Originally Posted by FastHands(beeb)
Ken Norton from circa 1976 to June 9, 1978 is the standout example on the modern era for me.
There have been times when future/past lineal champs have been the best HW on the planet but couldn't get a shot, for example Liston from about 1958-59; Max Schmeling in 1936 had a pretty good claim too...
I would say that Ken Norton takes this accolade from early 1977,after George Foreman retired, up until June '78,when he lost to Larry Holmes. Prior to that,it's a little messy. Jimmy Young had the '77 Foreman's number. Norton beat Young,albeit by a small margin in November,but Foreman would still have beaten Norton.