the difference in physique between the klitschkos and their opponents. while peter and thompson gave the term heavy weight their own meaning, the klitschkos were towering masses of rippled muscles.
The obsession with ripped abs in boxing and mma is quite sad. I think people are still coming to terms with the mistakes made in the 80s when bodybuilding training methods were applied to all sports. The boxers looked great, but gassed early. Fighters today train smarter, they may look less ripped but they are fitter and better athletes.
i dont think these eastern European champions are even that good; just that the americans now suck. If those guys fought in the 70s you wouldnt have heared of them, despite the fact so many of them are enourmous. Valuev the 7ft guy actually got beaten by Chageav who's just over 6ft and about 100lbs lighter, and he only just scraped by John Ruiz twice who's a blown up middleweight or something. Even James Toney who's an old washed up middleweight with an enourmous gut and breasts has managed to make himself a top condender. In the 90s with Lewis, Tyson, Holyfield and Bowe and even an ancient George foreman and Larry holmes the leading heavyweights now, with the possible exception of the Klitchsko bros would be unknown
Apparantly Evander Holyfield whos now 46 is fighting 7ft tall Nikolei Valuev sometime soon
I disagree with most of this too, especially saying the eastern Europeans are poor. There have always been shifts in the boxing demographic. Jewish fighters were dominant in the early 20th century, by the second half of the century they were virtually non-existant. American heavyweights are more rare now, but other countries are producing better guys to take up the slack.
Styles make fights. There is little point in saying Valuev is poor as he lost to Chageav who struggled with Ruiz. Pick any champion in boxing history and you'll find they are just a fighter or two away from mediocrity. Ali lost to Norton who was KO'd in one by Cooney and so on. Ruiz is a very talented spoiler, the recent incarnation would have posed many problems for any heavyweight.
For James Toney read Archie Moore, who as a tubby 40 something became a top heavyweight contender in the 50s. Throughout every era heavyweights have managed to hang about and cause problems.
I think the current crop of eastern europeans would have fared very well against the Foreman and Holmes of the 90s. Which fights are you considering standout for Holmes in the 90s? The Bowe who got battered twice by the Eastern European Golota might disagree with you too. Bowe was fresh off stopping Holyfield in those days.
The main shift in heavyweight boxing is that sports science and training methods have evolved (away from bodybuilding methods) which means that the super-heavyweight guys can last 12 rounds. In the past a 6'7 270 pounder would have been gassed midway through the fight, before being eaten up by a more dynamic, lighter heavyweight. Now they can fight effectively for 12 rounds and have very decent skills. It's not always fun to watch, but it's tough to beat.