Was the 80's heavyweight division really that bad?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by AngryBirds, Mar 10, 2023.

  1. AngryBirds

    AngryBirds Well-Known Member Full Member

    Sep 3, 2022
    A lot of people think it was just downright poor and you have others who say it was decent. Its not like the 60's, 70's or 90's where people generally agree those are the areas that outclasses the 80's by a lot. If the 80's really is that poor in comparison, what do you think is the cause and why?
  2. Seamus

    Seamus Proud Kulak Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Best talent pool in the division's history until the Iron Curtain was raised.
  3. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 VIP Member Full Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    Trouble was it had the potential but that potential was rarely realized and seldom if ever with any consistency at all.

    Dokes, Page, Witherspoon, Coetzee, Weaver....they were all unable to string good runs together.

    The most consistent guy excepting Holmes and Tyson was actually Thomas who beat Tills, drew with Coetzee, beat Witherspoon and beat Weaver in a 7 1/2 year unbeaten run. It was a big win over an in shape Witherspoon and a very good one over Weaver. He wasn't fighting contender after contender for much of the run but he maintained a very high level for a very long time before falling off the edge like the rest of them.
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  4. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo VIP Member Full Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Good talent but it never seemed to all come together. If that makes any sense. Lot of bad promoting. Inconsistent performers. Fights that never got made
  5. clinikill

    clinikill Active Member Full Member

    May 24, 2010
    As far as talent is concerned, it was a very good era. Guys like Thomas, Witherspoon, Dokes, Douglas, Tucker, etc. were fine, multi-tooled fighters. The problem, as others have noted, was consistency. Greg Page, for example, would box masterfully against guys like Marty Monroe and Gerrie Coetzee but then lose in unimpressive fashion to the likes of David Bey and an ancient Joe Bugner. Page with his talent could have gone very far had his heart been truly in the game and stayed focus. That goes for a lot of the '80s heavies.
  6. Levook

    Levook Well-Known Member Full Member

    Aug 26, 2020
    They generally get underrated, which is understandable coming on the heels of the HW 'golden era'. Many will point to the drug use & relative disappointing performances and rightly so. I think they were generally far superior boxers & fighters compared to this era, except Usyk. And even so, the best of them, at their best, beat anyone around now.
  7. mirexxa

    mirexxa Heavyweight Champ Full Member

    Jan 21, 2022
    Holmes was the champion at that time. The others guys were passing that WBA belt like a HIV
  8. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 4, 2014
    Yes. Almost every era has talent, but do they make the fights and do they fight to their potential?

    Had Dokes, Tubbs, Tucker, Witherpoon and Biggs stayed off the cocaine, Thomas off the heroin, Page and Tate off the Twinkies, and had there been no WBA belt to divide them, it very well might have been remembered at the best era ever.

    As it is, it was possibly the worst.
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  9. Greg Price99

    Greg Price99 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 17, 2018
    I wonder if it being the 1st decade where a HW contender could become relatively rich off just a couple of big fights had anything to do with that inconsistency and unfulfilled talent....
  10. jarama

    jarama Active Member Full Member

    May 13, 2014
    For me the 80s was better than the last 10 years
  11. Spreadeagle

    Spreadeagle Member Full Member

    Feb 24, 2023
    As others have said on this thead the 80s heavyweights were very,very talented.There were even plenty
    of good/great fights throughout the decade.
    However due to various malign influences so many of these potential ATGs simply,and tragically,wasted
    their gifts.
  12. jont

    jont Active Member Full Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    once the wait for Tyson Sweepstakes started... too many good potential matchups never occurred
    ironchamp likes this.
  13. Spreadeagle

    Spreadeagle Member Full Member

    Feb 24, 2023
    Mate,there's an excellent website called the Boxing Encyclopedia by a guy called Charles Jackson.He's
    done some brilliant videos covering the entire 1980s heavyweight scene,highly recommended.
  14. Dynamicpuncher

    Dynamicpuncher Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 14, 2022
    No the 80s had two ATGs like Holmes, Tyson. And a whole host of very talented Heavyweights like Page, Thomas, Witherspoon. The problem was that most of the very promising Heavyweights, failed to stay consistent due to weight issues and drug problems. But overall the 80s probably had the most talented Heavyweights out of any era in history the problem was consistency.

    What let the 80s down overall was that Holmes never unified in the 80s. And Tyson was so dominant that there was no real other ATG Heavyweights to challenge him.

    The era was also stuck in the middle of the two of the most exciting Heavyweight eras of all time 70s/90s. So it often gets forgotten about other than Tyson's highlight reel KO's.
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  15. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    Good post, John.
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