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Comparing Today’s Top Heavyweight vs.1970’s Top Heavyweights
A comparison of the key numbers shows more similarities between today’s heavyweights and those of the early to mid-1970’s thans differences:
The average reach of a current heavyweight is 78” and so is the reach of the 12 fighters from the 70’s. To me, this is every bit as important a factor as height and weight.
Surprisingly, the average number of bouts per year is extremely close, with the current heavyweights almost as busy as their predecessors. I would have guessed the fighters of the 70’s to have fought on a more regular basis.
Likewise, the average rounds per fight are once again nearly identical, with only a single decimal separating the two groups.
When talking about the height of heavyweights now and then, the first fighters that come to mind are the gigantic Tyson Fury, at 6’ 9” and the diminutive Rocky Marciano at 5’ 11”; and/or the 6’ 7” Deontay Wilder and 5’ 10” Mike Tyson. However, fans likely neglect the fact that Derek Chisora (6’ 1.5”), Andy Ruiz (6’ 2”) and Oleksandr Usyk (6’3”) are shorter than Terrell (6’ 6”) and Joe Bugner (6’ 4”). Additionally, with the notable exception of Fury, Wilder, and Joshua, the remaining nine top current heavyweights are either the same or only an inch or two taller than the ‘70’s fighters. Jimmy Young, Ron Lyle, Ken Norton, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, and Muhammad Ali were all 6’ 3”. Luis Ortiz, Dillian Whyte, Joseph Parker and Kubrat Pulev stand 6’ 4”.