Mayweather Jr, Sugar Ray Robinson and the fantastic four!
By Tom Drury: This article is going to state the most notable facts and career defining moments of these six great fighters and legends of the sport. Most fans out there will agree with me when I say “Sugar” Ray Robinson stands alone when it comes to the sweet science, in my eyes, fans and boxing experts worldwide he is the “greatest boxer of all time”.
Robinson was the originator of many things in sport namely boxing, his performances at welter-weight and middle-weight prompted sports writers to create the pound for pound list comparing fighters regardless of there weight.
Robinson was also known for his flamboyant lifestyle outside of the ring and many saw him as the originator of the modern sports “entourage” which included hairdresser, masseur, bodyguards and a man that whistled while he trained. Robinson had a fantastic amateur record 85-0 (69 KO) he went on to construct a professional record of 173 wins (108 KO) 19 losses, 6 draws, 2 no contests. Robinson was inducted into the international boxing hall of fame in 1990. Robinson was a fluid boxer, efficient with both hands, tremendous versatility in the way that he could deliver a knockout blow while going backwards.
Robinson’s arsenal included every standard punch from a bolo to a hook and a few he made up on the spur of the moment. Robinson once said “once a fighter has trained to a certain level their techniques and responses become almost reflexive, you dont think, its all instinct, if you stop to think your gone”. I’m not going to go through all Robinson’s career defining moments or achievements as we know he stands alone in boxing, fighting the best with notable wins over guys like Jake La Motta among others, his style was second to none, defense, offense, versatility, rhythm and devastating knockout power. To sum him up, he was a character that lit up the boxing world, undeniable good looks, brash personality and natural fight talent.
Lets move on to the fantastic four, Leonard, Duran, Hagler and Hearns. These four without doubt were greats and lucky for the fans occupied the same era, fighting each other and giving boxing followers worldwide some of the most memorable, savage fights in the history of the sport. Leonard, good looking, charismatic, undeniable natural skills and ring smarts, another personality that as a sport boxing needs. Hearns, not the most talented fighter, under the great trained eye of the late Emmanuel Steward was molded into a fighting machine, Steward taught Hearns how to utilise and use that tall lanky frame and deliver concussive punch power, Hearns was all heart, another personal favourite of mine. Duran, a high paced punching machine with great power, again not the most talented fighter but his power, determination and heart made him the man he was inside the ring, personally i liken him to the current day fighter Manny Pacquiao. Hagler, never got the acclaim, accolades or credit for many years, lacked personality but lived boxing, Hagler once said “if you cut open my head you will find one big boxing glove” in my opinion the most dedicated fighter in history, a fight against Hearns was what finally credited Hagler with the credit he deserved at the same time giving us the chance to see the greatest 3 rounds in boxing history.
“Sugar” Ray Leonard was the first fighter to earn $100,000,000 in fight purses, he won titles in five different weight classes with his career defining wins coming against Wilfred Benitez, Hearns, Hagler and Duran. He finished his career with a professional resumee of 36 (25 KO) 3 losses,1 draw.
“Marvellous” Marvin Hagler has the highest KO% of all middle-weight champions in history at 78%, he was undisputed middle-weight champion from 1980-1987, arguably one of the best chins in boxing history, career defining wins coming against Hearns, Duran, Minter, Mugabi. He finished his career with a professional resumee of 62 (52 KO) 3 losses, 2 draws.
“Hands of stone” Roberto Duran, a versatile brawler, many consider him the best lightweight of all time, Durans most notable wins came against Ken Buchanan, Leonard, Thorn, Iran Barkley and Felix Hernandes, while suffering losses at the hands of Leonard, Hearns and Hagler. Duran finished his career with a professional resume of 103 (70 KO) 16 losses, 0 draws.
“Hitman” Thomas Hearns, was the first fighter in history to win titles in five different weight classes, his most notable and career defining wins came against Duran, Wilfred Benitez, Murray Sutherland and Virgil Hill, he fought to a draw against Leonard which was considered a controversial decision to say the least. Hearns finished his career with a professional resumee of 61 (48 KO) 5 losses, 1 draw.
Floyd Mayweather Jr, Brash personality, arrogant, great natural talent and ring smarts, current WBC welter-weight champion, current WBA light-middle-weight champion, won eight world championships and lineal championship at three different weight classes, current pound for pound best fighter in the world and (1) Forbes list highest sports earner of 2012. Mayweather has took the sweet science to a whole different level. While I don’t believe he is or ever will be as good as “Sugar” Ray Robinson there is great similarities in what they have achieved in the sport. They are both originators men that stand alone in there respective era’s. Robinson was a rhythm fighter. Mayweather is not while Robinson believed rhythm was the key (he proved it) Mayweather believes rhythm is a hindrance (hes proved it) if you watch Floyd Mayweather fight he is never in rhythm he throws unorthodox punches with unorthodox but great flat footed movement, the reason for this is because he believes if you fight in rhythm the other fighter will sooner or later work that rhythm out, once they do it enhances there timing, Paquiao is a rhythm fighter repetitive footwork, in and out style, this was his undoing against the great Juan Manuel Marquez, Marquez had Pacquiao’s rhythm worked out from there first fight but did not have the power to compliment his timing, in there most recent fifth encounter Marquez knew all he needed was extra power, we all know what happened next!. So how is it two totally different styles can be so effective? it is due to both these men being gifted in a way not many (if any at all) are. “God given talent for fighting. Floyd Mayweather has been undefeated for 17 years since his arrival on the professional scene back in 1996. His resumee is littered with wins over undefeated fighters ( Coralles, Castillo, Hatton) multiple world champions (De La Hoya, Cotto, Marquez, Mosley) KO artists (Mosley, Coralles, Baldomir) (1) ranked contenders (Gatti, Judah).
Many fans dont give credit to Floyd Mayweather Jr (because they dont like him as a man, or havent followed boxing for many years) Mayweather like Robinson is an originator, a character that boxing needs backed up by the skills in the ring, boxing is about eras and the fighters that occupy the weight divisions, Mayweather’s resume is a great one he has totally dominated an era for 17 years and stayed unbeaten. Take out the career defining fights and take a look at Hearns and Duran’s resume. They are not as good as Mayweathers. I will also answer a question many fans touch on when posting on this forum about Mayweather’s inactivity.
Mayweather has completed 43 fights, he has just signed a contract for a further 6 fights which will take him to 49 fights, this means if he was to hang up the gloves he would have been more active than the great “Sugar Ray Leonard, Hearns, Duran, Hagler had a lot more fights but atleast 40 of those fights were against tomato cans. In my opinion there will likely never be another Floyd Mayweather Jr nor will there be another Robinson, Hearns, Hagler, Leonard or Duran, this timeline of unbelievable natural talent, heart, charisma, dedication, power, stops when Floyd Mayweather hangs up the gloves. I hear some fans claiming Adrien Broner will take over, its laughable. Broner is a good fighter, is he god gifted? no. his personality is based round Mayweather’s he is a copy write.
The final word on this article is before discrediting Floyd Mayweather’s achievements in the sport take a good long look at this article and the facts surrounding it, while taking into consideration they are from different eras and all there achievements have a different place in boxing history, we can all comment on who would win if they were in the same era but is that realistic? Robinson vs Mayweather greatest dream match up in history (Robinson wins for me) Mayweather vs Duran (Mayweather whoops Duran lopsided decision) Mayweather vs Leonard (Mayweather wins decision) Mayweather vs Hearns (Hearns by KO) Mayweather vs Hagler (Hagler TKO) imagine if all these fighters were in the same era? now that would be something, but there not! Floyd Mayweathers achievements are up there alongside every one of the fighters mentioned in this article, so does he deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as them? Damn right he does.