View Full Version : Heavyweight Champion=Strongest man in the World? Historical Perspectives


Great John L
11-07-2011, 03:19 PM
What's going on, boxing enthusiasts? I was pondering something the other day after some reading and wanted to know what other fans' opinions were. Today the Heavyweight division is generally viewed as boring. This is in great contrast with the view many had of the Heavyweight Champion several decades ago and what it represented. Back in the days when boxing was of immense popularity, the heavyweight champion of the world was universally looked upon as the epitome of manhood. In a sport in which two men fight it out all alone with their hands, take beatings, and sometimes even die, the man at the top of that heap was looked at not only as the champ, but the really the strongest man in the world, the meanest and the toughest. Joyce Carol Oates, longtime writer of many things, including Boxing, called the Heavyweight champion "a fairytale proposition: the heavyweight champion is the most dangerous man on Earth. The most feared, the most manly." Tyson was known as the "Baddest man on the planet" not the "baddest man in a boxing ring." Jack Dempsey was lamented in his time as the greatest living fighter, as was Willard who many thought could not be knocked off his feet by any man. Maya Angelou referenced Louis when he won the title as "the strongest man in the world." John L Sullovan was also viewed as the toughest man on Earth, and he frequently used to state "I can lick any sonofa ***** in the house." Obviously this is "strongest" does not mean the winner of a power lifting competition rather than who can whip any other guy. Now has anybody ever said that of Klitschko or David Haye? No. Will they ever? Probably not, because Boxing isn't what it used to be, doesn't mean what it used to mean. But when boxing comes out of its slump, as it periodically goes through, do you think the Heavyweight Champion will ever mean the "strongest man in the world?" Do you believe it was accurate to say it was in the first place? I'll save my opinions for later, but please, tell me what you all think.

GJC
11-07-2011, 04:15 PM
I think together with say the 100 metre champion/record holder the HW champion of the world is the most iconic title. I've always equated to imagining a cave man arriving in modern time, he might not figure out baseball, cricket, American football, proper football :) but boxing and running he'd appreciate. In previous times even non boxing fans would know the HW champion, nowadays I doubt the man in the street could name some of the alphabet champions we've had

Great John L
11-07-2011, 04:30 PM
True. And all the real big names and fights of today have been hidden to the public by PPV.

Marchegiano
11-08-2011, 08:06 AM
I think together with say the 100 metre champion/record holder the HW champion of the world is the most iconic title. I've always equated to imagining a cave man arriving in modern time, he might not figure out baseball, cricket, American football, proper football :) but boxing and running he'd appreciate. In previous times even non boxing fans would know the HW champion, nowadays I doubt the man in the street could name some of the alphabet champions we've had

No one knows who either Klitschko is. Pac and Floyd are the big names.....the HW's have fallen. They need a destroyer to come clean house.

Great John L
11-08-2011, 09:57 AM
Agreed. A new young fighter who really wants to fight and who isn't just content with his career as it is.

GoogleMe
11-08-2011, 01:57 PM
We need a Tyson again... Man did he create some buzz about HW boxing again, after Larry got old.
We'll never experience another Golden era like the Ali, Frazier, Foreman etc. so many circumstances due to the Vietnam war, economics and so on.

DarkTerror88
11-08-2011, 07:11 PM
give me 2 more inches, and 60 more pounds and im your guy. I already fight like Joe, give me his dimensions and call me White Smoke. A left hook will ring throughout the division yet again.

davros2010
11-11-2011, 08:55 AM
If Ike Ibeabuchi had been as good as some people think (I dont know if he was tbh) and didnt go insane he could have been that type of champ. He was one guy you would not want to mess with defo a dangerous man. Maybe the American's would have enjoyed watching Ike as champ more than the brothers.

New England
11-11-2011, 09:12 AM
No one knows who either Klitschko is. Pac and Floyd are the big names.....the HW's have fallen. They need a destroyer to come clean house.



agreed

if two american brothers ruled the HW division and were hyper aggressive knockout punchers they would be some of the biggest athletes in america

true story

especially likable guys like the klitschkos. bring on the silly commercials


or they could play the villain role (a la late career tyson) and still make huge american cash
huge

BattlingNelson
11-11-2011, 09:30 AM
No one knows who either Klitschko is. Pac and Floyd are the big names.....the HW's have fallen. They need a destroyer to come clean house.
Depends on where you are. The klit's might not be well-known in the US but they are cross-over stars in Europe. On the other hand Pac and Floyd are known only to boxing people over here.

If you are talking a global well known HW champion you have to go back to Tyson and before that Ali. Holmes wasn't that well known and neither was Lummox.

Case in point: It depends on where you are and there has been plenty of HW champs not well known ever since boxing was taken off 'regular' television.

La_Vibora
11-11-2011, 06:41 PM
Historically speaking we are due another Tyson type of Heavyweight relatively soon , as there is a history of that type of fighter coming every 20-30 years (just look at my signature to see what I mean). So hopefully that fighter will emerge in the next few years, although I do agree with the assertion that Ike Ibeabuchi could have possibly been the spark that this division needed. Hard to tell as he left the scene just when we were finally starting to figure out what type of fighter he was going to be.

Great John L
11-11-2011, 07:03 PM
Some have said that even if there is a dominating heavyweight on the scene it would be fallacious to consider him the strongest man in the world or the best fighting man in the world. I myself am not decided on this, but from the historical perspective in the past, it would seem that this was the view of the majority of the people in the world when boxing was at it's best. I would like to know whether you guys' opinions on whether or not the view commonly held back then was true of false.

Pastrano
11-12-2011, 12:14 PM
Helenius is very strong but also very crude...but you asked who the strongest guys today are, so there you go, he's one of em.:boxing: