By Gav Duthie: When I was first getting into boxing I went round to my high street HMV and bought all the boxing history videotapes I could. Youtube is great these days but it was guys like Bert Sugar, Harry Carpenter, Teddy Atlas etc that set the scene in these historic video/DVD pieces conveying how eras were shaped rather than just watching individual fights. I was in awe of one chronology in particular named ‘The Fabulous Four’ referencing the rivalries between Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran.
These boxers fought in the same era and comfortably make most historians top 25 of all time. In total there were 8 fights between the 4 fighters including a trilogy between Leonard and Duran. The common conception these days are that the best won’t fight each other but in 2017 boxing is starting to buck that trend. Could we again see 4 superstars or even more interlocked in history, there names synonymous with each other in a race to become the best of their era.
The new breed
I wonder if there is ever a chance this could be created and my thoughts started with who could be a credible threat to the brilliant Vasyl Lomachenko. Loma is cutting through champions like a knife through butter and even though he is not in double figures in terms of fights many see him as the best pound for pound fighter in the world. But I soon thought there are lots of world class fighters that could test him, not just world champions but genuine world class in Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares and the young Gervonta Davis. Already at this stage Garcia has questioned Lomachenko’s credentials, Linares has called out both, Davis stock is rising rapidly and is being asked the question although Floyd Mayweather is shielding him from this at present. Wouldn’t it be great though instead of people just calling each other out they actually fought. Don’t get me wrong I’m not talking about some super tournament taking place in one night. There were 9 years between Leonard’s first fight with Duran and his last. It took 8 years for a rematch with Tommy Hearns so matchmaking was difficult even then but we got the big fights eventually.
Best of an era
(Head to head record in fabulous 4)
Sugar Ray Leonard 4-1-1 (1)
Marvin Hagler 2-1 (1)
Tommy Hearns 1-2-1 (1)
Roberto Duran 1-4 (0)
There were fantastic fights during this period and arguably the greatest of all time between Hagler and Hearns. All 4 fighters suffered loss which seems to be something many are afraid of these days. At a glance Leonard comes out on top but it should be noted that he should have lost his rematch to Hearns comfortably and that Roberto Duran was a formidable Lightweight and although successful at the higher weight it was never the same. The point is though that people still talk about them today and always will because of their achievements and willingness to put it all on the line. Hopefully we can get these new four or any world class talent to fight each other in the biggest fights available and see if Lomachenko is really the best or someone else.