Re: How were old timers so good?
The old timers weren't better. Watch the documentaries of Basilio Against the Mob and Jim Braddock "Cinderella Man". Basilio states in the doc about him that he didn't bother getting a trainer until he was several years into his professional boxing career. Braddock was a top light heavyweight for a while without ever developing any skill with his left hand. However, after breaking his right hand he was forced to train only his left for a while thus becoming a two-handed fighter that could win, something that virtually all top professional fighters of today are. Max Baer, the heavyweight champion, seldom threw a left hand. Also, just looking at some of the old timers footwork I'm reminded of watching a karate class.
The main thing that makes the old timers better is their press clippings.
I cannot see how the elimination of racial segregation in boxing, the reduction of mob control in boxing and the inclusion of the former USSR in professional boxing has made boxing "weaker". Also, no longer having one kingpin promoter like Don King or Tex Rickard increases the quality of professional boxing. Even the presence of MMA makes boxing better because people have other choices rather than watch some dog shit boxing match. Now you better have a GOOD boxing contest card.