By James Blears
There will come a time, when it`ll be necessary to consider a super heavyweight division in the ranks and the rings of professional boxing.
Heavyweight fighters are getting both taller and heavier and the discrepancies are becoming wider and wider. Right now a heavyweight is a fighter who weighs more than two hundred pounds in weight. But there are fighters who are almost 100 pounds heavier than this. No other weight division in boxing has this enormous disparity.
Joe Louis was six feet two inches tall and his perfect fighting weight was 200 pounds. So by today`s standards he fit comfortably into the cruiserweight division. Muhammad Ali at six feet three inches was at his best weighing two hundred and fifteen pounds. Mike Tyson at a tad under six feet tall, came in around five pounds heavier.
Nikolai Valuev is the tallest and biggest heavyweight to date, at seven feet in height, with a peak weight of three hundred and twenty eight pounds. He weighed three hundred and ten pounds when fighting Evander Holyfield who was almost one hundred pounds lighter, losing a controversial majority decision.
However if you look at the weight of Lennox Lewis, Vitali Klitschko, Wladimir Klitscho, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte and David Price, it`s two hundred and forty pounds plus.
For his fight against Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury scaled two hundred and seventy three pounds. Wilder who`s been as light as two hundred and twelve, had bulked up to two hundred and thirty one pounds, a career heaviest.
Most of these huge fighters are appreciably closer to seven feet tall than six feet. Most have a reach of between eighty two and eighty five inches. The height is not as crucial as the reach advantages, but when it`s coupled to the extra weight, it`s a considerable advantage against an opponent who might only be six feet two inches tall and two hundred and twenty pounds in weight.
Until fairly recently, the giant heavyweights have been few and far between, but this is noticeably changing. The time isn`t that far off, when the normal weight for the vast majority of heavyweights will amply exceed two hundred and forty pounds and the height will be six feet five inches.. or taller.
Of course arguments can be leveled against a super heavyweight division. Evander Holyfield, who was cruiserweight champion before becoming a svelte, chiseled heavyweight champion, often fought considerably larger men like Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, James Buster Douglas and Nikolai Valuev. Evander used supreme conditioning, boxing ability, considerable punching power and tremendous courage to offset physical disadvantages, but disadvantages they were.
The time when this disparity will become glaringly obvious in Boxing is less than ten years away. As eras pass athletes become bigger, stronger, faster and taller. The cruiserweight division had to be created to bridge the increasing gulf between light heavyweight and heavyweight. And in similar measure for measure terms the heavyweight division might well need to have the super heavy category weighing heavily over it. Timing is everything. It`s not necessary just quite yet, but it will become increasingly inevitable.