With less than a month to go before the middleweight unification fight between Felix Trinidad and Bernard Hopkins, we asked SecondsOut.com readers to give their verdicts on who they thought was the greatest middleweight of all-time. Here is a selection of the best.
Monzon was the greatest. His longevity and tough opposition just put him ahead of Hagler and Robinson. Monzon vs Hagler would have been a real war of attrition though I think the great Argentine would win a hard-fought 15-round decision. Hagler, too, was awesome and possessed arguably the greatest chin of all-time. Greb and Ketchel were also legends in their time. – Luther Vincent, Paterson, NJ.
You can’t deny that Robinson is the greatest 160-pounder ever. He would have befuddled Hagler and won a lopsided decision or maybe even stopped him like he did LaMotta in their last fight. Sugar had the speed, power and sweet skills to beat any middleweight and his record proves it. – Judd Cunningham, Detroit, MI.
I agree that Greb and Ketchel were incredible fighters, but one must ponder as to how they would have adapted to the modern fight game. While the fighters of yesteryear were undoubtedly forced to fight and survive under much more vicious conditions, they were also not as technically refined as they are today. As many an expert has pointed out, when we speak of Sugar Ray Robinson as the "greatest of all time", we should be speaking of the WELTERWEIGHT Robinson, not the middleweight. True, the 147lbs Sugar Ray was a freak of nature, unbeatable. Consider his quality of opposition; I for one believe LaMotta would have decisioned Marvin Hagler. Yes, Monzon made 14 title defenses, but not against the tough breed of boxer Robinson faced. So supreme was Sugar Ray at every facet of the game that he would have had an answer for whatever problem he faced. - Kevin Key, Brainerd, MN.
The middleweight division was maybe the best division in the whole of boxing history. I must say that Marvin Hagler was the best. Hagler was a great technician, he always came forward. He was a great skilled boxer and he always got to his boxing plan. He proved himself against the best opponents of his era. I also admire Carlos Monzon, the great Argentine fighter. I must also say that Roy Jones is one of the most talented fighters of all-time and that Tito Trinidad has the heart of Marvin Hagler and fights only the best fighters in the game. - Ivan Novakovic, Vaskovo, Yugoslavia.
Robinson was the best because was one of the most complete fighters of all time. He made his name in the middleweight division must have beaten every world class fighter there was. He was the most beautiful of technicians. He wasn’t called ‘Sugar’ for nothing. - Jesus Pedroza, New York
There is no doubt fighters like Greb and Ketchel were great names in the middleweight division, but Hagler was the best. He feared no one and just to see him beat Thomas Hearns in the greatest three rounds ever seen has made up my mind. - Richard Carter, Johannesburg, South Africa.
There have been so many fine middleweights, but my all time favourite has to be ‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson. All the others were great fighters in equal measure, but Robinson was just that bit better. The way he used to control some of these fighters with ease was incredible. – Jose Baez, Tampa, Florida
I think that Trinidad cannot be considered - he's only had one fight at middleweight. Jones did nothing at middleweight, either, to warrant all-time status. Hagler's legend is hurt by the loss to Sugar Ray, who hadn't even fought for years when he beat Marvin. Haglar gave Ray the first four rounds and you don't do that in an even championship bout. Which leaves Monzon, who shouldn't be dismissed because of his actions outside the ring. He's the best of all-time. - Hal Leveques, Greenwich, Connecticut
‘Sugar’ Ray Robinson is the best of all-time, no question. He was generations ahead of the game, and guys like Jones, Hamed and De La Hoya who think they are fast should take a look at this icon in action on tape. LaMotta is just a Hollywood story, he got his ass kicked every time but one when he faced Robinson. There will never be another like the original, and best, Sugar Ray. - Steve Mullin, Austin, Texas.