Mike Tyson disagrees with the conventional notion that the Klitschko Brothers are dominating a "weak era" of heavyweight contenders. Instead, Tyson shared high praise for the excellence of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko and their reign of fistic superiority."I don't buy the idea that today's fighters are not as good as the old fighters," stated Tyson recently to Oliver Holt of the London Mirror. "If you had asked Joe Frazier if he could beat me when I was at my best, he would have said, 'Hell yeah.' That's the way boxing goes. I think I could beat the next generation of fighters but the reality of history is that the fighters get better and better, bigger and bigger and stronger and stronger."
These perceptions of Tyson, one of the most astute and intelligent boxing historians there ever was, are illustrated accurately by the Klitschkos.
"I think the heavweight scene is pretty good right now," Tyson continued. "The Klitschkos are doing great. They are beating everyone. It's not their fault that there is not enough competition."
Muhammad Ali also made a similar observation about the evolution of the heavyweight division - back in 1972. Ali asserted this interesting statement in an introduction he penned for Peter Heller's wonderful book "In This Corner..."
"There never was a time when they were better. Boxing is boxing. Some was good, some wasn't, some today can beat those who fought then, some then could beat those who fight today," wrote man known as "The Greatest." "They're all gone and there's no way to prove it. It's just hearsay and just hypothetical, and all I say is that all the time they were good. Probably styles change a little, more dancing and more rhythm and more speed."
"The record speaks for itself. Whoever was the champions were the tops. Jack Johnson and his actions. Tunney. Dempsey. He was a wild fighter, strong as a bull. The determination of Joe Louis to get Schmeling the second time. The footwork and the speed of Sugar Ray. One of the greatest that ever lived, Archie Moore, his style, his defense, movement and everything, speed. He was one of the greatest, underestimated fighters that ever lived, underestimated and played down."
"I don't know how they trained. There ain't but one way to train. Running is the same, punching the bag is the same, jumping rope's the same, resting, and going to camp, following the dietary laws. Clean living is the same. They must have felt like I felt. It's grueling, it's rough, it's agony, it's training."
"Only for those who are good it provides a way."
The key lines by Ali are these: "All the time they were good." And "There never was a time when they were better."
Yes, the heavyweight division is always good. Are you going to disagree with Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson's opinions of the heavyweight division?