I've had a theory bubbling for a while that character development in stories is fundamentally about how characters cope with challenges. I bet few people would find a protagonist who effortlessly wipes the floor with the antagonist during the climax dramatically interesting. However, what's less clear to me is exactly what level of power the protagonist should have relative to the antagonist by the time the two confront each other during the climax. Which of these two scenarios sounds more dramatically interesting to you?
Scenario A: The antagonist has a better chance of defeating the protagonist than the reverse when the climax arrives (David vs Goliath)
Scenario B: The protagonist and the antagonist have more or less equal chances of defeating each other (Goliath vs Goliath)
I'll add that the story in Scenario B doesn't necessarily have to start with the protagonist having equal power to the antagonist. If anything, it might be ideal if the protagonist started the story as the weaker party but over time accumulated power so that they became the antagonist's equal when the climax comes. In other words, the protagonist would start out David but then grow into Goliath until they were ready to confront the antagonizing Goliath.
I vote for Scenario B. Sure, it's tempting to root for the underdog, but I feel that if the antagonist never loses their advantage over the protagonist, the protagonist will have to depend either on luck or some ridiculous contrivance to beat the antagonist.
BTW, even in Scenario B, the protagonist and antagonist do not have to beat each other using the same tools. We could have an antagonist that is physically stronger, but the protagonist compensates for that by having greater intelligence, thus evening out their odds of beating each other.