Change is expected in life, sometimes gratefully and other times it can be disappointing. But for the USA's contribution to heavyweight boxing, change has been devastating.
For years, boxing’s heaviest division was dominated by the North American nation, with an array of talent produced across the hugely populated country and nurtured to make an impact in the sport.
The likes of Muhammed Ali, Joe Louis and Mike Tyson maintained America’s dominance over a number of decades, at a time when the weight category was thriving with talent.
However, it’s been six years since America was last in possession of one of the four heavyweight titles and the drought looks set to continue as the Klitschko brothers refuse to budge.
So what happened? The welterweight division hasn’t suffered a similar collapse - in fact, the likes of Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Timothy Bradley are ruling supreme and maintaining the foothold America has in the sport.
The same cannot be said for the heavyweight boxers currently representing the United States, though. Chris Arreola occupies the lonely position of being the only US fighter ranked inside the division’s top 10.
Shannon Briggs was the last American boxer to hold one of the four heavyweight titles on offer, however that was six years ago. Compare that to the 23-year period that American’s kept hold of the title - which started back in 1960 - and the realisation of change becomes an unhappy thought.
American boxers have always been known for talking the talk. However recently, it seems many of the heavier fighters have struggled to back it up as an eastern European takeover has suffocated the division.
Boxing fans were spoilt back in the seventies, with blockbuster fights such as Ali’s much anticipated ‘Thrilla in Manila’ fight with Joe Frazier that stole the headlines and rocked the sporting world.
Unfortunately, American boxing fans have been starved of such events in the heavyweight division for too long now and are left clutching at the magical memories of the authority they once notoriously enjoyed.
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