Terrible matchups for Bernard Hopkins?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Eye of Timaeus(2), Nov 22, 2020.

  1. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    That generation of SMWs had either moved up to LHW or faded out when Hopkins started to hit his stride in the mid 90's. During Hopkin's time of dominance 95-04 the SMW division was quite anonymous.

    And the best at 154 in the late 90's were generally WWs that moved up, not MWs that boiled down.

    Personally, I don't think Hagler's era looked better at all.

    Duran in the early 80's was probably about as good as Whitaker in the late 90's. And I'm pretty sure that if Whitaker got a title shot at MW during that time the era would be even more derided than it is today.

    Duran hadn't competed at 160 before and lost most of his top fights during the preceding years, so I don't think he was much of a challenger.



    I'd take losing to prime Jones over losing to a rusty Leonard every day, and Hagler needed two attempts to pick up a title as well. And his signature win was against Hearns, who also moved up and wasn't a great MW.

    And I don't bring up Hagler to rip on him, I'm just saying that the things being held against Hopkins aren't especially unique.

    The quote below seemed to make that connection. There certainly isn't a hint of any other argument as to why Hagler and Monzon would "likely batter him".

    "Hopkins beat the worst crop of middleweights ever during his long reign. He'd struggle with dozens of the greats. Guys like Hagler and Monzon in their primes would likely batter him into clear decision defeat, and his skill in lasting the distance with them would warrant praises."
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
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  2. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Well, whatever the reasons, the era was weak.

    Still, Duran had battered a strong 154 pounder in his previous fight, and later went on to defeat Barkely.
    Whitaker in the mid-late 1990s probably beats several of Hopkins challengers too, yes.

    I agree. He wasn't much of a challenger.
    He was actually coming off a couple of impressive performances though.
    But, yeah, Duran wasn't an impressive challenger for middleweight title.

    I still reckon Hagler beat a noticeably better crop than Hopkins though.
    Of course, if this thread was "Hagler versus the ATG middles", I'd consider his own lack of wins over legit great MWs as worth mentioning too, so Hopkins isn't unique in that regard either.

    I believe Hearns was more formidable than Trinidad at any weight, to be honest.

    They would likely batter him because they'd apply pressure and he'd do well with his defensive skills to avoid it being a stoppage defeat. I think there's a hint of that argument in the way I stated it actually, but, yes, I can see how you interpreted it differently.

    Yes, he'd struggle with dozens of greats. The statement that he beat the worst crop of middleweights is for those who might not have realized that, although strictly speaking we can regard them as completely different and separate points.
     
  3. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I think you're confusing his personality with his talent and proven track record. A prime Roy Jones edged him by a hair and that Jones may have been the best ever. He dominated middleweights and light heavyweights, a division Monzon or Hagler never dared to step up into .. I am no fan of Hopkins but he was one off those extremely clever, very difficult matchups .. in addition he was a huge middleweight as well .. Monzon at 5' 11.5" would not have his massive size and strength advantages or speed or strength .. Hagler would not have target practice but miss as much as he did against Leonard and Duran .. I'm not saying Hopkins was the best but to discount him is a mistake.
     
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  4. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    No.
    Jones beat him very clearly.
    All three judges had it 116-112 and I suspect they gave Hopkins every close round there.
    I think I had Jones winning 10 of the rounds.
    But 8 is enough.

    "edged him by a hair" is just not true at all.
     
  5. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I stand corrected on the score card but that said it was a pretty competitive fight and Hopkins closed strong .. he wasn't dominated like Toney was .. that aside , I still feel as revolting as Hopkins often was he was a very talented, big middleweight with speed, defense, strength and ring IQ and simply a tough match up as his championship career in two weight divisions proved ..
     
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  6. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    He was very good, there's no question about that.
    I just think his defensive, grappling, spoiling style would have been ineffective in actually winning many rounds against Hagler or Monzon.
    He'd prove tricky but I feel they'd have him on the defensive and ultimately giving him a beating over the course of the fight.
     
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  7. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    My own take is that it usually won't differ that much between entire decades, but the ten years 85-94 look exceptionally strong to me, though. That I'd have to say.

    Hearns looked vulnerable at MW to me. More so than Trinidad. But it's difficult to say, since Trinidad only had two fights there.

    I really haven't watched Monzon, so can't comment much on that, but I really don't see Hagler battering Hopkins. Not even sure he'd be the one chiefly applying pressure in a fight against a prime Hopkins (who himself often was a pressure fighter).


    I agree that many of the greats would Hopkins give tough fights (not necessarily dozens but a fair number), but that goes for just about any MW ever for me. Well, maybe not Jones.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  8. Titan1

    Titan1 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Spinks
    Galindez
    Foster
    Moore.
     
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  9. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The problem evaluating Hopkins often seem to be that the late MW and LHW version is used instead of the prime late 90's/early 00's version.

    Hopkins was always a physical fighter, but I wouldn't call prime Hopkins a spoiler. He took the fight to his opponent and kept a high workrate.

    He was bigger than both Monzon and Hagler and quite likely stronger. He wasn't a devastating puncher, but neither were they and I don't know if he ever was hurt at MW. I don't think they could count on their physicality to beat a prime Hopkins. They would have to outthink and/or outskill him. Not at all sure they would do that.
     
  10. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I dont disagree with any of this but I dont think that any of it means that Fullmer would have come close to beating Hopkins. Fullmer had a lot of problems with boxers and despite his reputed strength he elected to run and box off the back foot against an older, smaller, blown up welterweight like Basilio. I dont really see anything in his record that suggests he would have been this nightmare for Hopkins. Hopkins was bigger than anyone Fullmer fought and just as cagey. You could easily argue that against guys who fought anything like Hopkins Fullmer had a world of trouble. He lost to Boyd, should have lost at least two of the four to Robinson and only really came out with a true victory over Robinson in their final fight when Robinson was ancient and even then Fullmer was still fouling like crazy and admitted to cheating by having his much smaller training ring substituted for the contracted size ring. He got gifts against Webb and Giardello. I think Fullmer would definitely make it an ugly fight and Hopkins was no stranger to ugly fights. That was Fullmer's go to when he couldnt win a fight outright. Spoil and hope friendly officials bail you out. But I think the gap in skill and size would be too much. Hopkins was no Benny Paret or Florentino Fernandez and he was a lot more consistent and poised than Giardello. If a fight with Hopkins occured anywhere outside of Fullmer's backyard Id pick Hopkins in an ugly, mauling bout that would gradually see Hopkins emerge more dominant as the fight wore on and bust Fullmer up like a tomato.
     
  11. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    Hey, you may be right .. you are talking about exceptional fighters in Hagler and Monzon ..
     
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  12. red cobra

    red cobra Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Yes, I agree with @robert ungurean here...Giardello at his best outfoxes the fox haha..another guy who would befuddle Hopkins (beats him) was Willie Pastrano. Fantastic legs, jab, and STAMINA up the ying-yang as well. would've been waaay too fast for the Ol' Racist.
     
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  13. Pugilist Specialist

    Pugilist Specialist Member Full Member

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    better physical tools? The dude was a 6 foot plus middleweight with wide ass shoulders and natural body of a light heavy/ cruiser.. not sure what you are getting at
     
  14. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I'm a bit surprised here myself .. the man was a huge middleweight, had a big reach, terrific defensively, a monster chin, very strong, had excellent speed and respectable power .. like Toney, he was a throwback fighter that actually knew how to fight .. he was immensely unlikable and could be a real piece of sh-t but he was a great, great fighter .. a disagree with most of these posts .. I think Hopkins would smother, mug and force fights against most of these guys to his style ... not all but he's certainly in the upper tier ranks of the middleweight greats ..
     
  15. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I never had a problem with his personality.

    Middleweight is such a high quality division historically. I think that's why he'd struggle with a lot of fighters. It's not that he wasn't an excellent fighter himself, he was. But he's struggle or lose to a fair few middleweights across the eras.
     
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