very small group of white fighters in the US. Once whites began fighting in higher numbers and taking away the championship belts from large numbers of non-white fighters at 150 lbs up, the hate brigade began banging the drums full tilt. All because what is now seen is a more equitable distribution of titles among different groups.

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  • Bruce Crichton says:
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    [ip2username: Wagy Gope]
    #5397 Bruce Crichton (2012-12-07th)

    Hello mate.

    "This is also visible when you consider that ancient boxers like ·Archie Moore and ·Sugar Ray Robinson had 200+ fights on their records which is CLEARLY a sign of weak opposition (fighting for a few dollars) since nobody could withstand 200+ fights against good opposition."

    This is a fair point though both Ancient Archie and the Sugar man were kings of their era.

    http://www.boxing.com/news/comments/boxing.com_all_time_middleweight_poll_windmill_keeps_on_turning

    Try not to laugh to hard at the comments on this weight division. I know that heavyweight boxing is your thing and not middleweight boxing but this update made me laugh:

    "beaujack 05:56am, 12/07/2012
    Correct, it HAS to be Harry Greb as the top middleweight EVER and in my eyes the best P4P boxer ever….When I was a lad my dad would tell me of the night in 1922 at MSG when the MW Greb 12 or so pounds lighter than Gene Tunney gave Tunney a horrendous whipping over 15 rounds. So much blood shed by Tunney…Greb in his prime was called the “human windmill” for a good reason. HE WAS! My criteria for choosing Harry Greb is simple: What other middleweight can you name that could beat these BIGGER men that Greb beat as Gene Tunney, Tommy Loughran, Tommy Gibbons, Jack Dillon, Maxie Rosenbloom, Bill Brennan (4 times), Kid Norfolk, Gunboat Smith, roly poly Willie Meehan, etc, time and again???
    And lest we forget for the last 5 years or so with the use of only ONE EYE.
    Greb was almost surreal in his 300 bout career, and surely deserves the accolade as the best middleweight ever…
    "

    My response is the very next one. As it is, it is possible that Sugar Ray Robinson could have beaten later kings such as Hagler and Monzon but it's not a given and all 3 men were kings of their respective era. As it is, Robinson's record is distorted by having fought on far too long and having started his career very young thus making his number of fights much higher than others. His sad end is testament to the fact that he did fight on too long but that's another story entirely.

    My comment was this :

    "Ah, ‘black is white’ reasoning.

    I note that Gene Tunney beat Greb in 4 out of 5 of their matches but, if he (Greb) was able to beat all those men with only one eye then it can’t have been a great era.

    How much of a slagging would Hagler, Monzon et al get for even facing an opponent with one eye, let alone losing to one?

    Same goes for the early 70’s when the undisputed heavyweight champ was blind in one eye. Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield, Lewis and the K brothers would all get massacred for even entering the ring with such an opponent, let alone losing to one?"

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    • Tommo says:
      flag
      [ip2username: Puga Lyxo]
      #5649 Tommo (2013-03-25th)

      I for one am glad America got thrashed out of boxing. It's amusing to watch how bad their sportsmanship really is. It should have been readily apparent to them back in the days that as soon as it became global, especially if the eastern bloc opened up, that they were going to get there asses kicked hard. :)

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
      • Tommo says:
        flag
        [ip2username: Xupa Gyko]
        #6127 Tommo (2013-04-21st)

        On flipside though there seems to be a lot of bad sportsmanship coming out of the former soviet union also. I guess really it's probably the same. Americans need to start training harder to keep up with their Russian counterparts who are schooled to box when they are old enough to walk. Very hard to compete with that in lazy America.

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  • ian says:
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    [ip2username: Xeni Suda]
    #6163 ian (2013-05-08th)

    Absolute 100% truth, you know even if you dont want to believe this or you are a stupid black american, it is just the TRUTH , simple as that . Hows some of the comments here like it blows donkey dick , how f*cking stupid are these morons, they cant even come up with a decent objective argument, just this article sucks or it blows donkey dick, f*cking idiots. YOU HAVE WRITTEN WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS THOUGHT AND BELIEVED , WHEN I READ THIS IS A BAD ERA , HOW IN GODS NAME CAN IT POSSIBLY BE A BAD ERA, I FIRMLY BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT EVEN FIGHTERS LIKE CHRIS BYRD, SAM PETER ,ROSS PURITY, AND ALL THESE GUYS WOULD EASILY BEAT FRASER AND ALI AND THOSE 70s FIGHTERS, SO IMAGINE WHAT KLITSCHKO WOULD VE DONE TO THOSE 70s CLOWNS.IT IS A GLOBAL ERA NOW NOT A LIMITED AMERICAN ERA.

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    • Tommo says:
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      [ip2username: Loze Xivu]
      #6387 Tommo (2013-07-28th)

      Ali to be totally fair and honest would be able to compete with SOME of Wlad's and Lennox's opponents. If he chose to fight in the HW division and not the Cruisers he could probably steal some fights. A prime Ali for instance does have good chances with his extra height and range coupled with his own speed to pick off Byrd from a distance for a UD win.

      Of course Byrd really is what nostalgists try to make out Ali is but clearly is not. Ali would find himself up against another guy he never dreamed was possible in his own era again but for different reasons. An opponent who can stand right in front of him and not get hit, so elusive he is practically a ghost! I would tip Byrd to UD Ali.

      And yes you are right about Sam Peter too. Peter was trouble for Wlad, knocked him down several times and kept him off balance all fight. Ali struggled with Frazier which is a tiny, piss weak and chinny version of Peter. I also think Peter would knock Ali out!

      Ross Puritty however I think Ali would win UD. The only reason Ross managed to beat Wlad is because Wlad gassed out. Wlad was clearly outboxing Puritty though the entire fight. The smaller Ali would not gas out over 12. Bigger fighters like Wlad just need to conserve their energy better. Skillwise, Puritty is a sh*t boxer, have to give Ali that much credit!

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  • Jamie says:
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    [ip2username: Dazy Mome]
    #6403 Jamie (2013-07-29th)

    3 ko losses to mediocre opponents doesn't look too good for old Wlad.

    You are right about Americans ignoring the rest of the boxing world however.

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    • Tommo says:
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      [ip2username: Loze Xivu]
      #6421 Tommo (2013-07-31st)

      Mediocre is a relative term. Brewster and Sanders would definitely hold a belt in the 70's no question and would have been decent oppoenents in any later era. Even Puritty who is a terrible boxer is still a tanker. He hits hard and he can take a lot of punches. Pretty much a real HW version of George Chuvalo.

      3 losses to hard punching opponents early in career and then never losing and improving since looks like the best career ever if you ask me. Seriously who has had as many HW fights as Wlad with such little losses, never ONCE was a loss a result of being outboxed either!

      Take Ali, Brewster and Sanders and Puritty are so much tougher opponents than Frazier, Norton and Spinks. Not one of the losses Ali suffered had the punching power to bother Wlad (or even Ali really), these opponents won by OUTBOXING Ali!

      Wlad has never been outboxed or dropped by such flimsy opposition. Ali has!

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  • uraz says:
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    [ip2username: Byzo Jexi]
    #6430 uraz (2013-08-02nd)

    I dont know a lot about boxing, but it is obvious that it requires speed, power and cordination. Considering this, it would be sensible for you to carefully watch moden day basketball and football before dismissing that there might be a talent flight from boxing to other sports in the US. The combination of size, speed, power and coordination that the majority of offensive positions in the nfl have is unmatched. The same can also be said for certain positions in basketball like power forward and center and even some of the small forwards. Plus, basketball players, on top of their size, speed and coordination tend to have very long wingspans. Carefully watch Lebron Lames and imagine him train for boxing all of his life. He might be the fastest and quickest person in all sports in that height and weight (202m, 220kg). Throughout his career he has consistently out maneuvered players 10 to 15kg lighter than him with his speed alone. Similar arguments can be made for other bball players like, Ron Artest, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, Ben Wallace, Carmelo Anthony. And some old timers that also seem to be good candidates are, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Alonzo Morning, David Robinson and Shaquile O'neal. For football just look at the physical stats of all the tight ends, linebackers and tackles. Considering the physical measurements, and observing their on court performance, it is inexplicable how you are not able to see tremendous validity in the talent flight argument. All the athletes referred in this paragraph are of roughly the same size, definitely quicker and more explosive and most have larger wingspans than the Klit brothers. All of them essentially posses physical qualities that are more conducive to boxing than the Klit brothers. This is especially true for the attributes that are more difficult to improve by training, like speed, explosiveness coordination and wingspan. Continuing with the Lebron comparison: from the footage it can be seen that Lebron is bigger, longer, faster and more coordinated than the Klit brothers, the only question is his strength. He is most likely weaker than them. But out of all physical attributes strength might be the one most responsive to training. At this point it might appear that I am claiming that Lebron is a better boxer than the Klit brothers. That’s obviously not what I am saying. But considering that the worlds best basketball player obviously has physical attributes better suited to be a heavy weight boxer than the person who is currently dominating the sport, it is obvious that the talent flight theory has a lot of credibility. And if Lebron does not fit the bill of what you consider to be modern HW boxing talent feel free to look into the physical attributes and footage of any of the above mentioned bball players, especially Shaquile O'neal.

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  • mike says:
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    [ip2username: Say Lobe]
    #6526 mike (2013-10-04th)

    Let me add a set of facts to add to your arsenal in the battle against those that use the excuse that all the good American boxers are hiding in the NFL. The countries that play world cup rugby have a total population about equal to that of America. There are far more potential heavyweight boxers playing world cup rugby than playing NFL gridiron. Rugby requires far more stamina than American football; every player has to run, pass, catch, tackle. There are no fat guys on the rugby field. There are no specialists such as kickers, quarterbacks or wide receivers that would have zero chance of making it in heavyweight boxing. World cup rugby has already produced some athletes such as Sonny Bill Williams who have had moderate success in heavyweight boxing. He's had better success than say Too Tall Jones who was KOed in his first fight by a sub-journeyman Abraham Meneses and after that never fought a man with a winning record. The American fight promoters were so disappointed that their prize 6'9" future heavyweight champ Jones was KOed in his first fight that they blatantly stole the fight from Meneses.

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  • David says:
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    [ip2username: Laty Tole]
    #7889 David (2015-06-02nd)

    You're bodybuilding example is incorrect. Bodybuilders in the 70s were huge like Arnold Schwarznegger, not skinny kids like you posted in your picture. Second bodybuilders are far bigger these days because if drugs. Yes they took steroids back in the 70s, but now they also use HGH, IGF1, Insulin, diuretics and thyroid hormones. Some bodybuilders train and eat the exact same way as they did in the 70s, some don't. Lea Priest for example stuffs himself with burgers and fast food when he's not dieting for a competition. Your article is good , but your part of bodybuilding and making a comparison is complete bullsh*t, unless your saying modern boxers take Steriods?

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