As another poster pointed out today, we are coming to the end of an era now, an era I feel I caught the beginning of, so this is how it looked at the time.Ok for me, I discovered eastsideboxing round the time the contender was on. That got me hooked onto boxing and they used to have an "eastside" and a "westside" team. I typed in eastsideboxing because that was my favourite team team thinking they'd have their own website and well here I am lol.
Here are my favourite divisions and the pound for pounnd list and how I remember it looking.
When I first got into boxing Bernard Hopkins was considered p4p number 1. People thought his time was nearing it's end though and many from America installed the self proclaimed best Floyd Mayweather top about a year later after Hopkins' defeat to Taylor abd Tsyu's loss to Ricky Hatton. Pacquiao had beaten Barrera at the time but lost to Morales, which was made to look worse around this time by morales' shock defeat to Raheem he was cosidered top 10 but not 3rd, if I had to compare people's estmations of him then, it would be similar to people's estimation of Donaire now. Winky Wright was probably considered in the top 6 after beating Mosely twice and Trinidad. I don't remember exactly how people had it (it's hardly ever agreed on) but it was like this.
8. Corrales (this was just before his great clash with Castillo)
9. Cotto (thrilling but unproven)
10. Vitali Klitschko
(people's perceptions at the time)
1. Vitali Klitschko was the man. The division was poor in the wake of Lewis and nobody looked like they could beat Vitali at the time (in all fairness he still hasn't been beaten)
2.Chris Bryd was generally seen as the only man who'd give him some problems but most agreed that at this point in time Vitali was number one.
3. Lamont Brewster - stopped Wlad and Kranski, decent operater hard as nails but limited and at the time probably over rated.
4. Sam Peter - People really had big expectations of him, they thought he was going to be the next Tyson and the only man who might take down Vitali.
5. Wlad. This would probably be a high estimation of how people saw him at the time tbh, he was viewed as having a glass chin by most after being stopped by Sanders and Brewster and being dropped (I think) by Williamson. Nobody gave him a chance of returning to the top but that he did in a barnstormer and most entertaining fight of his career vs. Peter.
John Ruiz was a champ as well but regarded as a complete joke. Mike Tyson was still lingering around but he was finished.
1.Skelton - unbeaten ex kick-boxing world champ. hard working slugger, but limited ability, the fighter I supported in the division at the time.
1.Williams - Erratic heavy weight who beat Tyson and ex challenger to Vitali. Him vs. Skelton was always the fight I wanted to see.
3. Harrison - seen as being a future world champion with the ability to be the next Lewis but who was not moving up fast enough Harrison
1. Mormeck WBC, WBA
2. Bell IBF
3. Nelson WBO
- Haye/ Macrinelli both unproven at the time
There was no real number one, Ottke had just retired and many had Reid, many had Calzaghe but almost evryone agreed that the ex Olympian amateur stand out Jeff Lacy who had a crazy am record of about 270- 15 would emerge as the leader of the pack. Mudine, Green and Kessler were nearing their peak and Beyer was still hanging around.
This has always been our strongest division, other than the ones already mentioned we had Magee and Froch mainly, Magee looked decent but just like he was hovering outside the top boys (as he still is now) and Froch looked average, decent at the level but like he was without the tools to move up. People didn't see him making the improvments that he went on to given that he was about 30 at the time and was just domestic level.
Great division at the time we had
- Tyszu IBF/ just vacting WBA
- Cotto incredible power but a fragile chin at the time.
Anyway, these were the glamour divisions for me at the time. There was also lightweight with Corrales, Freitas, Castillo, Casamayor etc. in and other great divisions but what did boxing look like for you when you first got into it.