Originally Posted by Seamus
Perhaps it did but they were not recruited either because of politics, geography or other sporting interests. Marciano was basically a regional fighter for most of his career. When he fought for the title, 31 of his 42 fights were in Rhode Island, the rest all in the US NE. I'll give you New York for being a world class fighting town, but the rest was strictly regional circuit stuff. It's not like he was getting exposed to a vast panoply of heavyweights, just your typical assortment of Carmine's and Vinny's. His true window of world class opposition was just 3 or 4 years.
Contrast this with Wlad who fought his first ex-champ 29 fights in and has been fighting almost exclusively against world class heavies (of modern size) for the intervening 14 years.
Point being is there probably was super-heavy talent out there. Just in this post-war window, it was not being recruited in the right places or it was just an anomaly fortuitous to a fighter of Marciano's physical abilities.
"point being is there probably was super-heavy talent out there"
There is absolutely no evidence of this. None at all. The Soviet bloc entered the Olympics in 1952. They were not able to dominate heavyweight boxing. Ed Sanders won the gold in 1952 and did little as a pro, getting killed in the ring. Pete Rademacher won in 1956. He was mediocre as a pro. So basically was the 1960 olympic heavyweight champion Franco DePiccoli.
As boxing was popular in the British Empire, Western Europe, and Latin America, where exactly were the great super-heavyweights hiding?
in the 1950's, 230 lb'ers such as Ernie Stautner and Andy Robustelli were all pro NFL defensive linemen. Let us just say they wouldn't be at that size today. The 1955 Philiadelphia NBA team won with a 6' 7" center.
The argument that athletes haven't gotten bigger simply doesn't wash.