Napoles v Ray Leonard who would have won prime for prime?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mark ant, Mar 13, 2019.



  1. mark ant

    mark ant Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I thought I had seen this thread a while back but checked in the search box and no results were found so who would have come out on top? I feel Napoles had a more accurate straight right hand than Ray which would give him a slight edge.
     
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  2. 88Chris05

    88Chris05 Active Member Full Member

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    Interestingly, the only guy to share the ring with both of them, Armando Muniz, stated that Napoles was the best fighter he ever fought, and that he was "very confident" that Mantequilla would beat Sugar if they had been able to fight.

    I'd favour Leonard here, however. Easy to get cynical about Ray, but the young Leonard at 147 was glorious and super-adaptable. He outboxed a masterful boxer in Benitez, out-toughed and eventually overpowered one of Welter's most devastating punchers in Hearns and made Duran look foolish in their return (don't bother coming at me with the excuses).

    Leonard is one of the few who could hang with Napoles exchanging at mid-range, but he's also that little bit more mobile and had the punch to upset Napoles' smooth forward rhythm.

    It'd be close, competitive and very, very technical, perhaps similar to Leonard-Benitez in some ways (closer as Ray beat Wilfred soundly enough), but I'd take Leonard to win the decision here. Would likely be a classic.
     
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  3. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Leonard by a decision but not by much imo.
     
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  4. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Napoles wins but quite a few SRL fanboys on this forum find a way to score the fight for SRL ala Duran I
     
  5. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Please don't ban me Full Member

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    I always thought this was an extremely hard fantasy fight to decide upon.
    sometimes i switch to Leonard, sometimes to Napoles.

    The main advantage Leonard has on Napoles is Size. A natural large welter, compared to Napoles who started at lightweight, he could be able to force his size on Napoles in conjunction with his speed.

    however, Napoles was a truly ATG smooth technician. He knew where he was at all times, had amazing vision and potent offensive combinations. He could definitely piece Leonard up with some of these, and may win exchanges with his under rated defense.

    Napoles was also a tough Mofo, which people forget. However, cuts were the bane of his career, and is something to be considered (which I don't usually do in fantasy fights).
     
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  6. 88Chris05

    88Chris05 Active Member Full Member

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    I've not been a regular on here for long, but do people really score the Montreal fight to Leonard? Can't say I've really heard or seen too many serious fans arguing that Ray won it. I've seen a few half-hearted claims that he perhaps deserved a draw (such as the official card of the Associated Press, who had it even at the time), but they're very much in the minority.

    Leonard was impressive even in defeat, and fought very courageously...But there's no way Duran won anything less than eight rounds clearly and without controversy in that fight, at the very least. Duran by anywhere between 2-4 points has always seemed the consensus from what I've seen and read...Even amongst Leonard fans.
     
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  7. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    A case was made for SRL winning in the first FIght of the week thread, and most recently in the unpopular opinion thread on page 1 (might be Page 2 today?). It’s not wide spread but yes, there is a handful of SRL fanboys that can’t let that one go. I scored it 8-5-1 Duran. I think you could make an argument for a 1 point Duran victory a draw or SRL win, and I don’t know what you are watching lol
     
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  8. Flash24

    Flash24 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I believe Leonard wins, and pretty comfortably, probably a late stoppage. Napoles was a small welter. He was more suited to Jr.welter/lightweight (its testimony to his ability that he won and dominated the welter title. But also testimony to Monzons fans making a big deal about his victory over a well past prime, small welter but natural lightweight) Almost every physical advantage possible would be in Leonard's favor. Aside from skill level. And that gap isn't as wide as Napoles "Fanboys" ( And I'm one , I love both fighters) would like to believe. The biggest advantage for Napoles would be his experience, and that would only get him so far against Leonard prime vs prime. Their are quite a few posters on this site that let there personal dislike of Leonard( thus we get the" Fanboy" word) shade what the man did in the boxing ring. It's easy to pick up by the way they write . I'm a Leonard fan, but I don't believe he won more than 6rds in Montreal. But I do believe it was the most important fight of his career, and lead to his two most important wins against Hearns and Hagler. I can understand the dislike of the man. He was arrogant ( But what great fighter wasn't?) And did shady nonsense. But that shouldn't interfere with what the BOXER accomplished.
     
  9. Longhhorn71

    Longhhorn71 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Tale of the tape for various WW Champs:

    Napoles:
    height
    5′ 7½″
    reach 72″

    Curtis Cokes
    height 5′ 8″
    reach 73″

    Sugar Ray Leonard
    height 5′ 10″
    reach 74″

    Wilfred Benitez
    height 5′ 10″
    reach 70″

    Thomas Hearns
    height 6′ 1″
    reach 78″
     
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  10. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft Youngest Ezzard Charles Fan Ever Full Member

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    Leonard by KO, he was more offencivly inclined than anyone Napoles fought and would capatalise on that with his quick hands
     
  11. mark ant

    mark ant Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Thanks, I feel the extra two inches Napoles had in reach compared to Benitez would have allowed him to land more straight rights on Ray, specifically after he jabbed because Ray could be caught with counter rights due to him leaving his lead hand low after jabbing.
     
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  12. Flo_Raiden

    Flo_Raiden Boxing Addict Full Member

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    SRL has the physical advantage over Napoles including height, reach, speed, and probably even power. Napoles is the more skilled fighter of the two and would probably give Leonard some problems early on. I just think that Leonard was smart enough to make adjustments and be able to steal rounds from Napoles, maybe even stopping him. If Leonard could finish guys like Benitez and Hearns then there's no doubt he could do the same to Mantequilla.
     
  13. ChrisJS

    ChrisJS Active Member Full Member

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    Muniz also fought Napoles when he was already fading too. High praise indeed.
     
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  14. KuRuPT

    KuRuPT Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I'm not seeing a Napoles win here like others, and frankly I see it as being more competitive than close. I see SRL as being better at most everything, more adaptable, and with the better physical attributes. SRL by late KO or TKO
     
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  15. mark ant

    mark ant Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Leonard had more of a reach advantage over Benitez and Napoles was les reckles than Tommy.