Heavyweight has traditionally been the glamour division in boxing. From the late 19th century through most of the 20th, the World Heavyweight Championship in boxing was viewed as the biggest title in sports.
Over the years, major stars from every sport have captured the public imagination from time to time. But the heavyweight boxing champ has usually enjoyed a special kind of status as the baddest, toughest man alive.
In more recent years, the heavyweight division has fallen off in prestige, although this has been more of a phenomenon in the U.S. than abroad. When the Ukranian Klitschko brothers defend their belts in Germany, the atmosphere is as electric as a rock concert.
On Saturday, younger sibling Wladimir will earn in excess of $20 million to defend his belt against Alexander Povetkin in Moscow, Russia. The fight will even be broadcast stateside on HBO.
And even here in America, the division has been gaining more attention in the past year or so, with the charge led by monster-puncher Deontay Wilder, who has knocked out all 29 opponents he has faced as a professional, with every single one of them going down within four rounds.
So with a major championship bout on offer for the weekend and the weight class gaining momentum here at home, I offer this look back at the best heavyweight from each decade, from the dawn of the gloved era to the present day.