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Thread: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

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    Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Revising Revisionist History: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    By Brent Matteo Alderson from Boxing Scene

    Today itís trendy to take a look at past events and put another spin on them, which often times are in direct contrast with the original perspectives. The two contemporary revisionist perspectives that Iím in complete disagreement with are that 1) Mike Tyson wasnít a great heavyweight and 2) Sugar Ray Leonardís victory over Marvin Hagler wasnít astonishing due to the fact that all the factors revolving around the fight were in Leonardís favor.

    Recently itís been kind of shtick to downgrade Sugar Rayís victory over Hagler. A lot of guys that havenít seen or donít remember the fight still claim that the Marvelous one was robbed, a victim of boxing politics. Other more informed individuals agree that Leonard deserved the decision, but feel that the victory was cheapened not by Leonardís inside the ring movements, but by his outside the ring maneuvers.

    You see Leonard knew that Hagler really needed the fight so that he could finally break out from Rayís shadow all the while cementing his legacy as well as his bank account. So in order to make the fight come to fruition Hagler conceded to a number of demands. He let Leonardís people decide on the size of the ring and he conceded to making it a 12-rounder instead of a 15-rounder, which were still being sanctioned at the time, but were in the process of being phased out.

    Mike Trainer, Rayís advisor and lawyer through out his career stated, ďHagler gave us everything we wanted, he was just worried about the money, but we didnít care about the money, we wanted to win the fight, so we gave him the money and he gave us everything else.Ē Instead of trying to gain an edge by negotiating about the fightís particulars, Hagler bickered about the money and conceded certain advantages that may have changed the final outcome of the bout. Itís those very advantages along with the fact that Hagler looked like he had slowed down a bit coming into the fight that people point to when they downplay Leonardís win over Marvin.

    I have a question for those people. Why wasnít Hagler worried about the fightís particulars? Why did he give all those concessions to Leonard? You know why, because Marvin Hagler along with the vast majority of the fight press thought that Marvin was going to kick Leonardís butt back to Maryland.

    When the fight was first rumored, boxing writers came out in droves to criticize the possible dream match and many of them openly feared for Sugar Rayís health as well for the sport of boxing because they though that if Leonard was seriously hurt that it would really damage the sportís reputation since Sugar Ray was a genuine American hero. Dick Young, a columnist for the New York Post wrote, ďA Leonard-Hagler fight would supply powerful ammunition to the American Medical Association and other lobbyist who have campaigns for the abolition of boxing.Ē And Tom Crushman, a recipient of the Nat Fleischer Award wrote that the idea of Leonard even taking the fight without a tune up was ďmadness.Ē

    There was some validity to those perspectives. First off Leonard had never fought as a middleweight through out his entire career and he had only fought once in a five year period in a bout that took place three years earlier when he was unceremoniously knocked down by fringe contender Kevin Howard.

    To make matters worse he was going to face Marvin Hagler, a man considered to be the best pound for pound fighter in the world, the undisputed middleweight champion who had knocked out and ruined the undefeated knock out artist John the Beast Mugabi in his very last fight. Even if Leonard had a couple of minor advantages such as a slightly bigger ring and the 12 round-distance, he was still facing almost insurmountable odds. Hagler knew it. The public knew it. Even the boxing fraternity knew it.

    The only one that didnít know it was the Sugar Man himself who went into the ring and implemented his strategy to win the most important fight of his career. That night, Sugar Ray didnít only defy boxing history, he defied logic. Thus donít diminish Sugar Rayís victory over Hagler because if he had been viciously knocked out that night like he was supposed to have been, it would have been a lot easier for you to demean Haglerís victory.

    Another qualm I have about a recent perception of boxing history is that it seems of late that a lot of writers have drastically diminished Mike Tysonís place in history by describing him as an over-rated heavyweight that used his reputation to decimate a sub-par group of heavyweights. They point to his losses to Buster Douglas, Lennox Lewis, and Evander Holyfield to validate this belief and they also downgrade the length of his reign as well as the quality of his opposition.

    Letís get a couple of things straight. First the Mike Tyson that fought Lewis and Holyfield was a shell of his former self. Tyson hasnít been remotely close to being a prime Tyson since before his incarceration in 1991 and counting those wins against Iron Mike would be like counting Sugar Ray Leonardís loss to Terry Norris or Wilfredo Benitezís loss to Matthew Hilton. Ray was only 34 at the time of the Norris fight and Benitez was still in his twenties.

    So do you consider Matthew Hilton and Terry Norris to be greater than Sugar Ray and Benitez? No, of course not because even though age is often times the primary factor that diminishes fighters abilities, sometimes their skill level just fades away whether itís from drinking, women, or just plain fate.

    Still thereís no denying that a near prime Mike Tyson lost to Buster Douglas by knockout in indisputably the biggest upset in boxing history. At the time Buster was a mediocre 29-4-1 and had been stopped by such ordinary fighters as Mike the Giant White and David Bey. Without a doubt the loss does irreparable damage to Tysonís place among the heavyweight greats, especially those in the first tier. Ali or Louis never lost to a journeyman when they were young champions and they never would have, but you also have to put that loss into perspective.

    We all know that Mike, like most fighters came from a rough background. He grew up on the streets of Brooklyn and was arrested on 38 different occasions by the time he was 13. Imagine coming from that type of background and then becoming one of the worldís premiere athletes with millions at your disposal. I grew up in a nuclear family with a supportive environment and I might not have been able to handle the situation that Mike Tyson found himself in.

    Another facet of his loss to Douglas that many boxing aficionados fail to recognize is that on the night that James Douglas fought Tyson, he was one of the greatest heavyweights in history. Iíve seen the tape countless times, take a look at it. Douglas was a 6í4 230-pound man bouncing on his toes, doubling up on the jab, and throwing perfectly timed combinations with the precision of a marksman from the United States Marine Core. I truly believe that with the exception of Ali or a couple of other heavyweight greats on their best nights that on that night in Tokyo that Buster Douglas would have beaten almost any heavyweight in history.

    Another qualm that historians have against Mike is his level of competition. Yes, Tysonís reign does not compare to Muhammad Aliís in that regard. He didnít beat Liston, Foreman, and Frazier but what Heavyweight champ besides the Greatest has that many-quality wins. As great as Louis was, the most impressive thing about his reign was itís longevity unless you think that a come from behind win against the 174-pound Billy Conn or his first round knock out over a past his prime Max Schmeling are quality. And really Mike had some good wins. Heís the only man ever to knock out Larry Holmes who four years later went twelve fairly competitive rounds with Holyfield and he almost decapitated a slew of other top contenders that held their own with guys that are still around today.

    He took out Tubbs in two rounds and three years later a lot of observers thought that Tony deserved the decision in his fight with Riddick Bowe. Even though historians devalue Tysonís win over Michael Spinks, nobody else ever beat Spinks who was 6í2 and had been fighting as a heavyweight for almost three years when the two finally met in June of 1988.

    So when it comes down to it how can you belittle Mikeís place in history without scrutinizing the careers of other heavyweight greats? Come on, my favorite heavyweight of all time, Jack Dempsey, drew the color line and only defended the title 6 times in seven years. Marciano may have retired undefeated, but he beat Jersey Joe Walcott for the title who at the time was the oldest man to ever win the title. And the Rock went life and death with Charles, who was already past his prime, and the great Archie Moore who was a Light-Heavyweight.

    I can go on and on criticizing the careers of every single champ in history, but Iím not going to, I just want the boxing fraternity to allocate the same type of treatment to Tyson that they have afforded to all the other champs. All Iím saying is look what Mike Tyson did; he came and restored the prestige to the heavyweight championship. He cleaned out the division, captivated the public, and took on all challengers during the course of a three-year period.

    At one point he was considered unbeatable and was categorized as the best pound for pound fighter in the world for almost a two-year period. When was the last time a Heavyweight was almost universally recognized as being the best pound for pound fighter in the world? Down below Iíve listed Ring Magazineís Heavyweight rankings from the month when Tyson knocked out Berbick for the WBC title and look at what Mike did! He almost cleaned out the entire division. Plain and simple, Tyson is a heavyweight great in the tradition of his idol Jack Dempsey and deserves to be recognized as such.

    The Ringís Heavyweight Rankings/March 1987
    (Tyson defeated all the men whose names are underlined)
    Linear Champ: Michael Spinks
    1. Mike Tyson
    2. Tim Witherspoon
    3. Pinklon Thomas (Beaten)
    4. Tony Tubbs (Beaten)
    5. Trevor Berbick (Beaten)
    6. James Smith (Beaten)
    7. James Douglas
    8. Tony Tucker (Beaten)
    9. Frank Bruno (Beaten
    10. Tyrell Biggs (Beaten)

    Notes:

    Leonard beat Duran, Hearns, Benitez, and Halger. Sugar Ray may only have 36 victories to his credit but those men had a combined record of 204-3-2 coming into their fights with Leonard.

    Iíve written it before and Iíll write it again. Leonard would have beaten De La Hoya, Trinidad, Sugar Shane Mosley, and Pernell Whitaker in their primes.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Have to say I agree completely with The writer about Leonard. Despite the paucity of bouts on his record I believe he's boxing's best fighter since 1979.

    Other's who have been considered are Pea, Roy & Floyd. For me, Ray was the man hands down. He was simply the most talented fighter I've seen since Eder jofre.

    Like Jofre he had no weakness' He could box, brawl, great chin, excellent power, blinding speed, great footwork, absolutely sound fundementals & the heart of a true warrior.

    & his victories over 4 HOFer's - I think it's a lock that Hearns gets in - seal the deal.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    The Leonard-Hagler remarks make a lot of sense to me, but to say that only "two or three" other fighters in the history of the game could have beaten Buster Douglas on that title-winning night is just ridiculous. Look at his next blamed bout. If you can rate a man as an all-time great on the basis of a single match and dismiss the rest of his career (such as quitting against Tucker or getting coldcocked by one shot from a ham and egger like Louis Monaco), then I defy anyone to rate any human being who ever gloved up better than Gerrie Coetzee on the night he pummelled (never dropped in thirty rounds with Ali) Leon Spinks in the first round.
    Douglas fought the fight of his life that night, but it was the obvious deterioration of Tyson that allowed him to take the title. I can easily think of a dozen guys who would have worn down and stopped Buster that same evening. PeteLeo.

  4. #4
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom
    Have to say I agree completely with The writer about Leonard. Despite the paucity of bouts on his record I believe he's boxing's best fighter since 1979.

    Other's who have been considered are Pea, Roy & Floyd. For me, Ray was the man hands down. He was simply the most talented fighter I've seen since Eder jofre.

    Like Jofre he had no weakness' He could box, brawl, great chin, excellent power, blinding speed, great footwork, absolutely sound fundementals & the heart of a true warrior.

    & his victories over 4 HOFer's - I think it's a lock that Hearns gets in - seal the deal.

    GorDoom
    The writer was all wet.

    Let's remember his Hagler victory was a split decision with one of the judges penning a Bozo the clown card. Hagler had a subpar performance for him, but mainly it was the result of having to chase Leonard over the largest ring in history and then having to deal with his popcorn flurries. Leonard was beat up by the end of the fight. You can see it his eyes, just like the first Duran fight, and at best he deserved a draw for showing up in incredible shape and surviving.

    Did the writer mention that Leonard retired a month later, refusing a rematch with Hagler, and then unretired weeks after Hagler finally announced his retirement a year later? Why not?

    Leonard knew he was on quaking legs at the end, knew Hagler's record in rematches, and knew he could never recreate those circumstances again, esp with Bozo the judge. Had Leonard remained retired, maybe I could've swallowed his "victory." He didn't and I never will.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Gee, why am I not surprised that you would trash Ray, Roberto? Hagler lost that fight because he had just about the dumbest strategy ever. He comes out right handed & is down 4-0 in rounds before he switched to his normal stance.

    Just about impossible to win a decision after giving up the first 4 rounds. You say Ray was shakey? What about Hagler? If he had roared out like he did against Hearns he may well have blown Ray away ... But he didn't did he? He was cautious & tentative like in the Duran fight & this time it cost him.

    Hagler lost because he fought the dumbest fight of his life. & I write this as a big fan of his.

    GorDoom

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    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom
    Hagler lost because he fought the dumbest fight of his life. & I write this as a big fan of his.

    GorDoom
    I mentioned that Hagler had a subpar performance, but he did close strong. I just don't consider Ray's performance enough to upset one of the greatest middles ever.

    I would also point out that Hagler had had two big wars in his last 2 bouts and then had over a year off trying to negotiate this bout. Meanwhile, Leonard has secretly entered training and then employed several ranking middle contenders in a private fight to test his conditioning and reflexes, so essentially Leonard, unbeknownst or unacknowledged by the writer had his tune up fight before he ever started the final training for Hagler.

    Gotta credit Ray and Dundee for being a crafty fellas, but really, this was all about yanking Marvin around for years, teasing him like some voluptuous blonde, and then laying him and mugging him afterwards and kicking him on the street with no clothes.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Roberto:

    I think you have an idealistic view of pro boxing. It's not about glory, or right or wrong or even your legacy.. It's about $$$, period. A manager's job is to put his fighter in the ring for the highest reward with the least amount of risk possible.

    Take Leonard's namesake, Robinson. He manipulated his promoters & opponents every step of the way. Promoters & his opponents loathed him.

    But so what?

    He never gave Basilio a rematch, is that a black mark on his legacy?

    No.

    That he pulled out of many fights because he felt the circumstances wern't favorable to him?

    No.

    That's just smart business.

    Pro boxing is an unforgiving bitch who gets everybody sooner or later. Picking your spots & fights as best as you can is exactly how it should be done & has been done since boxing began.

    So if you want to denigrate Leonard's all time standing that's fine but you're flat out wrong. & as to Leonard training in secret, gimme a break. You can train 24 hours a day but it still doesn't equate to a real fight. Leonard was smart he prepared himself for a huge challenge.

    I guess he should have come into the ring with man tits like Toney, got blasted out in one round & grinned all the way to the bank. He came to fight & gave it his all. Hagler should have probably beaten him but it's not Leonard's fault he fought such a dumb fight.

    & I hardly think getting a little gassed at the end of 12 rounds after not fighting for almost 5 years is any kind of disgrace.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Agree with it or not, that was a great article. Really well written and argued.

    I am a huge fan of both Leonard and Hagler so I actually have mixed feelings about their fight. But it was a wonderful fight and a scorer's nightmare. It all depends on how you score. Both showed their strengths and weaknesses. Both are all-time greats in their respective weight divisions.

    Regardless of what you think of the ultimate outcome, Leonard's comeback against Hagler is one of the most amazing in history, perhaps even greater than George Foreman's. He defied physical logic against an undisputed champion without any signiifcant comeback fights. Ray's last defended his 147 pound welterweight title in February 1982. He didn't fight again for two years, until May 1984 against Kevin Howard, weighing in at 149 pounds. He took on Hagler THREE years later. Thus, he'd only fought one time in five years.

    Yes Ray fought a brilliant fight under the circumstances of a long layoff and really being only a welterweight, going up against a bigger, stronger, long-time champion who had viciously run through Tommy Hearns, the man who had almost defeated Ray. Leonard's speed, combos, footwork, defense and ring generalship was brilliant and amazing.

    Yes Hagler fought the wrong fight, fought right handed too much, and made a huge mistake re ring size and number of rounds. He was also on the down swing physically, clearly slower, less active, and less reactive and willing to take a punch. Hagler himself had only fought once in 85 and once in 86 and did not fight Ray until yet another year had elapsed, and he was no spring chicken either, being two years older than Ray and having had a lengthy pro career that had begun back in 1973. Ray was an amateur until 1977.

    And yes it was still close. Hagler was much more consistent and always agressive, doing the most actual damage, constantly sneaking in single shots that were not all that eye catching or quick, but effective nevertheless.

    But stylistically, Ray dictated that fight and he couldn't have fought more masterfully.

    Re Tyson. I also agree that he was a phenom for three years. I don't buy all that crap that everyone was frightened of him. He was that good and even those that tried early, soon learned they were in there with a guy who was in a league of his own. He was the light that burned twice as bright but half as long. He just didn't have the internal character to keep it up.

    Douglas would have been KO'd if Mike had been prepared. A great fighter poorly trained and unmotivated can lose to a slightly above average guy at his very best, highly motivated, and in the best shape of his life, who does not have to deal with the ferocity, speed, and blazing combinations that he ordinarily would have had to deal with if Tyson had been right.

    Just watch the beginning of every Tyson fight up until then, and then watch how Tyson begins that fight, even when he's fresh. That was the slowest most lethargic performance from Mike I'd ever seen. That was the equivalent of Louis' performance against Schmeling.

    Keep in mind, he probably trained even less, as a result of overconfidence and the talk of how little regarded Douglas was. Tyson had been KO'ing everyone so easily that he just lost the drive to train properly. Douglas was supposed to be a fat quitter. Yet, Buster was on a win streak, including having a win over an iron chinned hard hitting Oliver McCall. And Buster looked good in that one too. And as bad as Mike was, he still almost won with that knockdown in the 8th.

    Tyson got back into good shape again against Tillman, Stewart, and for the Ruddock fights. Flip into the vcr Ruddock II again sometime and tell me that guy wasn't brutal.

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    What was Marvin's line about the 12 round distance?

    "When you got $12 Million dollars looking at you, are you going to argue over three more rounds?"

    Granted it was a different tune about the distance AFTER the bout. But the time to start making demands about how many rounds, and the ring size is when YOU are the champion.

    And as far as Jo Jo Guerra goes? It seems to me that everyone has forgotten that one of the Hagler camp demands that they made and was met, was that a Mexican judge be used for the bout.

    oops.

    Hawk

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    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Quote Originally Posted by GorDoom
    Take Leonard's namesake, Robinson. He manipulated his promoters & opponents every step of the way. Promoters & his opponents loathed him.

    But so what?

    He never gave Basilio a rematch, is that a black mark on his legacy?
    Robby won the rematch by split decision to split the series by split decisions. At any rate Robby was around 36yrs old with around 150 bouts under his belt. He was entitled to move on.

    Leonard was barely 30 with only 34 pro fights. Had he not retired and then unretired, maybe I would have grudgingly accepted his victory. Add on the way he yanked Hearns around for years, and I just got fed up being a fan of his. He was one of the greatest peak welters ever, so I'm not blind to his ability, it was just a certain lack of character that turned me off.

    BTW, that was no training session he had, it was a private fight against 3-4 ranked contenders who wore headgear and rotated into the fight in succession. Ray fought without headgear for 12-15 regular rounds. It was meant to emulate the way Hagler might come after him for an entire fight. No word on the style Leonard employed, but the secret training and subsequent private fight convince Leonard to sign the Hagler fight with specified conditions.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Wow - I am reading the post here between the original author and aqui, and it makes me simply shake my head as I have very rarely bumped into a person who looks at the facts and the entire picture , then not to knock aqui but you have those that simply based their judgment on their likes or dislikes, and cant remove all the issues and subjective reasoning from their views...

    The hagler leonard fight bring so many emotions but for reasons that are wrong...First off Leonard clearly beat hagler at what they were tring to do, win the boxing match on a 10 pt must system. Hagler gave away the 1st 4 rounds ( more on that) due to his orthodox stand then if you look at round five this was actually headinig to be leonards best round until the 1 minute mark when hagler landed a nice uppercut...rays knees buckled but he then landed effective counters...hagler rush in forced him back to the ropes then landed a couple of shots leonard countered the bell rang...Tough round to score..I bring up this round, because Ray leonard gets scrutinez during his career for tactics that he used in 1 fight..this one, to really pick up the pace in the last minute to 30 sec...The same people that argue against ray for that, i bet give hagler the 5th round....Now any person who was neutrual objective and really understood boxing, what was at stake and the entire picture would reason that a fighter not fighting in a real fight except once in the last 5 years, their stamina would die (which leonard who was argueable the well conditioned athlete during his time 76- 82) out....Leonard did as you can see after round 6...(more on that too) so rays strategy was effective, necessary and risky based on what hagler would do during the 1st 2 minutes...In 7 rounds at least hagler did nothing to win the round during the 1st 2 minutes....You judge a fight based on a 10 pt must...effective aggression, ring generalship, clean punching, hurting an opponent...it does not say aggession...So I do agree that many of rays punches after round 5 were not the type that generally a leonard would throw , they did land, and hagler the beast he was did not walk through them, and you have consider rays soft punching vs hagler misses...who wins iin that regard...Hmmmm

    Now regarding Hagler slowing down..yes he did - but did you even look at how slow ray leonard was in 87 compared to 82 or even 84...To factors 5 years removed impacted his boxing skills, reflexes, ability to take punches, defense, it really impacted his stamina and legs, and finally it cause ray leonards natural boxing ability to go from simply amazing fast angles, throwing punching at all angles combinations, etc,,with mean intentions..to leoanard simply having to think in the ring more so than normal, and employ boxing tactics to score points, not hurt...which was smart because hurting hagler was not the easiest thing to do....So yes hagler slowed down, but those 5 years off impacted ray leonard more so than hagler...Hagler being a warriror, bruiser and dominatn fighter is one thing but you have to look really study boxing, and study the fight to understand that ray leonards style would beat haglers style 100% of the time( bar a ko from a big punch) and the only reason this was a close fight was because leonard was 60% of himself...at best...I never hear people accuratly review leonard that night, because of what he was able to pull off. The truth is that 60% of ray leoanrd beat 85% of the old hagler...due to styles..I am not saying ray leonard could come in and destroy the middleweights since he beat hagler..what I am saying is that hagler destroyed fighters that came forward and allowed hagler to counter, or when hagler started landing his awesome firepower, the fighters would be right there...page back to 83 duran,,,duran simply employed movement and skillful defense and this neutralized hagler and reduced him,,hagler had to really dig deep to pull out a close decision...Now Leonard simply employed side to side movement (look closely at the tapes) and it forced hagler who like trinidad has to set for split second longer than normal before punching),,,to keep hagler from getting set...very simple very ray leonardish...and very effective..this forced hagler to lung..prevented his counter punching,,and allowed ray a naturally quicker fighter with great counter punching ability (see the benetiz fight) to tee off on hagler and tie up after he landed his shots...If this fight had happened in 82..ray leoanard would have destroyed hagler..it would have been ugly...yes hagler was faster in 82, but do you remember how fast ray leonard was in "no Mas" and ray looked worlld class fast against a very fast duran,,who in 83 was fast enough to really impact hagler and duran is not boxer nor as fast as ray....No in 82 leonard would have completly closed up hagler faced with a thousand punches as you all have never seen a fighter with speed and combination punching ability ( roy was faster with one punch to two. but not with combinations angles etc...) and in 82 everytime hagler lunges he would have caught much faster, much more meaningful, and much more in quantity combinations that he did in 87...this is a very easy scenario to predict for me...

    Last thing..it is time to stop the weak whining about the negotiations..they all knew the rules when they went to ring..they both agreed it impacte both of them the same..no one wants to bring into play that ray had not fought but once in the last 5 yrs...never fought at middleweight, hagler never lost in the last 10 years..last fight just ko mugabi, ko'd in 3 another legend hearns who was rays biggest challenge, beat duran in close fight,,,,12 rounds in the norm now..it was great negotiations and ray should not be ridiculed but applauded for negotiating this into the fight...ring size is always negotiated...hagler chose to allow it..so that should be end of the story...hagler never whines about this...so why do others..the fact is ray beat hagler and hagler should theoretically have ko'd leonard within 5 rounds..it didnt happen., the guy that boxing fans either hate or love because of his arrogant attitude and difference styles , beat hagler the hard core boxing fan "man"...Sorry to say it but ray leonard beat all of em...duran, hagler, hearns, utilzing every style imaginable to get the w...If hearns had realized what the goal is entering the fight maybe he would have had a better outcome, but instead he gave many a great tape to be played for 9 minutes, and he got ko'd ....hmmmmmmm

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Nobody is a bigger Marvin fan than me. I can't imagine anyone having a greater distaste for Leonard than I do. But for me this fight boils down to 1 thing only - Ray deserved to win and Marvin did not.

    I scored that fight 6-5-1 for Leonard, for a 1 point win. That means that Marvin won the last 8 rounds by a 5-2-1 score. But even if he had finally remembered he was in a fight a round earlier, making HIM the 1 point winner, I would still say he didn't deserve to win. Especially considering the ability the man had and that night absolutely refused to use.

    Hagler had shown throughout his career that there wasn't anything he couldn't do. This includes cut off the ring. Against Leonard, he didnt'e even try to cut the ring off - this sin't because Leonard was running so fast and hard, this was because he didn't even try. He just followed Leonard around like a donkey after a carrot all night, letting Ray do whatever the hell he wanted to. Leonard dictated the pace and geography of every second of that fight - to be effective, you have to find ways to take that control yourself, at least some of the time.

    Marvin could have won that fight. Like Bucket said he fought stupidly, but I think it was even worse than that - he knew what he needed to do, but was so bull-headedly stubborn that he would finally catch up and break faces that he didn't even try to do what he KNEW he most needed to do. He just didn't deserve to win that fight, and I can't imagine a worse performance from the Marvelous one. It sucks that he went out with a performance like that.

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    T's point

    (that he made three times for us. he he) about Hagler's ego, really rings true here.

    What I will add to this, is the brilliant game plan brought on by Ray that night. This certainly has to be added into the mix here. While Marvin, didn't execute the smartest fight we've ever seen him fight, at least 50 % (if not more) of the reason he lost, had to do with Sugar Ray Leonard.

    Micheal Olajide or Herol Graham doesn't step in the ring with Hagler that night and pull off the upset.

    Hawk

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Welcome to the board wPink! & I don't just say that because I completely agree with your post.

    GorDoom

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Ray’s Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tyson’s Place in History

    Outside of the Heavy division, at their peaks, Ray Leonard was close on the best fighter I've ever seen and as Gor said he had absolute everything. I can only think of Robinson as having it all and very slightly better. However as good as he was, he should not have ever been considered a real real threat to a supposed middleweight monster like Marvin. Remember the 3+ years layoff. Marvin did fight a seriously dumb fight or a seriously clever fight. Was this 'dumbness' deliberate, did money make it so??

    Saying this, Ray fought a great fight, fantastic movement, speed and general skill. He never hurt Marvin I felt, nor did he really 'take' the title. You gotta' take the title from the champ, so really Hagler deserved the decision.

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    Taking the title

    If you win by one round/one point you win the fight.

    No one wears a belt inside the ring.

    No offense Walsh, but I despise that philosophy of "having to take the title".

    If you win, you win. There is nothing that MANDATES that you HAVE to fight a certain style or win by what is considered a CONVINCING margin.

    One round/point more than the other guy, you win.

    Hawk

  17. #17
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Taking the title

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    If you win by one round/one point you win the fight.

    No one wears a belt inside the ring.

    No offense Walsh, but I despise that philosophy of "having to take the title".

    If you win, you win. There is nothing that MANDATES that you HAVE to fight a certain style or win by what is considered a CONVINCING margin.

    One round/point more than the other guy, you win.

    Hawk
    Nobody doubts Ray won a split decision at the scoring table and in the official record. There is disagreement that he did so in the ring. Just because the powers that be annointed him the undisputed title which he never bothered to defend, that wasn't enough to convince at least half the boxing public that he actually won in the ring that night, esp since one of the cards was a joke.

    Again, boxing's unsavory history also plays a role in the way folks see the fight.

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    That's not my point.

    Most observers and experts who had Ray winning the bout, had Ray winning by 1 or 2 points THEIR scorecards. I did as well.

    Thus, I had him the winner. As did they.

    You have a fighter winning by one point/one round, they win the fight.

    Ray won and deserved to win the bout imo.

    Hawk

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    I agree 100% with you Hawk.
    A one point difference is still a win. Unless of course rules are changed and you have to win by at least 3pts to beat a champion. Or for that matter why not go the whole hog and say you can only claim the title if you KO the champion. I in fact wanted Hagler to win this one. But no matter how many times i watch the fight i give it to Leonard by 2 points. Hagler has no one but himself to blame for this loss. We could discuss this till the cows come home but the bottom line is Hagler blew it.
    Last edited by wildhawke11; 04-21-2006 at 11:37 AM.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    If you win by a point..did you not 'take the title'?

    I was always confused by that line of thinking that placed some esoteric standard for winning the title from a champion.

    It was always bad enough fights are scored the way they are...worse would be to do so adding a layer on top of that which only the guy judging it could possibly know what the rules were.

    What bothers many people about the Leonard-Hagler fight I have spoken to is:
    1) the feeling Hagler, had he not screwed around, would have won. AKA: Hagler at 100% beats Ray at 100% that night.
    2) Hagler at his best would have creamed Leonard at his.
    3) Dealing with the fact neither was at their best if one wasn't...which brings us to point #1.
    4) A perfect script would be the guy that paid his dues beats the prima-dona.
    5) The statement that it doesn't hurt Hagler's legacy, is contradicted by the reality that it hurts Hagler's legacy vis a vis Leonard's.

    I also know one guy who told me that it was a very bitter experience to watch Hagler give less effort than Leonard. In response to a questioning that maybe Hagler was merely not as good as Leonard on that night--- what happened in the fight meaning more than guessed effort; he shook his head and responded that either way the loss was more about Hagler than Leonard.

    Leonard he said did a great thing and proved his greatness in his win. Hagler he said called into question the extent of his greatness with the loss. You can't keep both near the top of an all-time roster using this fight to bolster either argument. It is a ding for Hagler if it is a boost for Leonard.

    If Hagler could have won, he didn't. If he screwed around he really got his just deserts. If he was conned, it makes it hard to imagine him against more formidable middleweight greats. If losing at the end of his line is forgiven as per his total worth, losses by others to better middles must be forgiven as well. If Leonard beating Hagler calls into question what is a better middle than Leonard, similar one-off wins must carry huge weight even against losses.

    In short, it complicates Hagler, Leonard and how a throwback can be measured against others that beat better challengers when they were older..or younger. It finds Leonard as a welter now being postulated as capable at any time to move up to middle and beat analogus fighters to Hagler..when in fact he beat Halger. That Hagler. That night.

    Interesting.

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    I've wrestled with this as well in the past

    A-I do not think either was at their best this night.

    B-I've always thought SRL was a better fighter than Hagler pound for pound.

    C-At HIS best, I think Marvin would always be a better middleweight than Ray would be, had Ray had the opportunity to have competed at that weight in his fistic prime. That said, I beleive Ray would have been competitive given his skill level. No way would I envision this as a cake walk for Marvin.

    D-If in the scenario I described in C played out as I beleive it would have, I do not view this as something to denigrate Hagler, but rather something to Laud SRL for. Both are all time great fighters. A loss by either to the other should not be viewed as a sign of weakness for the loser.

    E-I Think any other middleweight great who suffered a late career loss to a great fighter, but not necessarily a great middleweight, would be cut the same slack that I cut Hagler for this loss.

    Hawk

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Square that then with your views of Tunney and his troubles with Greb.

    You have stated numerous times Tunney's problems with Greb among other things less defined lead to him being lower in your eyes at 175 than in many others'. I am and have always been lost on this given the, to me, contradictory application of applause given to not only fighters whose greatness was less-oft tested by similarly less-oft proven greats in similar situations.

    If Tunney is dinged because he lost to Greb while in his youth, it should further BOOST Greb, which it has not as far as I have seen where Greb himself is placed below..say..Hagler.
    Last edited by Sharkey; 04-21-2006 at 01:10 PM.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    walsb....Very interesting post and I agree with most of it..But that is false about taking the title from the champ as far as scoring goes. It is simply 10 point must...winner gets 10 pts per round loser gets 9 or less, at the end of the fight you tally it up, and the winner is the one with the most points..the champion does not get any cushion, or benefit other than, if it is a draw..Now that being said, most people can only focus on one fighter at a time,,,i mean really focus, and the champion is usuually the one that has the attention of most in the audience... therefore many shots he lands you see, the shots that the contender lands you dont...many times...In this situation leonard what the one everyone came to see, and thus when I saw it live i thought he won 8-4..however in review it was clearly 7-5 ray.... To ans hawk... Yes ray was better pound per pound, I truly believe the lucky one here that they did not fight in 82 was haglr...Rays speed ( even though he was very very slow in this fight compared to duran II or others) boxing abiliyt, and style made this fight....Hagler will do the same thing only a little faster..and trust me hagler drop of in speed from 82-87 was no where near wht ray lost due to inactivity in those 5 years...Rays style simply caused hagler to lung, and would have in 82...and remember leaonrd saw much faster punches coming at him from hearns, benitiz, duran,,,so he would easily be able to avoid hglrs punches..the only thing is could ray handle hagler's punch..I answere with a resounding yes..you never saw ray hurt until after retirment..he faced middles at a welter weight,,he faced tommy who hit harder than hagler...Now I don't ray would be dominant at middle as I do believe some of the faster biggr middleweights would cause him problems, but i also cant name any besides a young roy jones who I would favor at middle maybe a young james toney,,but you see what speed and angles did to him...Roy is no where near the all around fighter ray is, but one thing roy is just as fast with the 1-2, and awkward and ray would take punches..and i think that roy would hurt ray at middle because of the speed and power roy had at middle,,but again ray had one hell of a jaw...

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    My critiques of Tunney

    Are the result of those who view him to be a great Heavyweight. I do not think he was a great heavyweight.

    I beleive Tunney's greatness stems from his body of work at 175, whihc is where I rank him. Tunney was a Great Fighter at 175.

    And while the struggles he had with Greb a Nat middleweight, WERE at Lightheavy and NOT at Heavy, I do apply this, along with his actual resume at Heavy (wins over a Faded Dempsey and over nat Lightheavies in Gibbons and a worn Carpantier) for my rationale for him coming up short in my view of him as a Heavyweight.

    Losses and struggles to Harry are not held agianst Tunney for being considered a great Fighter and a Great Lightheavy. But they do factor in in my estimation of him when it comes to his greatness at heavyweight.

    Hagler Leonard is based on my viewpoint of Hagler at Middleweight. Whihc does not change. Muhc like my view of Tunney at 175 does not change either. We can add in that Tunney was in his prime for Greb btw. And Greb was not facing any extended layoff.

    Hawk

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Like it or not, the philosophy of taking the title from the champ has been around from day one and it is right. He's the champ and you have to prove you are better. I'm not saying you have to KO him or box the ears off the guy, but if the 12rds are all close, he should retain the title. Leonard did not really take Marvin's title, he ran and flurried and ran and flurried. Now Hagler of course should not be given credit either, as he basically followed Ray around like a complete novice. At their peaks, I still see Ray giving Hagler a great fight and he still could have won, but Marvin to me really tarnished his whole career with that amateurish performance. I can only imagine what a Monzon or Robby would have done to Marvin had he fought like that against them.

    Leonard without a doubt is the better fighter than Marvin, he has better speed, footwork and all round skill. I do not like using the p4p as a guide, but in this case, Leonard was streets ahead, even at their peaks

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    The fact is Leonard was a bad style matchup for Hagler. Hagler was predominantly a counter puncher, and a guy with Leonard's speed is not easy to counter (especially for a slower middleweight). I am not saying that Hagler can't lead or put pressure on boxers, who give him lateral movement, but it's not his prefered style. I know he beat Finnegan and the Roadrunner, but Leonard's in another world in terms of speed (hand and foot). Much like my criticism of Blackburn's strategy for Louis against Conn, what did Hagler/ the Petronelli's think Leonard was going to do, stand in front of him and trade ? I mean when a guy negotiates for a large ring, 10 ounce gloves, and a 12 round distance, I would guess that he was planning on boxing.

    Actually, the book on Hagler back then was way off. People actually questioned his heart (Patty Flood, Freddy Brown, ect) thinking that he'd fold under pressure-wrong. I think they based it off of the Antuafirmo I and Briscoe bouts when they made Marvin look bad at times. But Antuafimo and Briscoe had concrete chins and were both immensely strong, so at times they pushed Hagler around (plus Marvin boxed Antuefirmo in the first fight, instead of being set to throw punches). So everyone took that suicidle blueprint and attacked Hagler, usually with bad results (not that Hamsho and other brawlers were going to out box him anyway).

    There were two exceptions, Leonard and Duran, both of whom forced Hagler to lead. At least in Duran's case, (a swarmer) I could see where Hagler was thrown, but it took him a long time to adjust and he barely won the decision. While in the Leonard fight, instead of pressuring Leonard and going to the body in order to wear Leonard down, Hagler basically pissed away the first four rounds, putting him in a hole that he couldn't get out of.

    Of coarse the Hagler supporters (combined with the Leonard haters), try and come up with excuses like Hagler was rusty, all Leonard's punches were slaps and on and on. Fact was Leonard was off for 5 years, and was a natural welterweight fighting a natural middleweight at the middleweight's weight- and he still beat him. Who wins at 160 in 1982 ? Tough call-but I could make a strong case that Hagler wouldn't catch him in 1982. The fact that we are even argueing who would win between a middleweight and a welterweight at 160 is evidence enough as to who the better p4p fighter was (look at Monzon-another counter puncher, destruction of Napoles). Not that i am taking anything away from Hagler, who I think was a great fighter, but I think Leonard and Duran exposed some flaws (I wish i had the mike colbert fight tape). Thing is there are a ton of people who hated Leonard then (Teddy Brenner said that Adolpho Viruet was going to KO him) and still hate him today. Maybe because he kept making asses out of people who thought he was all hype. Instead of admitting that they were wrong, they keep digging themselves deeper and deeper ...

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    What gets so many peoples goats about the fight was that Leonard was right..he clearly saw that Marvin was slipping and he guessed he had enough to steal a fight...that is basically what happened...

    Marvin was starting to slip after the Sypion fight...he was slowing down, he did not have the same speed, he was getting hit a bit more. The man had many fights against an extremely tough group of middleweights and was showing his age. He was still the best but he was a slower, more hitable version, perfect for a speed demon like Leonard.

    The fight was extremely close. Marvin however never really got going. He fought a dumb fight. Ray fought amazing considering his layoff and his move up to middleweight. Ray fought a much smarter fight and basically stole it. He credated the momentum, the drama, the move and the moment.

    It was a bitter pill for Marvin to swallow and a bummer to end his career on but he did get a huge payday, he never suffered any physical damage and got out with all his marbles. I don't feel bad for him.

    As far as Tyson goes, he was a tremendous talent for a few years. He was a real great fighter from 86 - 89. After that he ceased to be a fighter. Everything that came after falls into varing degrees of deteriorating levels...as a person he is gabage and deserves what happens to him.

    Someone said it best after the Lewis fight, commenting on Tyson's sensitive act in the post fight ringside interview..."Image what Tyson would have been like if he won ? " That says it all about Mike.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Wildhawke,
    Jeeze, i can see where you may think that me and wpink are one in the same, maybe because we both actually perform the "revolutionary" (at least on this site) art of backing up our opinions with facts. Actually, I havn't been posting since I have been writing a paper that's due in a week, and I havn't had the time to start any arguements, since I at least attempt to answer all of my critics (or supporters). And, i am not a kid, I am 45 years old, I am working on my MA since I plan on retireing in 6 years (need something to supplement my pension, especially hospitalization). Funny thing was that when i read your accusations of pink being 3 different posters, i thought "is he refering to me ?" Then I thought, "do I spell Greb's name Grebb"
    So I looked up one of my old posts, and damn- I do. But no, I am not the same person. Thank God you wern't a detective or you'd have sent some innocent men to the gas chamber ! Funny story though.

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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    You all need to chill. I am one person. Just because others have different opinions. and back it with fact...doesnt mean it is the same person. I post in my name, and will never be scared to back it up, or hid.

    As far as Hagler slipping, maybe he was a little slower, but not sure it would have mattered. You did see his fight against antefermo, and duran. Well leonard was quicker than both of them, and would have employed much more movement in 82 than 87. Ray would have had more stamina in 82 as well, his boxing would have been much sharper. So again you all are looking at one side of the equation, well hagler slipped since 82, but you have to consider that ray was out of boxing, thus his skills, instincts, speed, everything dropped off...and ray had to bulk up to moved 160...

  30. #30
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Another Look at Sugar Rayís Victory Over Hagler and Mike Tysonís Place in History

    Quote Originally Posted by wpink
    ...and ray had to bulk up to moved 160...
    More myth from you. Ray stated in the early 80s that his street weight was mid 160s. Like many finely conditioned fighters in their primes, he trained down from his natural weight to fit into the smallest class. Most fighters can easily fit into a 12lb range in their primes, but seldom do so because of rankings and the way fights are made. Duran could have easily fought as a welter years before, but didn't because he didn't want to lose his lightweight title. This is elementary stuff.

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