Originally Posted by the cobra
Griffith was fairly accomplished at Middle, but yeah, he was older and smaller. Still, the first fight is a wonderful win. Napoles isn't worth too much though. Massive size difference there.
Valdez is Monzon's top victim. A better middleweight than anyone Hagler or Hopkins beat, without question in my mind. Monzon was at the end of his career and up against his heir. Handling him twice is really impressive stuff. On the whole, I'd rate his competition just a tad higher than that of Hop & Hag, and the whole bit about him never once losing after hitting his stride makes a difference. 80-fight unbeaten streak, or there about. Finishing your career like that is something else. He was a monster, too, and a brilliant one at that. Terrible, terrible guy to overcome for anyone his own size or smaller.
Just a cursory glance at an old boxing mag, circa '73-'74, to read of all the experts in the game that thought napoles would be "too much" for Monzon would be worth reading (if you could get your hands on one of those old mags). The prevailing thought was that Naploes would make Monzon look like a slow, clumsy cigar store Indian, and win going away. Really, there have been heavyweight matches with a bigger disparity in height, weight and reach than Monzon-Napoles. mantequilla overreached against the bigger, superior man, but so many, including Angelo Dundee and Gil Clancy thought that he could pull it off.