Originally Posted by Hands of Iron
Four of the best in history, and resume is king.
One of the greatest fighters in history, the #2 rated welterweight at the time. He tried to make a unification bout with #1 and WBA titlist Cuevas first before Don King brought his guy (Duran) up front.
He also fought him past his own best, with one fight in the previous five years and never before at 160. Who picked him to win this fight, with Marvin alledgedly shot to shit and all?
Most of it before even getting the title shot.
In a span under 40 months, defeated Thomas Hearns (undefeated, favored to win), Wilfred Benitez (undefeated, lineal champ), Roberto Duran (only loss to DeJesus in 73 fights), Ayub Kalule (undefeated, lineal 154 champ), Dave Green, Randy Shields, Bruce Finch, Pete Ranzany, Johnny Gant, Floyd Mayweather Sr, Andy Price, Tony Chiaverini, Adolfo Viruet. All rated champs/contenders at the time. Less than 40 Months.
This is another reason the Hagler win is impressive.
I dont think its that clear cut for leonard being the #2 welterweight. After all there are fighters like barbados joe walcott and kid gavilan who dwarf him in career achievements. Mickey Walker has a solid claim too.
I give him credit for beating hagler, but he only fought marvin because of the mugabi fight. Leonard even said after the mugabi fight, `he`s mine`. Being in physical wars is far more damaging than being 'ringrust' like leonard was. Also, leonard supposedly had real life exhibition fights behind closed doors that arent shown on boxrec, so he was well prepared for the fight. They were all out exhibition matches, not sparring sessions with headgear.