I've often heard that today there are far fewer professional heavyweight boxers than there were in the 1970s, particularly due to more lucrative opportunities in other sports, and the long-term health risks of boxing as evidenced by figures like Muhammad Ali.

It's a claim I often see when people are claiming professional heavyweights of today to be far less capable than the golden age boxers.

I wouldn't have thought this to be true, as the global population is much bigger. Is there any truth to this claim?

  • Professional or just famous? I know of several boxers fighting professional (one even personally) who are known in their home region only.
    – dly
    May 2, 2020 at 9:17
  • @dly professional
    – 83457
    May 2, 2020 at 10:41
  • Surely there cannot be less unless the weight categories have changed. Or do you mean to say 'fewer'?
    – Chenmunka
    May 2, 2020 at 17:33
  • @Chenmunka I made a grammatical error but I'm not sure how you're reading it. Is the total amount of heavyweight boxers today X, less than the heavyweight boxers Y at some point in the 1970s?
    – 83457
    May 2, 2020 at 17:58

1 Answer 1


I don't have the statistics but it could be a very definite possibility. I don't know the exact cutoff for the 70s but in the 1920s the heavyweight limit started at 175lbs, and I don't believe cruiserweight was introduced until the late 70s or 80s. So a lot of guys boxing today at light heavy and cruiser would have been heavies back then.

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