Re: Pinklon Thomas/Weaver/Witherspoon/Dokes vs current HW's
The 1980's heavyweights get a bad rep. They were sandwiched between the dominant Holmes and Tyson Eras (a bit like the guys sandwiched between Loius and Marciano).
It is probably true to say that during this period, Don King ruled the scene and got all his own fighters to defend against each other only. There were enough contract rip offs for many of them to be inactive for a long time while they were in disputes with King.
The 1980s were also the time that real hard drugs became an epidemic in American inner cities, and the heavies of the time were no more immune to it than anyone else.
Looking at it objectively, though, there was some talent around.
Tony Tubbs was a very talented and skilled heavyweight who let himself down with Riddick Bowe style indiscipline outside the ring.
I thought Bonecrusher Smith and Mike Weaver were big strong and awkward gatekeeper fighters, like Ron Lyle or Gerry Quarry. Would give you a tough fight but weren't genuine championship quality.
Tim Witherspoon was pretty underrated. He was decent sized, a tough Philly fighter and he had a good engine despite not having a chiselled physique. He knew his trade and he knew how to fight.
Outside of the Holmes' and the Tysons, I rate Micheal Dokes and Pinklon at the top here. Dokes was tough and a good fighter. He gave a peak Holyfield all the trouble he could handle and would be dangerous against anyone. Could box, could punch, good chin. A recidivist drug addict, though, which is why he didn't fulfill his potential.
Pinklon was a very very good fighter. The best jab since prime Larry, good stamina, excellent technique. Another fighter from the days when people actually had to learn their trade before they could hope to win a world title. Another drug addict .... surprise surprise.
Weaver and Bonecrusher would likely not beat all of Fury, Joshua or Wilder ..... but I'd bet they would ambush and surprise one of them with an early shock stoppage. They would not be likely to hold on to the title long!
I think Pinklon, Witherspoon and Dokes would have been very competitive with Fury. They could all actually fight and handle themselves in the ring.
I think they might well all defeat Wilder. He is a magnificent athlete and has good power, but he is so unschooled and amateur in his technique that these guys would just know too much for him.
Not sure about Joshua. Another fine athlete, and a big hitter. His technique looks better than Wilder and we don't know about his stamina or chin. Hard to say!!
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