Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
The best heavyweights of the 1980's and 1990's were Holmes, M. Spinks, Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, and Lewis. Foreman did not defeat any of them and only fought Holyfield. Looking at The Ring's yearly ratings, only Moorer seems to have been rated when George defeated him. Cooney had long fallen out of the ratings. Even Rodrigues had not been rated in 1989.
Does Foreman's success prove anything about the 1970's versus the 1990's. No. I don't think so. If Sonny Liston were about the age Foreman was in 1995 in 1978, could he have perhaps beaten Leon Spinks or Ken Norton?--he certainly would have had a shot.
What if Godoy had gotten the decision over Joe Louis in 1940. Would a comebacking Dempsey have had a shot at beating Godoy? I think so.
Neither would prove the fifties were better than the seventies or the twenties better than the forties. It would only prove things broke right.
All that said, Foreman actually did it and it is a unique achievement.
This post says it all.
In the end it's the distinction of the contender, not the era.
An old Patterson was also succesful in the 70's while taking the hard path, not the easy one that Foreman took. At high age he was never destroyed in the 70's while he was in the late 50's/early 60's, which many of the people here would hold in lower regard than the 70's.