No one has said that Tyson cleaned out the division in the 90's, so that's a strawman. And, yes, guys like Tillman, McNeely, Mathis jr and Norris wasn't much, but no fighter in history has only faced contenders. Even Ali faced his few share of non-entities like Rudi Lubbers. Doesn't make him a cherry picker. I'll repost my timeline below. Feel free to put in the ones you think he should have faced instead and when (considering also that he had two lay-offs): 1990: The best challenge out there was Holy and he was scheduled to face him, but the Douglas loss derailed it. Instead he had a decent comeback, beating Stewart who gave both Holy and Foreman tough fights. 1991: Was again scheduled to face Holy after two fights against the feared top contender Ruddock, but was sent to prison. 1995: Two meaningless tune up fights. My thinking at the time was that he could have faced better opponents but that he was still just shaking off rust and would soon step up in competition. Turned out to be true. 1996: Won two of the main titles. Can't really argue with that. Holy was seen as a gimme at the time, though, but he was a contender and meant big money. Bowe was the fight everyone wanted going into the year, but Golota soon made him irrelevant. And Lewis held no major title at the time. So two title holders and Holy have to be seen as a good year all in all. 1997: Holy was the natural fight to make and after that he was suspended for the rest of the year. 1999: Two pretty non-descript opponents. Botha was near the top 10, I suppose. So he faced a good level of competition every year he was active except 1995 and 1999, when he was coming back from lay-offs. There really isn't much room to pencil in the guys you mention above.