Originally Posted by McGrain
The problem with Fitz ahead of Duran is that Fitz was unquestionably the best middleweight and heavyweight in the world, but also, for a brief spell, the best light-heavyweight in the world, way, way past prime, I mean so old he doesn't even belong in the ring at that point. NP JD is probably the popular choice for p4p #1 all time up until he met Fitz - and Fitz destroyed him. I mean Fitz absolutely buried him. I mean, that fight wasn't competitive at all. It was an embarrassment, a one-sided thrashing so complete as to indicate a wide gulf in class. Fitz out-boxed the greatest pure-boxer to have lived up until that point without breaking sweat.
Furthermore, he is likely the best puncher ever to have drawn breath.
Duran's win over Leonard is astonishing, it's often forgotten how astonishing, but it is posisble that, allowing for the manner of the victory, it wasn't as impressive as what Fitz did to NP JD. And I have to say, I think a one-punch KO victory over the world heavyweight champion by a former lightweight might be the single greatest victory in the history of the sport - I think there is clear daylight between Fitz and Duran, personally.
Dempsey was a little past his best tho was he not? That's not meant to take away from his victory, as it was truly a great great win, the greatest win of the era without a doubt (until Fitz knocked Corbett out that is)
Fitz was a tremendous fighter, no queation. Nothing like what he done will ever be carried out again. No chance.
But, for me, Duran is the greatest fighter we have a large collection of footage of. His blend of attack and defensive, body work and head shots, footwork and ring smarts, are all there to be seen. His victory over Ray (a great p4p fighter in his own right), may well be the greatest victory ever.
I think both Fitz and Duran deserve to be mentioned alongside each other in a bracket of fighters that stand out.