Originally Posted by The Batkilt
I think the past history of the heavyweight division is often looked at through rose tinted glasses when folk put down the overall state of the division at present. There were, in my opinion, two real glory periods where the heavyweight division had several great fighters:
1) 60s/70s - Fighters like Patterson, Liston, Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Norton, Shavers and many other good fighters.
2) 90s - Holyfield, Lewis, Bowe, Tyson, Mercer and other good fighters.
Other than that when was the heavyweight division spoiled for choice? I'm not saying it was poor apart from those decades, as there were great heavyweights active well before then, but when was the division as a whole stacked?
I personally think that it's not a coincidence that the so-called decline of the heavyweight division coincides with the dominance of fighters from the former USSR and other parts of Europe, and the American 'dominance' coming to an end. There are still good heavyweights active today, with some good fighters on the way up too.
IMO, the heavyweight division is by far better than its ever been. But many fans refuse to look at the past for what it realiy was. Even your post shows the effect of massive propaganda against the heavyweight division today.
Both Patterson and Liston were not 70's fighters, but the media aways place them in as part of the great 70s. Liston was dead by 70 or 71, Patterson was around only until 72, thats not 70's fighters.
But the media make many fans feel that all these past fighters were all prime at the same time. It's like saying the 2000's had prime Lewis, Tua, Holyfield, Tyson and holmes.