All-time middleweight defenses

Discussion in 'World Boxing Forum' started by Levook, Feb 25, 2024.



  1. Levook

    Levook Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I get confused when it comes to all the different belts, sanctioning organizations, unified titles Etc so maybe someone can help me with my question.

    My question is Bernard Hopkins and his middleweight defense record Being challenged by Triple G fans saying that he was only one defense away from beating or tying Hopkins record? Was Hopkins unified for his title defenses? Was Triple G unified at the time of his defenses? I don't know all that technical stuff.

    What's the answer?
     
  2. Fogger

    Fogger Father, grandfather and big sports fan. Full Member

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    This is what I came up with after doing some research.

    Hopkins made 20 defenses of the IBF middleweight title he won from Segundo Mercado. Along the way he grabbed up the WBA and WBC straps as well. His final two defenses were actually for the undisputed, unified crown and made him the first to hold all four belts simultaneously. Lineal titles become murky due to retirements, title abandonments and other modern day boxing issues but, in general, it is considered that The Executioner won the lineal title when he defeated Tito Trinidad in 2001. If we take that to be true then we can say Hopkins defended the lineal championship six times.

    As far as Golovkin goes, he made 19 successful defenses of his title belts, including his draw with Canelo Alvarez. He won the WBA belt first and swallowed up the IBF and WBC belts along the way. After losing his titles to Canelo in the rematch Golovkin then won the vacant IBF belt and defended it twice before having his title vacated due to inactivity.

    Golovkin defended his title 21 times over two reigns as compared to Hopkins' 20 defenses in a single reign. Hopkins was both the lineal titleholder and the undisputed, unified champion while GGG never achieved either of those feats.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2024
  3. m.s.

    m.s. Boxing Addict Full Member

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    The WBA champ was Felix Sturm, who didn't want any part of GGG, then GGG wins the WBA( int title ) by first round KO. Sturm gets upgraded to Super Champ, and GGG was upgraded to WBA regular champ before his first defense, at which point GGG defended his WBA regular belt 5 times by KO, the last being Proksa in GGG'S HBO debut. Right about this time IBF champ Daniel Geale defeated Felix Sturm in a unification bout, becoming IBF and WBA super Champ. Geale realizing that he will soon have to settle matters with the fearsome Golovkin decided to vacate the WBA super belt. At this time GGG should be WBA super CHAMP by default, but the administrators may have dragged their feet before making it official. Golovkin continued mowing down challengers knocking out another 5 in a row, starting with Rosado, then Ishida, Macklin, Stevens,Adama, before defending against former unified champ Geale, who lost his belt in a close barn burner on hbo. Golovkin destroys Geale in 3 rounds. That makes it 11 straight by KO. At this point Golovkin blasts out contender Marco Antonio Rubio in 2 rounds and wins the WBC int belt, positioning Golovkin for a shot for Cotto's WBC Lineal and Ring mag title that Cotto eventually loses to Canelo. Golovkin then carried on his destructive ways by beating down and stopping contenders Martin Murray, Willie Monroe jr, then winning the IBF belt from David Lemieux, by another systematic beat down and stoppage. Canelo by this time had already defeated Cotto for the WBC lineal and Ring mag middleweight title. Canelo decided to vacate the WBC belt because he needed 16 months to grow into a true middleweight, before fighting Golovkin.
    Golovkin was awarded the WBC middleweight title. At this point Golovkin was the WBA super, IBF, and WBC champ. Again Golovkin continued his destructive ways destroying Wade, Kell Brook in 5 rounds, making it 17 straight defenses by KO. Golovkin then went the 12 round distance for the first time vs the 2nd best middleweight in the division Daniel Jacobs. Then came the super fight between GGG and Canelo. The result was a supposed draw that most thought GGG clearly won. This put GGG at 19 defenses 17 by KO. After Canelo got caught using peds, GGG defended against former jr middleweight contender Vanes Martirosyan, blasting him out in 2 brutal rounds. That made it 20 title defenses, (18) by brutal KO.
    GGG also won the Ibf title again in 2019, then defending it twice by ko, making his two reign total 22 title defenses with 20 KO'S.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2024
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  4. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

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    Not comparable reigns I'm afraid.

    When Hopkins beat Mercado for the belt it was undecided who the best fighter was, and a few fighters held titles, none as consistently as Hopkins who kept his all the way until the unification tourney which he won. You can say Hopkins was definitely the best from when he beat Tito, but you can also argue that since no one was clearly above him, Hopkins was the best of the title holders from the moment he won his title.

    With Golovkin it's different. Hopkins unified, lost to Taylor, lost to Pavlick, lost to Martinez, lost to Cotto, lost to Canelo. Up until the point Canelo vacated his championship Golovkin was, realistically speaking, the best contender and not a champion. Much like Benavidez now at SMW.

    Canelo dropped his championship claim, said he wasn't ready to face Golovkin as he didn't feel he was a true MW yet. From this point I'd say Golovkin can then be considered the best MW out of the competing title holders, so it is from this point his defences should be counted and I don't see an argument for counting defences before that. Brook, Jacobs, Alvarez, Matirosyan before losing. He then beats Sergei when Canelo again vacates and defends against Serez and Murata. So I see 6 title defences there.

    With hindsight we can say Golovkin probably beats Martinez, Cotto or Canelo at any point during their reign, but he didn't get the chance to do that so I can't classify him as a defending champion because it was only politics that gave him that status (Much like Jones Jr at LHW)
     
  5. m.s.

    m.s. Boxing Addict Full Member

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    So, your saying only the lineal title matters nothing else, even when the lineals are inferior and running, and vacating. I don't believe thats true. People have better judgment than that. If what you say is true then Hopkins title defenses mean nothing.
     
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  6. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

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    No that's not what I'm saying.

    Golovkin is a greater middleweight than Martinez, Cotto and Canelo. Jones Jr is a greater LHW than DM.

    However Golovkin is not defending a title he only picked up on paper.

    Today Canelo is clearly ducking Benavidez, but we don't count his fights as title defences as he's the contender and Canelo is the champion.

    It's unfair Golovkin was ducked for so long, but it's the reality.
     
  7. m.s.

    m.s. Boxing Addict Full Member

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    All champions count their defenses thats why people are challenging for their title. Golovkin defended his titles and whooped ass doing it. He just wasn't lineal until he beat Canelo and was robbed. You can count anything or not count what ever you want. He defended his belt, then won more along the way, leaving other champions giving up belts.
     
  8. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

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    Yes but what I'm saying is, it isn't really a feat worth recognising in it's own right.

    It isn't even close to comparable to what Monzo and Hagler achieved in the division as they defended the actual championship. Not a political championship.

    A belt that isn't won in the ring isn't worth winning imo.
     
  9. m.s.

    m.s. Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Benevidez lost his titles on the scales and because of a drug test. He is no longer a champion so you can't count them as title defenses.l, but whatever defenses he made while he was champ are defenses. If we were in the one title Era of the 50's that is different. That makes it simple. If you only count one title, then Tommy Hearns never won a title because he lost to Leonard. Maybe you give him credit for the jr middleweight title because he beat Benitez and Duran, but no middleweight, super middleweight, or light heavyweight titles. Nothing counts tell its lineal or undisputed. You can change boxing history with this selective logic.
     
  10. m.s.

    m.s. Boxing Addict Full Member

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    What about when you get this so called belt worth defending and you lay it down because your too much of a wuss to defend it. Canelo should have lost both the WBC and the Lineal belt, as well as the Ring magazine belt to Golovkin at that point.If you have a world title belt and defend it you are a champ, if you wuss out you are not. GGG was always the real champ as proven when they fought.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2024
  11. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

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    Title defences are a statistic used for comparison. Multiple champions defending multiple belts in the same division waters down that statistic heavily.

    Before the 60s you had one man defending his championship in a division, everyone else was just a contender.

    So if we're going to compare the multi belt era with champions from the single belt era, it does indeed defy logic.

    Yes Canelo vacated his championship instead of facing Golovkin, that's why I start counting from the Brook fight.

    Hearns, Golovkin both great great fighters. But don't use a statistic that's misleading to compare them to previous fighters.
     
  12. m.s.

    m.s. Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Of course we're talking about the current era.
     
  13. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

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    Ok so saying

    "Hopkins was the number 1 MW throughout so his defences count more"

    Vs

    "The number 1 threw his belts instead of facing Golovkin so his defences count more"

    That's a fair enough debate. I think both arguments have equal merit in the multi belt era.

    What I don't like is when "record" is used as if it's as significant as long reigns in the 60s and below.

    I think there's a good debate to be had as to who is greater between Hopkins and Golovkin at MW.