Re: Why do ppl always say Duran moved up 2 weightclasses to beat Leonard?
Never claimed SRL was peak in Montreal, only that saying he was "green" as MAG has asserted in the recent past is ludicrous and more of a disservice to Leonard than anything. Duran was closer to being washed up than Leonard was to being green. He'd wiped the floor with the division's B-level top ten guys - the type who would be compiled on a ledger over an extended title reign - and already made the jump to elite in dethroning Benitez, further harnessed it in looking sensational against Green... He was absolutely ready and in his general prime.
Leonard was the bigger, stronger and faster guy. He couldn't of imagined how badly and often Duran would make him miss and pay for it. If Leonard isn't fast enough to hit you with clean, hard shots with any type of consistentcy or rhythm -- nobody is. He was nullified by Duran's use of feints, dismayed by his ability to slip, roll and counter and completely overwhelmed on the inside. He got beat from pretty much all ranges and badly rocked twice from a well-timed/measured left hook and counter right hand over his jab, both from distance and this is only Round 4. Taken in it's totality, it's actually insane what went on here and couldn't of been pulled off by anything short of one of the very best fighters ever. If Leonard was anything short of the same class, he'd of folded right there. Anybody who questions his intenstinal fortitude isn't to be taken seriously. The fight itself was an embodiment of the spirit and soul of the sport, executed by two of the most skilled practitioners to breathe air. That's the long and short of it for me.
I'd peg Duran's prime as being between 1974-80, after he'd learned to utilize his jab to greater effect, add a multitude of feints to his arsenal, tighten up his defense and generally bring pressure of a far more educated variety. DeJesus no doubt beat an elite fighter, but he was a bit too crude - compared to himself - to call him a prime version for my tastes and it's honestly without bias I say that.