Former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield has finally spoken, addressing the major issue of the decline of interest among the boxing faithful in the heavyweight division.
The heavyweight category has failed to be the main attraction in recent years, which has led to viewers and spectators focusing their attention on the lower weight divisions.
But, Holyfield believes despite the lower categories gaining prominence lately, the heavyweight scene can still be regarded as a major draw.
However, the four-time champion points out that the plummet has been caused due to two individuals, Klitschko brothers Vitali and Wladimir.
He asserted that the division has become less engaging for fans as the Ukrainian duo made it unattractive to watch.
The 55-year-old told BoxingScene.com: “The heavyweight division changed because of the Klitschkos.
“The judges had to score hugging sessions instead of fights. You go in there to throw punches, but at one point the fights were just hugs.
“When I faced Mike Tyson you knew that you were going to throw punches, but you also knew that you were going receive, and when I threw punches at you, you knew what you had to do - to avoid that punch and respond, you took advantage of those opportunities.”
Holyfield specifically mentioned the Klitshcko brothers to have damaged the style of boxing in the heavyweights over the years, up until both retired.
Yet, the American icon is optimistic of the future as he is of the opinion that the current and upcoming boxers have the talent and potential to raise the level of heavyweight in the global map.
According to Holyfield, fighters like Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua, David Haye, Joseph Parker, Luis Ortiz, Dillian Whyte, Joe Joyce, Tony Bellew, and Daniel Dubois are some of the elite names who are the future of the sport.
He concluded by adding: “I do not understand how those fighters who used to tie up their opponents won the fights, they won without throwing punches, because you had to use your skills more often. This division has lost interest because of the lack of action, but good things are coming.”
It remains to be seen if the Klitschko’s care to answer back to the legend in the coming days in regard to his claims.
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