Originally Posted by Stonehands89
Well, there is something to be said about the motivation that sprang from New Orleans. But for that, Duran may not have ever cared enough to even get up for those grandiose later accomplishments. And a man who still fights at 50 is a man either still trying prove something or outlive something. Of course, the fact that he couldn't control his wife's gambling may have had something to do with it too...
Moore with a chin or perhaps just in a different era would have been a world-beater. I see him as boxing's greatest spokesman of all time -better than Ali. MUCH better, in fact.
I like your views about the convergence where Moore's experience met his skill in the early 50s. I would add to it though, with a specific. I'm convinced that Moore was the monster created by Murderers Row. He and Burley have the best records against them (and I count them as follows: Burley, Jack Chase, Holman, Cocoa Kid, Lytell, Marshall, Wade, Booker... not Sheppard and Ez and and Bivins and Billy Smith, and not Moore) and Moore was twice the fighter when he came out of those wars than he was when he went in. Their ferocity is attested to by the fact that as late as '50, he was still struggling against one of them anyway.
I would agree with what seems to be your belief that Duran's skill matched Moore's. His powers of persuasion didn't, but when we consider that Ray Arcel and Freddie Brown -who knew more combined than Moore -emptied their heads into Duran, well, there you have it. Duran's athleticism, which was greater than Moore's shoves him ahead: Curbstone chin, very good speed and rxn time, one punch KO capability that was hurting some rather large guys late in fights and late in his career, and let's not forget agility. I think Duran was nearer a complete fighter than damn near anyone. But more had more character.... Duran's off-season gluttony hurt him and his legacy. He was also something of a headcase. Kinda like James Toney in his tendency to be a fat headcase. Imagine if Duran had the discipline of Hagler? He'd have been GREB-like.
As to his power at Middle -Robbie Sims told a close friend of mine that after he fought Duran, "experts" would comment that Duran didn't hit so hard at middle. Sims was like, "believe me, you just don't know."
I could and would put up a real fight with any knock on Duran-Barkley (despite the fact that I reject any notion that it was for a "championship." Duran beat a top contender who was beastly and thus took some vicarious revenge on Hearns. That suffices!). And I disagree with all my heart that Hagler-Duran is overrated (no one has named another lightweight frame that could take Hagler 15. Pernell? That makes me giggle.)
Anyway, I see Moore and Duran as P4P Peers for different reasons. When you consider a totality of measures -some favoring one, some favoring the other, I lean toward Duran but have no beef with Moore pulling ahead.
I particularly like this. I may use it - with the proper credits, of course:
I'm convinced that Moore was the monster created by Murderers Row.
Fear not, those Hagler and Barkley (and Buchanan) jibes were just illustrative. Those form some of the constituent that is Duran's top ten placing.
I'm sure Duran hit fairly hard at middleweight, although I would contend the notion that he was a pound-for-pound better hitter than Moore - not that you were implying this - due to Moore's numerous stoppages of boxers (some decent, some ****) of 200lbs+.
You know I've been appreciative of Duran's skills (even if I think Ike Williams handles him, at least in the initial encounter; but we've been there before). In fact, he's long been one of my favourites. Duran holds the place in my head for 'most aesthetically and functionally perfect' for the Palomino performance. Not many can rival Duran's level of skill around that time. Jose Napoles and Archie Moore pulled off some stuff at the same level but not as consistently in one fight. Saying that, I don't know now, but either way, Duran's skills were truly elite.
Add those to a man who skips from a crouch and you have one of the best ever.
Rewriting history I'd start Duran in 1940 in a time zone more suited to his tenacity. I'd see his record take a beating but have faith in him pulling out a case for the #1, ever.