Originally Posted by Bokaj
Think there's very little, if anything, between Hagler's and Hopkins' reigns. Was Hearns really a better MW than Tito? Doubtful. He never blew out a top MW contender like Tito blew out Joppy as I recall. Was Duran a better MW than DLH? Also doubtful. There's at best room for nitpicking between their reigns.
I'd say the same about Monzon's more or less, although I know that one less well. But great names as Griffith and Napoles are they didn't really do much at MW either, did they? And weren't they aging as well?
Robinson's main wins were over LaMotta. Then we have an aging Graziano. After that he swapped wins and losses against the top MWs he met. Can't see this as a better MW record than Hopkins going unbeaten for 12 years at MW, cleaning out the division in the process.
Griffith aged brilliantly and was still a world class middle when Monzon thrashed him in their first fight. I think he was coming off a 10 fight winning streak. He has the likes of Benvenuti, Archer x2, Tiger x2, Briscoe, Gypsy Joe Harris, Mims, Stanley Hayward and a slew of other contenders on his CV and was the former undisputed champion. You could say he wasn't the biggest middleweight but he wasn't massively small either and was able to hold his own up close with Dick Tiger, who many think was the strongest middleweight ever.
Monzon's wins over him, another excellent fighter in Benvenuti, Valdez x2 are better than anything on Nard's middleweight ledger for me, plus he had practically no filler on his record from winning the title onwards. Unbeaten for 13 years himself too.
You're right about Napoles to a large degree but he still put forth a terrific effort and had some success before Monzon beat him down. I wouldn't rule against him winning a strap at middle in some eras, tiny though he would have been.