Inspired by Beanflicker thread on Wlad's undefeated opponents.
Not sure if this has been brought up often/recent. What era had the most talented HW's?
I question this because it seems (automatic) for us to claim Wlad, then Vitali fought in a weak division.
As a child in the 1970's I've had 3 decades to access; my conclusion is that the use-to-be darling division of boxing [HW]---has rarily had been stacked.
Usually it's the WW, MW division or LW division that is packed. Problem with those weight classes is that most fighters who start out at Feather for example, end their careers around WW. So those fighters can be accessed at multiple divisions.
Or fighters who start at MW (Toney, RJJ, Nunn) for example move up to SMW, then LHW, but the HW division rarily has top fighters who come from CW, Like the old days of Massimilano Duran, James Warring, Alfre Ice Cole, Charles Daniels- these were workman like fighters with no pizazz, or power-just decent CW's who tried HW. Holyfield was the exception for the CW's.
And it appears that power punchers like Lateef Kayode won't make a difference either-especially now that the division has been dominated by 6'4 fighters since Bowe, Lewis, Vitaly & now Wlad.
The link below is a cover of my favorite Ring magazine issue involving HW's- For me it was the best HW division I can think of...ever.
Michael Moorer coming up from LHW had all Knockouts 26-0 26KO's. Razor Ruddock, a young undefeated Lennox Lewis & Riddick Bowe.
Tommy Morrison was coming on, David Tua came out and called out Tyson.
Holyfield came up from CW, plus the gatekeepers like Bert Cooper hadn't loss but a fight, Ray Mercer was undefeated. Alex Stewart at one point was 24-0, the 6'5 fighter who beat Bowe & Lewis in the amatuers, Jorge Luis Gonzalez was 23-0 talking BIG shit. Andrew Golota was new as well as Ibeabuchi these guys were all in the early-mid 90's circa.
A few of those guys sizzled, then fizzled, but they went up against each other-for the most part- Bowe threw his belt in the can -not to fight Lewis. Tyson paid Lewis stepaside $$ back then.
1990-1995 was packed with contenders, champions and even produced 2 legends (Lewis, Holyfield)
Not saying they were better than any one person like a Joe Louis...but didn't he call his circa the (bum of the month club?) or Marciano who fought past it fighters Like Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe, Archie Moore & an IRS taxed-out Joe Louis?
October 1992 Ring Magazine Bowe Lewis Ruddock Moorer Cover | eBay