The 1990s - a Golden age for the Heavyweight division?
By Stuart Young
Everyone generally considers the 1970's as the golden age of Heavyweight boxing, with fighters like Muhammad Ali, 'Smokin' Joe Frazier, 'Big' George Foreman, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, 'heavy handed' fighters like Ernie Shavers & Ron Lyle plying their trade its hard not to agree - especially when considering how sparse the quality of the current crop of heavyweight contenders are. Vitali & Wladimir Klitschko - through no fault of their own, have probably had fate deal them a 'bad hand' as far as the quality of opposition which they can face..
But cast your mind back a mere 10-15 years & its hard not to get all nostalgic when thinking about 'my generation' of Heavyweights.
You had the elite of my day, men like Britain’s Lennox Lewis, Evander 'The Real Deal' Holyfield, 'Iron' Mike Tyson, & Riddick 'Big Daddy' Bowe, four men who between them dominated the heavyweight scene for close to 15 years, men with power, speed, heart & an abundance of boxing ability.
The second tier heavyweights, 'granite chinned' Oliver 'The Atomic Bull' McCall, 'Merciless' Ray Mercer, slick southpaw Michael Moorer, a peak Andrew Golota & tough Canadian Donovan 'Razor' Ruddock.
Even the third tier heavyweights of the day, men like Hasim Rahman, Shannon Briggs, Bruce Seldon, the entertaining Tommy 'The Duke' Morrison, Britain's much revered Frank Bruno, the big punching David Tua & South African 'White Buffalo' Frans Botha - you'd have to say you would even back most of these third tier men to shake a few cobwebs off today’s heavyweights landscape.
Don't forget we even had experienced campaigners like George Foreman & Larry Holmes, both still capable fighters who could give any 'young buck' a competitive bout, looking back there is no doubt we were spoilt for choice.
When was the last time we were treated to a good Heavyweight battle like Holyfield Vs Bowe, when big men stood & traded instead of throwing single shots?
We are now forced to venture into the lighter weight categories these days to get our ‘fix’ of these type of fights.
It’s a shame for them & us that the Klitschko brothers weren't born 10-15 years earlier - then we could have found out just how good they really are.