Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
1. On whether so and so is a heavyweight--the heavyweight is the unlimited division--the definition of the heavyweight champion is the man who can defeat any other man in a boxing match. You do not have to be any given weight to quality as a heavyweight.
2. On weak and strong eras--frankly, this is the most foolish and self-serving concept put forward in debates like this. A "strong" era is the period in which your inferior fighter with an inferior record fought. A "weak" era is one in which a better fighter with a better record fought. As you are backing a loser, you can't rely on records. A lawyer who has the facts argues the facts. A lawyer who does not have the facts muddies the waters.
3. On Walcott's rating--I didn't vote on any of these ratings--Panels of experts did:
Ring Magazine 1998--Walcott was ranked #13.
Ebony Magazine 1978--A poll of black sportswriters rating all heavyweight champions--Walcott was #8.
AP--end of the century poll of an AP panel of experts on best heavyweights of the 20th century:
This is an interesting list, and one that I realize these experts put a lot of time and data into making the determinations. I find it interesting however, that Langford had such a high rating, given that he was never a lineal champion. Still, I suppose there were a lot of reasons that may not be easily seen on the surface. He was fighting during a rather turbulant period in the division, and who's opportunities were possibly limited due to his being black at the time.
On a different note: What do you think about a matchup between Roland Lastarza and say a prime Jerry Quarry. How would you see that fight going?