Whatever happened to the heavyweight division?
By Tony Crooks: As a young boy, I grew up watching the great fights that went on to be legend. I am not going to mention those fights to you, as you as boxing fans will know exactly what I am talking about. The younger boxing fans out there can use the internet to discover and educate themselves on the history of boxing and personally watch the true stories unfold.
We all know of Muhammad Ali & Joe Frazier, the formidable George Foreman who used to be a devastating fighter before he made low fat cooking grills. I mentioned George Foreman to my son and told him that he had one of the hardest punches ever, he looked at me and laughed and said:” Do you mean the big bald guy that sells health grills.” In all honesty and in sadness and in respect of this great fighter, I politely told my son that he was mistaken.
The poignant thing about this is that these greats are sadly forgotten, we are now wrapped up in the Klitschko brothers, David Haye, Tyson Fury, David Price, Deontay Wilder and a handful of other European and USA fighters that I can’t even begin to pronounce their names.
The thing that really makes this situation discontented for me as a true boxing fan is the fact that none of these fighters are prepared to face each other. In days gone by, boxers would fight for the pride of being the heavyweight champion of the world, to be the best and to be recognized the world over.
I can only think of three great champions that really captured the true public’s imagination, the first of course were Mohammad Ali, the second was Mike Tyson and the third was Rocky Marciano. These guys were household names throughout the world. All of these champions had one thing in common; they never ducked anybody and took on every dangerous challenger that was put before them.
There are a host of names in history that I would like to mention, but none of them matched the sheer enormity or public perspective as these three champions. It was never about the money, it was about being the best. Tyson Fury, Wilder. Haye, Price, both Klitschkos and the rest of you would be champions should step up to the plate and honour the legacy of these great champions past and show respect to the heavyweight championship of the world. There should only be one champion.