There are generally two bodies of thought on the significance of the current heavyweight boxing situation: some people believe that present times are the weakest and least entertaining in heavyweight boxing history, while others agree with Wladimir Klitschko’s recent statement that the heavyweight division is not any less entertaining or lacking good competition then any other periods in boxing history.
Truthfully, I don’t know which side of this debate I would prefer to side with. To be fair, competition can never be judged based on times, but rather should be compared by looking at individual fighters and their abilities in the ring.
Unfortunately, this is extremely hard to do, especially when there are only two dominant heavyweight champions, with the word ‘dominant’ being an understatement. Both Klitschko brothers dictate the division, and thus far, there has not been a rival who beside creating empty hype and under-performing like David Haye, actually showed up to give either brother a run for his money.
Having said all that, it is not easy to face a towering skilled fighter such as Wladimir, whose victories rarely come by way of a carefully selected underwhelming opponent, but instead via his skill and determination in and out of the ring.
If Wladimir is able to keep winning, then soon, in August of next year to be exact, he will become the second longest heavyweight champion in the running. Being the second behind Joe Louis is an honor, and I think that if nothing else, this fact on its own will without a doubt land Wladimir Klitschko a comfortable spot in the boxing HOF.
Comparing boxers from various generations is not only unfair, but will never yield an accurate contrast. Many would argue that Wladimir is a lucky champion, fighting bum after bum, but who would argue against Wladimir’s thundering jab or his ability to dictate the fight in a fashion that benefits him the most? Instead of focusing on what the fighters in previous years could have achieved in his place, let’s try and appreciate what Wladimir and other great fighters are getting right now in front of our eyes.