Even ‘The Greatest’, Muhammad Ali, would have struggled against current heavyweight king Tyson Fury, according to Bob Arum.
Top Rank CEO Arum, now 88 and a legend of the sport, promoted Ali during his glittering career and now looks after Fury along with Frank Warren.
And he believes Fury’s sheer physical size – and the athletic gifts he possesses along with that size – would have presented problems for the man generally acknowledged as the best heavyweight of all time.
Arum told Sky Sports: “How would Ali have done with Fury? That’s a question I wrestle with. The Ali before the three-and-a-half years out was absolutely superb. Nobody could touch him, he was so fast.
“Ali was 6ft3ins and the guys he fought were about the same size. How would he do against a 6ft9ins guy who is an incredible boxer with great footwork?
“I grew up with basketball in New York and the centre was barely 6ft6ins. A guard was 5ft10ins. Now LeBron James is as quick as any guard but he’s 6ft10ins. Imagine LeBron playing against the small guys of my era. It would be a joke, he would score 60 points every game.
“I can’t see Ali competing with a 6ft9ins guy like Fury. We had big guys in the old days but they were slow, lumbering. They were jokes who couldn’t fight, they were just big. It’s all changing. Look at Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder. They are huge guys.
“But maybe if Ali was in this era he would be 6ft6ins instead of 6ft3ins because of the nutrition. Everything has changed.”
Reigning WBC and Ring magazine heavyweight champion Fury is due to fight Deontay Wilder in their third meeting later this year, while there is also heavy speculation that an all-British blockbuster with fellow heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua could even come before that.
That would though rely on Wilder giving up his right to a Fury fight and Kubrat Pulev also stepping aside from his mandatory challenge for Joshua’s titles.