Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Between mid 90's and 2003 you had Tyson, Bowe, Holyfield, Lewis, Vitali & Wladimir Klitschko.
Between the late 70's during Holmes' reign untill the mid 80's you had Holmes........................ and a lot of contenders who hardly remained consistent for a long period. Thomas and Witherspoon are probably the best of them. Holmes ducked Thomas and barely beat a green thomas, ducked the rematch.
I think even most of the people who were born around 1960-1970, who saw the late 70's and early 80's during lifeyears when they form their favorites (17-24 y.o.), will agree that the 90's was a better period for heavyweights than the late 70's/early 80's.
And yes, in Holmes' time the titles meant a lot less. And Holmes at one point was stripped of his only meaningful title to duck Page. Was gifted a belt which didn't mean shit at the time. You can't ignore these things.
You seem to forget that 2 men in their 40's and lasted, and beat most of the guys of the 90's. Both of them went 12 rounds with Holyfield, each picking up about 4 rounds in the process. Larry went 12 rounds with McCall, only losing by 1 point on 2 scorecards, he beat Mercer convincingly, he beat Jesse Ferguson, he lost a controversial decision to "Dane" Brian Neilson in Denmark. Foreman went on to win the title by a come from behind KO, and lost it in a controversial decision. Most of the guys they beat/gave good fights, gave Lewis hell. Like Mercer.