Leonard claims that both he and Hearns would beat anyone from this era: Big talk but far from true
By Dallan O’ Donnell: Boxing great “Sugar” Ray Leonard recently claims that both he and fellow legend Tommy Hearns would beat any fighter in this era. Both fighters were part of the “Big 4”, four great fighters who all had classic bouts with one another during the 80s.
The big four consists of both Leonard and Hearns and Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler, four greatly talented fighters and rightfully four legendary boxers. But what Leonard is saying is far from true, he may believe it himself but this writer does not. I don’t believe Leonard would have beaten one Floyd Mayweather for starters, Leonard was quick, very quick, and probably quicker than Mayweather but Floyd is far more skilled than Leonard ever was, far more accurate and most of all far more defensively sound than any fighter that Leonard ever faced in his career.
It is not just Mayweather he would not beat. If I comprise a list of fighters from this era I come up with a “Big 5”, not “Big 4”. The list may not be popular but here we go: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez and Andre Ward. The Big 4 would struggle, in my opinion, to beat any of these fighters on my list. Mayweather would beat all four in my opinion. Pacquiao would struggle more but still 9 times out of 10 he would come out on top.
Andre Ward is slick and skilful, much like Mayweather and would be too skilful for Leonard. Both Cotto and Martinez are relentless power punchers. They would be drawn into a battle with any of the “Big 4” and to be honest I would fancy their chances in a slugfest against all 4 Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran. No doubt the 80s was a golden era, and no doubt that the Big 4 had no fear of fighting each other but if they were in their prime today then they may not be so revered. They were great fighters, all of them, and I have no doubt that if the “Big 4” and the “Big 5” were to meet they would be some classic fights, toe to toe battles and all out wars. But I won’t side with Sugar Ray.
I don’t think he would have beaten them all nor Hearns, Hagler and Duran. I think that we have a golden age in boxing with potential to explode over the next two years. If certain fights get made then this era will have been the greatest, one of those fights takes place on May 5th. If more fights like it get made, I feel Leonard may have to re-evaluate. Not many fans will agree with me but that is the beauty of boxing. Everyone has an opinion. But hopefully some can see the reasoning behind my words. If you have your own “Big 4” or comparisons from this era to the 80s era please comment or follow me on twitter @dallan09