Who's Greater: Roberto Duran or Muhammad Ali?

Discussion in 'World Boxing Forum' started by George Crowcroft, Jun 13, 2020.

Who's Greater?

  1. Muhammad Ali

  2. Roberto Duran

  1. Serge

    Serge Ginger Dracula Staff Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    In addition to this

    Duran 5'7'' with a 66'' reach

    SRL 5'9'' with 70½' reach

    Hagler 5'8'' with a 75'' reach

    Hearns 6'1'' with a 78'' reach

    Benitez 5'10'' with a 70'' reach

    Now remind yourself how great those fighters are and what their respective ATG rankings are and ATG rankings are at certain weights. They're all top 1-5 fighters at either 147, 154 or 160 and all bar 1 are top 3 and arguably 1 or 2 in a couple of instances

    And the way bigger 6'1'' 74'' Barkley was coming off a MD loss to a prime 33-0 Michael Nunn in his previous fight to facing Duran (regardless if you had it as close as the judges or not Nunn was a beast) and he knocked out 45-2 Tommy Hearns in 3 rounds in his very next outing after losing to Duran
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  2. Serge

    Serge Ginger Dracula Staff Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Maybe you aren't now but you were at the time I wrote that and you know damn well you were. Don't ask me how I know.
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  3. sasto

    sasto Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Aug 5, 2020
    Barkley was coming off knocking out Hearns. Then he lost to Duran, then after that he lost to Nunn in a close (or could be seen as close) fight.

    I wish I had seen Duran's career live (well, I caught the tail end because he went on forever, I'm talking about following him from the early years through his prime), that would have been incredible. He was the last champion that you could really compare to Sugar Ray Robinson.
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  4. Serge

    Serge Ginger Dracula Staff Member

    Jul 21, 2009
    My bad they switch it up first to last or last to first on Boxrec depending if you're logged in or not. I prefer not to log in but you have to sometimes because they won't let you see the fighter's records on there all the time if you aren't. It's easy to forget that when you use it regularly

    Yeah he was amazing. Obviously Ali was too but Duran looked soft at 154 and it's amazing he fought all those naturally bigger ATG legends and killers at the higher weights and on their soil too.
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  5. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" banned Full Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    But if you look at their careers after those fights, Ali would go on to win the trilogy against Frazier, reign as hw champ for several years, and regain the lineal title (Duran never avenged his Leon Spinks moment to Laing). He would also beat guys like the Earnie Shavers, Ron Lyle and Jimmy Young/Norton (controversially).

    Duran's late career is impressive for it's longevity, but he was never really a top guy in any division after the Barkley fight and his best moment was probably his turn back the clock fight against Lawlor. Ali was THE hw champ for THREE YEARS after Zaire, and then regained it after the Spinks upset. If only he had stopped then.

    I can definitely see the argument that Duran was the better boxer. Hard to call Ali the better boxer when the guy did so much unorthodox and never threw a body shot. But in terms of just doing great things, it's Ali for me.

    Ali also was never poleaxed on his face. I love Duran and hate that fight, but it should be considered since Ali was never KO like that.
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  6. Glovedup

    Glovedup New Member banned Full Member

    Jan 21, 2023
    Who cares if he was poleaxed? Pac was sparked doesnt make him any less of a fighter... Ali wasn't a LW (Durans prime & best weight) fighting men who had distinct size advantages over him like Hagler, Hearns, Leonard, Barkley etc ... so the threat level for such things was higher & more likely than fighting in just one division throughout your career.. Duran had greater competition depth to contend with and multiple divisions.. the size difference between Hearns and Duran when they had both matured was ridiculous.. Ali never encountered that type of size difference combined with the athleticism and skill of Hearns anyway. I mean Hearns won major titles right up to light heavyweight ffs.. you can't hold that against Roberto if anything it's a mark of greatness that he challenged himself against such formidable opposition
    Entaowed likes this.
  7. autumn1976

    autumn1976 Member Full Member

    Jun 30, 2021
    'Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless'. That's a deep one!
  8. Dynamicpuncher

    Dynamicpuncher Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 14, 2022
    Yeah that's correct you beat me to it, Barkley was coming off Koing Hearns not the Nunn loss. Barkley was in good form and arguably hit his peak with wins over Olajide, Hearns, coming into the Duran fight. And even in the loss to Duran it was arguably one of Barkley's greatest performances which is often overlooked, it's just Duran fought an amazing fight his slickness and counter punching was 2nd none in this fight. Truly one of the greatest performances from a much smaller man over a much bigger man, and one of the greatest Middleweight fights of all time.
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  9. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" banned Full Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    It's a joke from eastbound and down. Funny show
  10. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" banned Full Member

    Oct 25, 2020

    I'm not holding it against him but when discussing 2 very great fighters with very few distinctions in their career, it is worth noting when one of them was never knocked out and one of them was. It's just a germane as talking about their wins.
  11. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" banned Full Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    If Duran has gotten the best of most/any of those men you listed, I would consider him greater than Ali. But he went 1-5 against them.

    Again, I personally prefer Duran. But Ali was a transcendent star who defied reality. Duran was an all time great like greb or Henry Armstrong or Archie moore but Ali is Ali.
    autumn1976 likes this.
  12. tinman

    tinman VIP Member Full Member

    Feb 25, 2015
    probably because he has the best win of all time. At least in the color TV era.
  13. Pimp C

    Pimp C Too Much Motion Full Member

    Jun 23, 2005
    That doesn't mean anything and the best win is debatable. You can't have the good and leave out the bad when accessing greatness
    drenlou likes this.
  14. drenlou

    drenlou Tres Delinquentes Full Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    How is Duran beating Leonard the best win of all time? :elboinas:
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  15. Manfred

    Manfred Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    May 22, 2011
    They were both great fighters and you would really have to nit pick to separate them in that area. However in his era, Ali was the best at what he did and Duran was one of the best at what he did.