Re: 90's Heavyweights
If the 15 round championship distance was reinstated, steroid use might actually become a liabilty, as would larger muscles requiring more oxygen. A greater premium would once again be placed on muscular endurance, necessitating greater streamlining.
When boxers have to train for longer distances, the bodyweights of most probably would decline back to the levels they always would have been, had the 15 round maximum limit been retained. Far from advancing boxer safety, the shorter 12 round distance has undermined it by facilitating damaging growth substance abuse.
Declining defensive skill will manifest itself in earlier and increasing cases of pugilistica dementia, and Parkinson's Syndrome, among retired boxers. Furthermore the skyrocketing use of growth enhancing stimulants, both legal and illicit, eventually shall betray itself through the mounting consequence of ailments like cancer in former athletes, and occasionally in still active competitors.
Over the last century, boxers who moved up in weight simply didn't increase their muscular dimensions like inflated dummys, let alone inflated dummys who also maintained their lighter speed and reflexes. In past eras, boxers who succeeded into middle age exchanged their loss of physical advantages with guile and experience expressed through the demonstration of new skills and progressive behavioral adaptations.
When Ray Robinson challenged Joey Maxim, his weight was well under the middleweight limit (and it was a dominant performance on the scorecards). Robbie did not inflate like a balloon. Nor did Archie Moore, when he was in his late thirties.
The idea that modern boxers can bulk up their muscles like bodybuilders, when in their late 30s, without sacrificing speed or endurance, and by foregoing the introduction of growth enhancing substances into their systems, is a bit much to swallow.
Yes, extraordinary muscular development can take place as a result of modern exercise methods, but to succeed at such an undertaking during middle age would generally require a dedicated bodybuilding regimen, one which wouldn't likely allow for the retention and advance of speed, quickness, and endurance.
Over the course of sports history, the importance of size has been largely cyclical. At some point, smaller athletes with superior skill and creative intelligence have outmaneuvered, surpassed and rendered larger performers obsolete, and will do so again, ad infinitum. At some level of development, technique and human consciousness always trump physical advantages.
If a longer time limit is ever reintroduced into boxing, today's huge dinosaurs will trudge off into the jungle and disappear.