Mayweather Jr vs. Leonard, Duran, Hearns and Hagler
By TFF: A lot of comparisons have been made as to who’s the best of all times. In this article I will mainly compare Floyd Mayweather Jr vs. Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, Thomas “The Hit Man” Hearns and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Before any one starts talking why I included Hagler in the comparison, the answer is those four guys fought each other so realistically it would be the equivalent of Mayweather Jr vs Gennady Golovkin.
So I’m going to start the comparison from weakest match up to the hardest vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
1) Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran vs, Mayweather Jr is the close equivalent to the Mayweather Jr vs. Marcos Maidana first fight with the difference that Duran was way more skilled and slightly faster than Maidana and had real movement.
He was hard to shake off as Leonard and Hagler found out the hard way. It was a truly a grueling fight non-stop. Duran wins by either KO 11th or 12th or unanimous decision.
(2) Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Mayweather Jr. Hagler was just always on you throwing hard punches non-stop very similar outcome to the first Duran comparison but probably would have ended by earlier KO of Mayweather Jr in 9 rounds because of the harder punches Hagler threw.
(3) Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Mayweather Jr. This where the student of boxing goes to school to learn from the professor Leonard. There would be just too much speed and boxing skills and countering ability from Leonard and while Mayweather’s countering is superior to that of Leonard it’s just nowhere near enough to stop Leonard from preaching his gospel all over Mayweather’s face. Sugar Ray Leonard KOs Mayweather Jr in 10 rounds or less but leading up to the KO it would be a complete domination of Mayweather Jr. Mayweather Sr actually put up a decent fight against Leonard but only because he was a boxer/fighter, but in the end he folded like the rest.
(4) Thomas “The Hitman” Hearns vs. Mayweather Jr. Yes, this would be the ultimate nightmare fight for Mayweather Jr. In fact, Manny Pacquiao I think would fair decent against the other 3, and yes, that includes even Hagler, but not Hearns. Styles make fights and I’ll get to that here in a minute but there was just no way for Mayweather Jr to last even 4 rounds against Hearns. Pacquiao would of fared a lot better because of his speed and footwork, but I suspect Pacquiao would be caught also by the 8th or 9th round also but you never know.
A boxer who just counters like Mayweather Jr would have been an easy pickings breakfast for Hearns, especially when Mayweather Jr doesn’t have the punching power to faze Hearns. Hearns had a decent chin, better than most credit him for having, but not an elite chin. If you look at the guys who knock him out you’ll find names like Hagler and Iran Barkley 2, who were elite punchers. Even Leonard, who had a good punch, but it was the accumulation of non-stop punches that finally got to Hearns in 13th and finally the 14th by TKO win for Leonard. You have to understand that Hearns’ chin was no joke either. Hearns would have flattened Mayweather Jr.
Now you may have noticed the order in which I placed these past boxing legends from easiest to hardest vs. Mayweather Jr, but that doesn’t mean that one was better than the other and that’s why styles make fights.
Leonard’s only loss against the other 3 legends of his time came by the hands of Duran. Duran, on the other hand, lost to Hearns and Hagler and also to Leonard in the other 2 rematches. Hearns loses to Leonard by TKO, flattens Duran in just 2 rounds and loses by KO to Hagler.
Hagler had one of the hardest fights of his boxing career against Duran in fact in the 12th round the fight was up for grabs and Hagler pulled out the win in the 13th, 14th and 15th final round. Hagler Kos Hearns less than a year later and then finally loses to Leonard in 1987 via split decision in the 12th and final round. It was razor thin close. Some will argue it one way or the other and both side would have valid claims but realistically it was a tossup. Styles make fights and like I’ve said it’s a rock paper scissor kind of game /sport, *Hearns flattens Duran in 2 rounds, Iran Barkley KOs Hearns in round 3 and Duran almost KOs Iran Bakley in the 11th and wins by split decision in the 12th.
Hagler has one of his hardest fights against Duran that for a 15th round win for Hagler. Then Hagler KOs Hearns in 3 rounds, Hagler loses to Leonard via split decision in 12 rounds, and Duran who lost against Hagler and Hearns is the only one the 3 to score a UD victory win over Sugar Ray Leonard.
So yeah there’s a reason why you hear the whole “styles make fights” phrase it’s been long known in boxing as a the ultimate truth and examples like the ones mentioned above are plenty. Here’s another one; Vernon Forrest upsets a still in his prime Sugar Shane Mosley. There’s a rematch and again Forrest Beats Mosley. In turn Forrest get KOd by Ricardo Mayorga and in the rematch Mayorga out points Forrest for a 12 round UD. Then Mayorga gets KOd in the 12 round by Sugar Shane Mosley. So people nothing is for sure edged in stone until a fight happens.
The above comments are my opinion and nothing else. I do base them of comparisons I’ve noticed through the years as a boxing fan but to have The Best Ever title is such a subjective and objective comment when referred to boxing specially when a lesser opponent can come along with some awkward style and throw a monkey wrench at the most dominant of fighters.
Mike Tyson vs. Buster Douglas. A good example of Douglas being at his best while Tyson was at his worse that night so anything can happen. So think about that the next time you say “not even on your best night” just stop yourself and think of the Douglas / Tyson fight. I know it’s too soon but here’s an example you’ll hear me use a lot ” You can be the only one that survives the Ebola Virus but still be killed off by a common Cold.”