By Miguel Rivera
Former undisputed heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield does not believe that the heavyweight division has ceased to be the main attraction of the sport of boxing, but he does acknowledge that one of the reasons why it stopped being so is due to two characters, brothers Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko.
He says the Klitschko brothers made the division less attractive and most fans focused their attention on the lower weight divisions.
"The heavy weight division changed because of the Klitschkos. The judges had to score hugging sessions instead of fights. You go in there to throw punches, but at one point the fights were just hugs. When I faced Mike Tyson you knew that you were going to throw punches, but you also knew that you were going receive, and when I threw punches at you, you knew what you had to do - to avoid that punch and respond, you took advantage of those opportunities," said Holyfield.
With 20 world championship fights, Evander became one of the aces of the heavyweight division with bouts against Chris Byrd, Hasim Rahman, John Ruiz, Lennox Lewis, Michael Moorer, Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Larry Holmes, James Douglas and George Foreman.
Holyfield says the Klitschko brothers were able to get away with their style of fighting for so many years and it damaged the division until they were both retired.
But Holyfield has high hopes for the division's future, because things are now in an upswing with fighters like Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, Joseph Parker, Luis Ortiz, Dillian Whyte, Joe Joyce, David Haye, Tony Bellew, Daniel Dubois, and several others.
"I do not understand how those fighters who used to tie up their opponents won the fights, they won without throwing punches, because you had to use your skills more often. This division has lost interest because of the lack of action, but good things are coming coming," said Holyfield.