Sure they could beat some of today's guys, but what's that really saying? You could easily drop Kovalev or Beterbiev or Gvozdyk into the HW division and they could likely beat some guys as well. Just not the top ones. There is nothing to suggest that a LHW could compete at the highest levels of today's HW landscape without significant acclimating. Even cruiserweights don't fight at heavy without significant weight gain. Haye came in at 215, Adamek at about 215 as well, Huck came in at 210. Briedis came in at about 214. Likely this is only their rehydrated weight, but that only shows how undersized guys like Louis and Dempsey would be even at cruiserweight. So really it is a fantasy to suggest that a fighter that would have competed at LHW could compete in meaningful fights at HW today, since there are no examples to prove the case. I don't really understand this. What's different about today that would necessitate Ward needing to bulk up that wouldn't have applied to earlier fighters? Ward's a master tactician, and always ensures his preparations are second to none, so for him to gain 15lbs -25 lbs of muscle means there must be a damn good reason. And Ward's handspeed and overall sharpness are some of his best attributes, as is his great footwork/control of distance, all things that would potentially be ruined by such a large weight gain. To a degree. But enough to beat the majority of top twenty fighters? This isn't the strongest era, but it contains enough fighters to give both guys major problems. Does Kovalev even beat Lucas Browne or Dillian Whyte? He's undoubtedly more skilled than them, but one punch from either man would flatten his helmet. How does Beterbiev beat Carlos Takam or Kubrat Pulev? Well of course. But that's not nearly as far a cry as saying Dempsey or Louis do the same. And Wilder isn't actually all that big. He's just tall. His last fight he weighed in at 219 or something ludicrous. Plus he sucks. That isn't a legitimate comparison, since Wilder holds no advantage over Tyson but his height, and that isn't anything Mike hasn't had to combat innumerable times before. I'd honestly even pick Dempsey or Marciano to beat Wilder, to be honest. I hold him in very low regard. I agree in the main. But there has been an upward trend over the decades towards more athletic and coordinated fighters over the often clumsy combatants of yore. And in the heavyweight division the average size has definitely increased among the upper echelons. Plus the addition of PEDs, which improve year on year, has to be taken into account as well.