Originally Posted by Rumsfeld
I just can't see who would be considered "consensus" #1 or #2 in place of either Wlad or Byrd at the time they fought.
Byrd was a great fighter, and he did well in fights against bigger guys like Golota and McCline - but the set of tools that Wlad best utilizes were like Kryptonite for Byrd. Wlad was simply all wrong for him. So in that sense, it didn't possess the normal anticipation a match-up between consensus #1 and #2 would normally warrant.
That said, they were still (at least to me) clearly the two best heavyweights out there at that time.
Only legit argument that I can see is that Lamon Brewster was the best heavyweight not named Chris Byrd, and was then beaten by Liakhovich.
You could only argue that Liakhovich should have been ranked higher then Wlad, imo. And even then, Wlad had the superior resume; I don't think you deserve to simply fill the rank of the guy you beat unless you have a resume that can close to match your vanquished foe. Sergei punched his ticket into the top 5 or 6 with his win over Brewster, but Wlad and Byrd were 1 and 2, I absolutely agree.