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Topic: 1980s Welterweights
Johnboy (58 Posts) on Wed 4-Feb-2009:

1. Ray Leonard

2. Tommy "Hitman" Hearns

3. Donald "The Lone Star Cobra" Curry

4. Wilfred "El Radar" Benetiz

5. Simon Brown

6. Marlon Starling

7. Roberto Duran

8. Mark Breland

First, why Leonard over Hearns? I do believe Hearns is the greater fighter P4P and overall, but at welterweight Leonard BEAT Hearns. They both beat Duran and Benitez. 'Nuff said.

Why is Duran so low? Well, it's simple: he might have been the first person to beat Leonard, but he also go whupped by Benitez and Hearns.

Why is Curry higher than Benitez? Um, did you ever see Donald Curry? If not, I suggest reading my profile of him and then watching some of his old fights. The guy would have given either Leonard or Hearns a close run.

Finally, why is Simon Brown #5? Check out the guy's reign as IBF champion. He was unarguably the last solid 147lbs champ of the 1980s.

Cestrian (82 Posts) on Thu 5-Feb-2009:

Dont agree with your number 7 ranking for Roberto Duran.... First off Durans best years were down at light Welter before he came up and smashed Ray Lenoard to pieces at welter.

Fact is Duran (well documented) was a bad trainer and used to blow up in between fights. So convincing was his first fight win he was never in the gym and he rolled into tht next fight with Lenoard and Ray got on his bike and ran/boxed...Until Duran quit....

But on their day when both were fully up for it in the first fight Duran was to fast and far to strong for him.... So in their primes.... duran was the better fighter even at welter, so why is he 7 places below the man.... I suggest you watch the first fight again :O) . Put those fighers fit and in the prime 100 times Duran wins everytime.

As for the Points about Duran loosing to Benetiz and Hearns.... That was right up at light Middle - (Your post was about 1980's welters so why include these fights) years past prime.

Its also worth pointing out that although Duran fought Lenoard,Hearns, Haggler and co it was in fact way past peak. He was almost from another era. He was 7 years older than hearns, 7 years older Benetiz and 5 older than Lenoard......

Give the 4 weight world champion Hands of stone his due..... Its worth mentioning he knocked the crap out of Iran Barkley (the guy who Ko Hearns) up at Middle weight in the Ring Mag fight of the year... 8 years past his best...

Johnboy (58 Posts) on Thu 5-Feb-2009:

Duran's best fights were at 135, although he was desperately clinging to that weight. I suggest you go check your again before you suggest he was a great 140lbs. He made his bones south of that.

Duran beat Leonard the first time because Leonard was stupid enough to fight Duran's fight. Leonard beat Duran the second time because he did not. He humiliated Duran because Duran was stupid enough to neither stay disciplined or negotiate for sufficient time to train.

Seriously - every Leonard-hater on the planet want to blame the opponent because a guy shows up in less than top form? It's a cheap dodge. Leonard did put Donny Lalonde over a barrel, but Duran could have just said "I want another three months" if he had wanted to.

number1 (2 Posts) on Tue 17-Feb-2009:

Roberto duran was probably the best lightweight the world has ever seen possibly ever likely to see either, to have don curry who was legendary in the eighties above duran is nonsense, also where is lloyd honeyghan i remember seeing the fight with curry and he was completely outclassed and destroyed even and he was 26 years of age possibly at his peak, i know breland and starling beat honeyghan but really honeyghan beat himself both were not really as good as honeyghan

Johnboy (58 Posts) on Tue 17-Feb-2009:

Number 1: Pretty much all I can say is that your comments reveal that you know very little about the Starling-Curry-Breland years, or about the overall career of Roberto Duran. Either that or you simply don't get the difference between 135lbs and 147lbs, or the difference between the 1970s and the 1980s.

Basically, you just don't get it.

number1 (2 Posts) on Tue 24-Mar-2009:

regarding the curry, breland starling years, i know enough to say that duran in his prime would of beat all three easily duran has fought in five differnent decades no one else can say that, duran destroyed leonard in the first fight and you have got him above duran, we all know what happened in the second but that is not the point, also starling lost to johnny bumphus who lasted seconds against honeyghan, curry starling and breland cannot be uttered under the same breath as duran.

Cestrian (82 Posts) on Wed 25-Mar-2009:

Well put Number 1.

John Boy - Your little list sucks. Duran is right at the top of most peoples lists even at Welter.

I noticed you ignored/glossed over my points "As for the Points about Duran loosing to Benetiz and Hearns.... That was right up at light Middle - (Your post was about 1980's welters so why include these fights??) 7 years past prime.

Its also worth pointing out that although Duran fought Lenoard,Hearns, Haggler and co it was in fact way past peak. He was almost from another era. He was 7 years older than hearns, 7 years older Benetiz and 5 older than Lenoard......

Myself and Number 1 cannot educate you as you clearly have a closed mind and prefer to read stats off websites that read duran had "X" number of losses up at light middle 7/8 years later instead of watching those old great fights where he dominated for years and years..... well before Haggler and hearns really came on the scene.

Johnboy (58 Posts) on Mon 6-Apr-2009:

Whenever I see something like "your little list sucks," I know I am dealing with a pimply-faced teenager. 'Nuff said.

Whenever I see someone who doesn't appreciate Curry, Starling, or Breland, I know at a minimum they haven't bothered to find out what happened when these guys were sparring with the likes of Hearns, Leonard, etc. They probably haven't bothered to check out their actual fights either.

Whenever I see someone who adores a guy like Duran so much that they cannot conceive of his limitations, and think he was a better fighter than guys who beat him in the ring, I know I am dealing with someone who knows ZILCH about the sweet science. Duran was a great fighter, but the bread and butter of his reputation was at 135 pounds. He beat Leonard, but barely, and when Leonard was fighting Duran's fight.

Cestrian (82 Posts) on Mon 6-Apr-2009:

Yep you have got me bang for rights.... 17 with bad spots. Wink.... My time machines come in handy though.

But that makes me a 17 year old thats made solid points twice that you have ignored in both your rsponses. My point is this... your list is covering whole of 80's.... Well duran was 7/8 years older than the fighter you mention. You have him at the bottom of your list and to give this credit you drag up fights he lost at higher weights up at middle weight 10 year past his prime....

When Duran first fought Leonard he was still just in his prime (so was Lenoard). He moved up from Lightweight champ (held it for 6 years smashing everyone before the days of 4 belts !) he had been only beaten once in 72 fights !!(avenged twice) and was unbeaten as pro.

I kow he made his name down there but.... He moved up to Welter and in his first fight he knocked the crap out of Leonard.... Yes Leonard fought the wrong fight but Duran was very very fast that night and able to close down the range and drag him into a war.

On their day both in the prime Duran won. "nd fight Duran rolled into the ring... Not leonards fault. No ones but Durans.... he as a shocking trainner and his weight gains mid fight took 2.3 years off his prime.

Rag Time
dagiffy (3 Posts) on Fri 15-May-2009:

Leonard is the best of the lot. He was almost as good at the elbow/knee/foulfest as Duran was, and Duran had 71 fights to Leonard's 27 in Montreal. Duran was also helped tremendously by a ref that couldn't control the action in the ring nor enforce the rules. The second fight Leonard fought his own fight and Duran, showing his cowardly heart, quit. Leonard owned Duran in the third fight.

Hearns would have crushed anyone at welter save for Leonard. His only loss at welter was against the Sugar Man and though he'd go on to get knocked out and manhandled by many kinds of fighters, from Iran Barkley to Marvin Hagler, this is about welters, and Hearns destroyed almost everyone until he got in the ring with Leonard. 

Bobbie Duran is third. He split a pair of fights with Leonard and also beat Carlos Palomino. Had he faced Hearns at welter he'd have ended up face down on the canvas like he did at jr middle. He could never beat Leonard if Leonard decided to fight his fight.

Benitez is fourth. At welterweight he was really incredible. He'd have handled Cuevas and Curry and anyone else but the top three.

Pipino Cuevas is fifth. We saw what Hearns did to him, but what is forgotten is what an animal he was. I don't think he'd have been able to hit Benitez enough to win, and he wouldn't have a prayer against the top three, but he'd have knocked Curry, McCrory, Breland, Honeyghan and the rest of them cold.

Donald Curry is sixth, basicall a poor man's version of Ray Leonard, but without that champion's drive that Leonard had. He got into partying and coke and when he lost it, it never came back. Honeyghan was a decent fighter, but he had no business beating Donald Curry.

Marlon Starling is seventh, and couldn't ever quite beat Curry. He was better than Breland, obviously, and the rest of that ilk, and really put a whipping on Jose The Threat Baret when people thought he was something.

Mark Breland is eighth, basically a poor man's Tom Hearns. Still a formidable fighter but lacking any real weapon other than a nice jab and great reach.

Milton McCrory was another Tommy Hearns clone, but a champion only because there were two belts to be had. Curry crushed him at welter, and McCrory struggled mightily against a lot of other welters that were average talents at best, at least at the elite level.

For number ten, pick anyone. It doesn't really matter. Let's say Lloyd Honeyghan.

Johnboy (58 Posts) on Fri 15-May-2009:

The reason I excluded Palomino and Cuevas was not because I thought they were inferior, but because they really belong to a different era. Those guys were solid champions, but of the 1970s. They helped define a different era. Of course, one could choose to include them as the guys Benitez and Hearns bumped off to start their championship reigns. It's all a matter of preference.

I think Curry is way to low. He would have popped at least Duran with no trouble. He was almost as slick as Leonard or Benitez, more durable than Benitez, and hit harder than Benitez.

Johnboy (58 Posts) on Tue 11-Aug-2009:

I think one of the problems people have with a format like this one is that it is a little too specific for their frame of reference. I think, for example, that when a Duran-lover sees Duran rated low, they do not stop to think "well, what did he really accomplish at 147?" They instead fixate on the career as a whole, which isn't the point.
So I say this: if anyone wants to, I invite them to start a Top 10 of the Four Kings era (Duran-Leonard-Hearns-Hagler) era.


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