I've been thinking about this for the past few days. Although in general, the public get captured by the power of the heavyweights, their recent decline has opened up parts of the sport to people who previously had no interest in the lower divisions.
Granted, at it's best, the HW division is amazing due to the speed with which a fight can be turned on it's head, but even that sometimes does not make up for the slow plodding approach of many of the division's recent champions. Poor conditioning is no excuse when you are a paid athlete looking to make a career. The lack of an upper weight limit has eventually lead to this laziness. Don't get me wrong, capping the heavies is not an option, but the attitude of alot of fighters makes them hard to watch.
This brings me on to Haye, the only Heavy I have any interest in at the minute. The reason is simple, he respects his body and the fact that he gets paid to fight. He turns up in great shape and has a go. He can bang and he's not afraid to lose.
The one saving grace with the decline of the heavies is the ever weakening presence of Don King as a face of boxing.
Now that the attention has firmly shifted, we are getting some great fights that are marketed properly and provide a great income for the previously relatively underpaid lower weight classes. The public are beginning to appreciate that the real skill is below HW. The best boxers in our generation have been occupying the lower divisions and many completely unheralded.
I have to give credit to ODLH for alot of this. He has given the boxers a much fairer slice of the pie than promoters of old and is still well on his game. Sure, his fights with Flloyd and Manny to come were weighed in his favour, but that is not the point. He makes fights happen and his marketing strategy generates genuine public interest in these fights in a way we have rarely seen since the eighties.
If proof is in the pudding, Vasquez-Marquez 3 for me summed it up. Even my work colleague who has no interest in th sport made an effort to watch this after me raving about the first two fights. He watched them before fight 3 and is now a boxing convert.