Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

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Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

I've thought this for a while already but interested if anybody still thinks the 90's is better, especially considering the events of the past 3 weeks.
Would love to hear reasons in defence of the 90's without mentioning the Bowe Holyfield trilogy which was obviously a clear highlight.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

I wouldn't say by a mile, but you could still definitely make a strong case for this current era being better.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Why not by a mile? I think the argument rests on strength in depth and number of elite fights. Bowe Holyfield aside, there were no other elite fights and I think the other world title holders bar Lewis, were average, as proved by Foreman coming back. I don't think a prime Frank Bruno would win a British title these days but he won a world title when he was way past his best in the 90's.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

The 90’s heavyweight division was way deeper than it is now. That isn’t to say that today’s heavyweight division isn’t good, but you can’t top names like Lewis, Holyfield, Bowe, Moorer, Foreman, Tyson, Mercer, Morrison, McCall, or Tua. There were so many strong contenders back then.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

I've heard this argument before but dont think I agree. Lewis, Holyfield and Bowe were all elite fighters but I think Fury is a level above all of them and Wilder, Usyk and even Joshua are on a par or not far behind. The trilogy was great but Holyfield was finished by the time he fought Lewis. Tyson was finished for almost the entirety of the decade.
Tackling the rung below is when it becomes obvious to me; stick Moorer, 90's Foreman, Mercer, Morrison, McCall, Tua in today's rankings and where would they sit?
I'd fancy Bryant Jennings to make light work of all of them. Put a prime Tommy Morrison in the ring with Hughie Fury and I'd bet the mortgage on Hughie; let alone the Hrgovic, Dubois, Anderson, Joyces etc...
Guessing you don't agree but would be interested to hear where you'd put the 2nd level 90's fighters in todays rankings

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Bryant Jennings making light work of David Tua? The same Jennings who nearly got chinned by Dimitrenko?

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

yep and yep. Jennings would have won a world title in that era (imo) because look at the guys who did

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

I rate Bowe vs Evander Holyfied trilogy above this one simply cuz all 3 bouts were actually competitive at elite levels technically (even the third one was before Bowe timed a punch from hell) Fury ripped Wilder a new one (I did read your argument partb about Bowe Holyfield but I suspect all the comparisons in the media and trilogy talks may have been what brought up this thread and I'm playingy part in that here lol)
If people rate Joshua Wladimir a top notch fight wasn't Holyfield Tyson 1 one too even with em fouls what about Lewis Mercer
yes Bowe had a "wasted" underwhelming career,in that regard he was to the sport at it highest levels what Camacho was for the 80s albeit for different reasons
cant think of a few bouts In recent times hitting the heights of Ike vs Tua

not it aint better "by a mile" nah

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

I've been thinking this for years already, it's only now I've got the confidence to out myself. I rate Bowe Holyfield as a better trilogy too but is the Bowe Holyfield trilogy better than Wilder Fury trilogy, Fury Klitschko, Joshua Klitschko and Joshua Usyk combined? I'd say no myself.
I don't think Mercer was an elite fighter but I agree it was Lewis' hardest fight in the 90's and it was a high level fight. Holyfield got made to look good by beating Mike Tyson's ghost but was basically done after the trilogy. Also, I was a huge Lewis fan at the time but he was quite awkward and his chin wasn't the best; the one time he fought an elite fighter in their prime (Vitali) he was losing till a cut. I wouldn't make him favourite against any of the top 3 today and Lewis Joshua's a 50-50, maybe 60-40 Lewis.
I don't think Tua would win a round against a Michael Hunter or some of the better movers today. Interested as to where you would put Tua in today's rankings?

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

no shame there trust me i'm still aint got the confidence to out myself on some of my more unpopular opinions especially ones that dont put old time fighters on a pedestal
you've picked 3 fights there to go with the that modern day trilogy vs a 90s'trilogy alone?...doesnt that make the point on its own...but overall i see where you're coming from i do feel 2020s is shaping up to put the 90's HW division and fights to the dust

nah Holyfield was in the lowest place too of his professional career (pre 2003) with poor performances, losses like vs Moorer, heart issues etc and in a worse run of form than Tyson post prison which is why Tyson was the huge betting fav and most American media picked him except Ron Borges but seeing you was a fan of boxing at the time maybe you can inform me on something i may be missing ( i was in diapers in '96 and didnt take an interest to pro boxing outside of names like Dela Hoya, Mayweather Jr, Pacquiao, Amir Khan until 2012-2013)
no i dont feel Mercer was cream of the crop either...but the guy made up for being ill prepared in some of his worst upsets up performing outta his boots when the cards were stacked against him both in the 80s & 90s
fav..hmm maybe i'd have Lewis over Joshua but i wouldnt place too much stock in that and he was losing a very close fight that may have been even when his punch made sure Vitali couldnt continue...comeback victories are still victories

honestly i wouldnt place Tua in todays rankings as thats way too subjective however if i do get time to think on it i may be willing to do a combined list ranking HWs from 90s and modern day and see where Tua fits in that way cuz i wouldnt wanna place too much credence and weight on my interpretations of factors that could play a major factor in deciding 'Fantasy Fights' across 2 comparable eras in terms of technical abilities and stiffness of tests/level of competition and fighters are still around the same weight region (specially important at HW) but more weightage is placed how them fighters did vs the best of that era's and lesser on how they could possibly do vs each other and taking their styles into account that way

my point there should let you know where i stand on Tua vs Michael Hunter Jr (i heard his dad beat Tyrell Biggs in the 90s idk) thats way too subjective way too fantasy fightical and way too blah for me but i do know id give Tua a punchers chance and i wouldnt be a 100% sold on any one eventuality like i would be if lets say Saul Alvarez was given the license to fight Hassan N'dam in 2022...

to me fantasy fights are not a open and shut case like say if Joe Louis from the 30s or Jersey Joe Walcott from a decade later would fight a top fighter of the last 60 years comparable to their weight, much smaller and taking same day weigh ins into those cases the limitations of fighters from that time period both in ability and even lesser quality of styles those fighters were exposed to given how they fights were refed and practiced then would mean they would be boxing aliens and not the hollywood movies kind either if they had to face a boxer from the last 60 years given available footage from that time period...boxers inspired from their principles of the "sweet science" but way too developed for their time)

for those reasons primarily i dont rank the likes of Joe Louis all time with the elites but he is eligible for a top 10 ranking in my vanarama league A (or Class A advanced for Americans) at HW and the likes of Jack Jackson, Sam Langford are eligible for top 10 ranking in my vanarama B- ( class A) ranking whereas the elites of last 60 years ranked accordingly at premiership (or major league) the gulf in gap ability vice is quite literally leagues apart and its literally a different sport today given how fights are refeed and practiced all around vs those eras

and that's one positive side effect of ranking them that places lesser importance ironically on the fantasy fight aspect all together as HWs from near a century ago were smaller than Cruisers today and weigh in were on the same day and do i feel there's that much of a gulf in class ability vice between Hunter Jr and

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Only reason I compared 6 modern day fights to 1 90's triogy is because I don;t think there are any other fights on that level from the 90's.

Tyson Holyfield; I was 14 (another confession). It was the first American fight night I stayed up for and I remember thinking Tyson was gonna smash him as did my friends but I also remember all the adults that watched more boxing than we did (dads, uncles etc) telling us Holyfield would stop him and me thinking they were mad. People outside the hype bubble knew the deal.
Fair play on Hunter Jr Tua with regards to ability but I think the gulf in athleticism and fitness would be quite wide; as I'm writing, I'm thinking Ruiz is a bit of a Tua mark 2. Not sure what you think of that comparison?
Agree on the comparisons too, as great a fighter as max Schmeling was, he was a cruiserweight and that was Joe Louis' biggest fight (imo, he was done by the time he fought Charles and Marciano). Imo, the best example is Fury Ali. I think Ali was more talented than Fury but is there enough difference in talent to compensate for the siza? I'm not sure. We'll find out more if Fury Usyk happens.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

appreciate that you shared man...i've heard stories both ways but predominantly in most of em for most Tyson was odds on fav to win...was Tyson your fav fighter growing up or was it Chavez or somebody else...did you guys pay that much attention to the lower weights too back then among American and Mexican boxers Trinidads, Mosleys,Tim Austins, Barreras..

hey going off the Joshua rematch and Arreola performances my guy was looking he was influenced by all the negatives qualities of Tua in the ring for sure lol
if Fury Usyk happened today who would you pick

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Confession number 3, I was a casual until Fury Klitschko. Had no idea about the lower weights. Used to watch Naz, I knew he was brilliant but I used to watch in the hope that he'd get ko'd at the time. My favourite fighter was Tyson when I was really young (mainly because first fight I ever watched was Bruno Tyson 1), then Lewis, as soon as I started wacthing a bit more (as a general sports fan), it was Roy Jones but i didn't watch my first pernell whitaker fight until after he died so there were chasm like knowledge gaps.

If Fury Usyk happened today I'd back Fury by ko. 6 inches in height and 50 pounds in size difference and not that much of a difference in ability but if Usyk manages to beat Fury then he goes above him in my all time list. What about you Chris? Who was your fave growing up as well?

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

oh word?..i see why you hold that fight in great reverence more so than the avg boxing fan i talk to or i get that feel generally see most fans not giving that fight and Fury's performance it deserves and a lot of this downright downplaying it even to the extend where most matchroom and British fans i used to interact with on social media platforms rank Joshua's victory higher over Wlad than Fury's..personally i couldnt overlook circumstances of Wlad coming into the Joshua fight and how Fury fight unlike Joshua's wasnt competitive in the slightest and that Fury had that in the bag pretty much the whole way

to me commentary drama wise ".... in Dusseldorf...its unanimous on the cards..... Tyson Fury world HW king" was mad motivational that bit and his comments right when Kell Brook was declared the winner over Shawn Porter..i used to listen to those clip at times before workouts ngl with moments like that dude proved he was the British Jim Lampley for the hype and capturing the passion of the moment alone and that to me in essence is what the main skill points of commentator no 1 should be...what they call the "blow by blow" guy or 'what i call the hype guy'( commentator #2 traditionally was always the boxing journalist the Bersteins, the Merchants commentator 3 the boxing analyst aka trainer,fighter etc)...i used to find Bob SHeridan used to do a solid in his role as commentator 1 too

Rigo Donaire was to me what Tyson Klitscho was to you...sadly Rigo aint have the career or machine behind him to match & fulfill the initial buzz but that feeling of awe and appreciation of skills stays with you huh

wasnt Bruno bigger back then than Lewis?..before and after his defeat to him?.
boxing wasnt my sport growing up so didnt have too many favs but as mainstream figures to me at least Pacquiao and Amir Khan crossed over and grabbed my attention and that of my friends and they're real entertaining styles kept my interest not to mention the drama and competitiveness of some of their bouts kept you hooked and my older cousins were fans of Freddie Roach's offensive fighters so Ruslan Provodnikov's even Chavez Jr was a cant miss in our household...had i been into the sport in the mid 2000s woulda been a Israel Vazquez stan for sure

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

AJ Klitschko was more entertaining but if you were aware of the narrative they were equal for drama and the Fury fight meant a whole deal more. It's true that the popularity of boxing in the mainstram is led by hw boxing and as much as I can appreciate the nuances of the Klitschko style now, they were boring as hell. The competition was mediocre if I'm being polite and people lost interest. I didn't watch Fury live because I thought he was going to get flattened; watched it when it repeated and remember thinking a 6'9 man making himself as elusive as he did for 36 minutes was basically magic.

Re Rigo, it's a shame that the boxers don't get the same promotion the fighters do. It's bad here but I can imagine it's even worse on your side of the water, whre the ko is everything.

Bruno was bigger than Lewis. Mainly because Bruno fought in the era where there were only 4 channels so you'd get millions of people watching his fights. He was probably one of, if not the most famous sportsman among Brits at the time. Lewis started a bit later when sattelite tv came in and he spoke with a Canadian accent so it really took him to win something for people to accept him.

Pacman was a hero of mine too. Not sure about his politics; what Ariza was putting in his milkshakes or why he thought it was wise to allow Gibbons to hire Memo Heredia for MPP but great fighter.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

i cant rank Tyson and Usyk up there just yet primarily cuz they're still active and their better achievements & fights of both their HW careers is yet to full filled i feel..if they do manage to do it...and Usyk has just one big win at the weight i wanna see his career play out a little you know...i'll probably revisit this topic with renewed vigor if he manages to beat Joshua more convincingly in the rematch who knows...i been saying for couple years if Fury unifies he's the greatest HW since Lewis in my eyes and topples Wladimir from my top 5 HW list of all time who knows maybe Usyk can join him in the list toppling Holyfield too

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Fair play on careers not finishing yet. I already have Fury in at no2 all-time but if he loses to Usyk, I might drop him down below Holyfield again. If he beats Usyk and retires undefeated, I have to give serious thought to how he compares to Ali.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

I'm a bit late on this but I think it's a bit premature to think of all the 'top' current heavyweights as elite fighters in era comparison and there could be a strong case to say 2 of the big 4 are vastly overrated.

Apart from Fury, who have the other 3 actually beat?

AJ beat a 40 year old steel hammer, just. After he'd already been bamboozed by Fury and let's not forget AJ almost got knocked out. He would have done if KO was 5 years younger.
Aj got knocked out by an average Ruiz. The first elite fighter he came up against in his prime comprehensively outboxed him - and he's not even a natural heavyweight! The only really good fighters AJ has beat were way over the hill.

Then we've got Wilder who has never been a good boxer. I don't think he beat anyone decent until he put Ortiz away but again, how old was he at that point? Wilder has faced a truly elite fighter 3 times, lost all 3 (let's be honest) and got destroyed twice.

We have Usyk who yes, is a master boxer for sure. But he's only beat who I believe to be a vastly overrated AJ who was already severely damaged by Ruiz. Can he beat a true big man who knows how to use his weight? It remains to be seen. For the record I believe Usyk is the real deal but he's still got a bit to do to prove he's an elite heavyweight in my opinion.

Fury is the only one of the 4 to have proved he's an era crossover star.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

First off, great prediction for Saturday.

See where you're coming from but AJ has beat a lot of good men at the end of their careers, a raw Dillian Whyte and I think Parker is better than he's showed so far but how is Lennox Lewis's cv any different (I know we are talking about the 90's but look at the "great" Marciano's record too)? Keep in mind a Povetkin Joshua had dealt with a couple of years earlier absolutely poleaxed Whyte.
When you say "average Ruiz" do you mean you think Ruiz is average or he was having an average night? Because I don't think Ruiz is average; I'd back him against any of the 90's heavyweights bar the top 3. He may not be a "natural hw" by today's standards but he's the same height as Oliver McCall and a few inches taller than Tyson and Tua.

Again see where you're coming from on Wilder but playing devil's advocate if you think Fury is a generational fighter, as I do too, then Wilder didn't get destroyed on Saturday; he gave him the best fight of his life so far. If he doesn't have the most destructive weapon in boxing history, he's definitely in the conversation, he's lightning at closing the distance and his chin is world class. Not in style but as a ko specialist, he's comparable to Iron Mike.

The obvious Usyk comparison is Holyfield. Holyfield had the Bowe trilogy but who did Bowe fight apart from Holyfield? I think Bowe Joshua would be a great fight which is an indicator to me that if we call Bowe elite, Joshua should be too.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Thanks mate (re prediction).

With AJ, I honestly thought he was losing that fight to Povetkin. Take nothing away from him, he got the job done in style in the end. Whyte in the 2nd fight dealt with him much better than AJ did, although I accept those extra few years probably made a difference.

I think AJ is damaged goods. Ever since that KO you can see he's scared to put his foot on the gas, I believe due to fear of gassing himself out. I think he's lost confidence in his own stamina. I'll give him credit for the Ruiz rematch as he did what he had to do there, albeit Ruiz was very ill prepared for that fight. Against Pulev, he was worried about punching himself out, then that same lack of confidence cost him against Usyk when he wouldn't let his hands go.

I think AJ has beat a fair few good fighters put with the exception of a 40 year old Vladimir, nobody that could be classed as very good and certainly not elite. I'm also certain that a 5 years younger Vladimir wouldn't have let AJ off the hook that night.

Ruiz, that comment was just in relative terms. When motivated, he's a good fighter but again, not elite.

With Wilder, we need to see him in with the other 2 before we can see how good he is. If he knocks out Usyk and AJ I'd be more than happy to concede he's an all time great but i doubt he'd do it. From very early on in his career, he's built up a bloated record. Before Saturday I'd have said he's a one trick pony, albeit with an absolute thoroughbred pony of a right hand. I thought he fought well in Fury 3 and showed he has a bit more to his game. Still, as Tyson said, the outcome remained the same and let's be honest, Fury was probably 70-80% and still knocked him out quite comprehensively in the end.

The difference between Bowe and AJ is that Bowe beat one of the elite stars in his era twice. AJ hasn't beaten any of them. Everyone thought AJ and Wilder were the big 2. Fury came back to make it 3. Usyk stepped up to make it 4.

I feel like for the other 3 (bar Fury) to be considered greats, they need to beat one of the others. That's just my personal opinion. I think Fury and Usyk are a way ahead of the other 2. (I had Usyk beating AJ before that fight by the way but didn't post a preview). I'd still love to see Wilder vs AJ and it seems like a plausible fight assuming Usyk wins the rematch, which he surely will.

It is a great Era, we just need them all to bloomin fight each other. Hearn and Joshua got greedy on Wilder, they could have had this trilogy won before Fury was even off his arse.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Not sure about AJ being damaged goods. I don't think he was great to start with and he has been gently improving. I still consider Povetkin his 2nd best performance because like you, I thought he was going to lose but he finsihed it in impressive style. It's a tough one because if you take the 70's out of the equation, there weren't many elite hw fights per era. Marciano and Mike Tyson had their defining fights against men that were well past their best and Wlad was only one fight away from an 11 year unbeaten reign. I don't see the difference on cv's there.

Bang on with the last paragraph, I think that about all the weight classes. I find a good "rule of thumb" for fights the boxing public want, not happening, is blame PBC.
If I could have one boxing wish, it would be that Al Haymon retires.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

It seems we're on the same page with most of that. With AJ I just feel it's a confidence thing more than anything. I didn't mind him taking his time against Pulev but the change in MO suggests something isn't the same. It could be an improvement as you suggest it or it could be a lack of confidence.

Just to throw it out there, I always thought (and still do) that Vitali was better than Vlad ;-)

As for Haymon and PBC, you may recall I chimed in on your Eddie Hearn thread a while ago. I assure you we share a mutual dislike of Haymon!

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

No it's not and it's not even that close

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

You haven't left me much room for reply there. If you're passionate about 90's hw boxing I'd like to hear why.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Can't agree. I got into boxing through 90s era heavyweights. I had little interest in the lighter weights back then. It was only until I moved past the 90s era did I learn that heavyweights were historically a weak division and were lacking in depth baring the top 3-5 of the division.

Even today I don't think anyone outside of Usyk is an elite p4p talent like Riddick Bowe, Mike Tyson, and Holyfield. Fury and Wilder IMO have become wasted talents. Fury has all the talent but he wasted too much of his potential on his profligate lifestyle and his stretches of inactivity. The physical state the Gypsy King is now I won't be surprised if Dillian Whyte beats him. Wilder could have been an elite talent he has all the athletic ability but he fell in love with his power and became a one-trick pony. I favor Usyk to beat all of today's heavyweights but I don't think he would have been successful at the elite level against Lewis, Mike Tyson, or Holyfield; I give him a decent shot against Bowe because the latter struggled against pure boxers but even then I'd still favor Bowe to find him in the end.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Valid opinion but would you consider Fury and Wilder elite heavyweights if they beat Usyk?
Mike Tyson's a bit of an enigma, I'd back a prime Mike Tyson to destroy a prime Lewis but he never actually proved that throughout his career. I'd liken him to Prince Naseem in that way, bundles of talent but we never saw it against another elite fighter in their prime.
What are your thoughts on strength in depth of the division? The top fighters are harder to call but my question is how would an Oliver McCall, Frank Bruno or a Hasim Rahman fare today? My personal opinion is Andy Ruiz, Michael Hunter and Jared Anderson all win by stoppage and even somebody like a Bryant Jennings would comfortably beat all 3. Looking at it from a British perspective, a prime Frank Bruno wouldn't get in the top 5 British HWs today and the top 10's debatable.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Fury and Wilder are elite heavyweights as is AJ relative to their era. An elite from one era would be merely world-class in a stronger era. It's all relative. What I meant was the current crop outside of Usyk aren't IMO p4p elites as Mike Tyson, Bowe, Holyfield, and Lewis were all considered in their prime, and even with the former I don't think he would have cut it at the elite level in the nineties, I just happen to think this particular heavyweight era is weaker. I do think Wilder and Fury could have been truly special fighters if the had the former hadn't fallen in love with his power and the latter hadn't lost his way and abused his body.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

i understand what you meant and I disagree, both on if they should be considered elite p4p and also about the abuse etc.. but it's a valid opinion and you consider Usyk p4p so if Fury beats Usyk, surely you have to put him in there or would he have to beat him twice to prove it wasn't a fluke?
Really interested to hear your opinion on strength in depth (my question about Bruno and the rest). I think the elite conversation could be a matter of what-you-like but can we agree that a 45 year old Foreman wouldn't be in the top 50 hws today; let alone winning world titles?

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

I have not keot up with the sport in recent times so i can not say. If you know boxing and you truly think thwt then i nust be missing out on a lot of good stuff.

I never cared much for hilyfiekd or riddick bowe to be honest.

But the 90s produced some of the history s best.

Pound fir pound who woukd you put in the top 3 today thwt i can keep an eye out for?

Alos where wouod you comoare today to the 80s?

Ive alwwys found it hard to compare a fighter from one generation to the next unless you go as far back as jim jefferies/jack demosey etc etc.

You could really see a noticable difference in fighters skill sets from there forward

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

If you didn't care for Bowe and Holyfield then there is no debate that this era of hws is better because their trilogy carried the 90's in my opinion.

p4p is really subjective but I do it on eye-test and my top 3 are Lomachenko (lightweight), Crawford (Welterweight) and Inoue (Bantamweight). Canelo is most people's number 1. Tyson Fury, Oleksander Usyk and Errol Spence are the other serious contenders.

I'll let others comment on the 80's, I don't know enough to have an opinion.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Are you talking just he heavyweight division ir all around? Because their fighta is a drop in the bucket if you consider all divisions from the 99s.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

just hw

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

In my opinion, it's hard to argue this is a better era for heavyweight boxing than the 90s, it's a better era now than the 2000s, when the Klitschko's dominated the division, Fury and Wilder have had 2 good fights, but as you said, the the 90s produced some of history's best, and Wilder and Joshua likely haven't improved enough to be as good as the top heavyweights of the 90s. My top 3 heavyweights are Fury, Usyk, Joshua, pound for pound, my top 3 are Canelo, Crawford, Inoue.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Great topic, wish I could use a spreadsheet but I'll try to be clear with my ideas. I put the HW boxers into four categories for comparison:
This Era: A Level) Fury, Usyk, Wilder, Joshua -- B Level) Whyte, Parker, Ruiz, Povetkin, Ortiz -- C Level) Kownacki, Helenius, Arreola, Hunter -- Overrated/Untested) Joyce, Dubois, Hrgovic, Sanchez, Ajagba, Charr, Bryan, Martin
1990s: A Level) Lewis, Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe, Vitali Klitschko -- B Level) Moorer, Morrison, Ruddock, Foreman*, Mercer, Tua, Byrd -- CLevel) McCall, Ibeabuchi, Rahman, Williams, Grant -- Overrated/Untested) Golota, Seldon, Witherspoon, Holmes*
We could have huge debates about who goes in what category, but once you decide, then match the fighters against each other by categories and get some kind of system going that would give a statistical rating (Rummy from Rummy's Corner who's on YouTube all the time would be really good at this) -- the "Overrated/Untested Category" is there to make sense out of odd careers like Andrew Golota's, or the Larry Holmes' comeback, and especially in this era we have all sorts of unknowns. I know I''ll get some major flak about Joe Joyce (stands up way too straight and really is impossibly slow), and Mahmoud Charr and Trevor Bryan are only mentioned because the WBA gave them titles. I didn't know what to make of George Foremen's 1990s comeback, although he reduced the rating of Michael Moorer with that KO, and I thought Moorer was was overrated anyway.
So, by my list and a 10pt rating system for each fighter, the A Level in the 1990s averaged 8.2 and in the current era, 8.0. Vitali Klitschko, the fifth A Level fighter for the 1990s, was only ranked in 1999, so it's hard to fully include him, and I couldn't honestly find a fifth A Level fighter to put with the four in the current era. The 1990s would need to be given some credit for having the fifth fighter, and if Foreman is added to the A Level by some fans, it would further deepen that era's lead at the top. I suspect the B Level may be where the comparison produces a winner and a loser, and without adding up any numbers yet, it looks to me like the 1990s would win out - use Dillian Whyte vs. Ray Mercer as an example, or Tommy Morrison vs. Luis Ortiz, and who would win in a Povetkin - Tua fight?.... there are also more fighters at that level in the 1990s, but what to make of Chris Byrd vs Andy Ruiz?
One last stat: Among the A Level fighters, the 1990s had 8 fights, the current era 4 (3 of which were Fury-Wilder) - but of course more may come. We hope. Usyk-Joshua 2 would make 5.
I'm going to put together a full spreadsheet and see what I come up with, and maybe find a way to post it.
Great topic and great answers all the way through. I was doing something else but once I read the question I forgot about it and spent more than an hour on this. It's dark now and I didn't shovel my Jeep out of a few feet of snow. Guess I'll watch a few YouTube fights and keep warm.

Re: Current era of HW boxing is better than the 90's by a mile.

Loving the enthusiasm. I would put Jared Anderson in there somewhere; already a top 3 or 4 US hw in my opinion and I know you specified the belts as to why you included Charr and Bryan but I think we all know they would be flattened by the entire top 30. I don't even think Helenius, Arreola and Kownacki should be included any more. Helenius is the best of that trio by a distance and Chisora beat him by shut out (and got robbed) when Helenius was in his prime. Chisora that's lost 12 times already. Then you have Gassiev, Wallin, Bakole, Yoka, Makhmudov, Hughie Fury and people like Briedis and Okolie waiting to step up,who are all untested or not at their peaks but obviously very talented. From (my admittedly awful) memory, Moorer aside, all the B and C level guys from the 90's are quite immobile. Tough guys with good hands and the turning circle of an oil tanker but I look forward to rewatching some fights once you've delivered your conclusion.