Second fight in the series:
MARVIN HAGLER vs ROY JONES JR.
Hagler was one of the best, or plain the best middleweight ever. Roy, a fan favourite and a criticized fighter all together, was, at his time, a great middleweight champion himself.
Quick info about Hagler:
- With a height of 5' 9 1/2" and a reach of 75" inches, Marvin looks like an average-sized middleweight with a great reach.
- From what I've read and watched, he had a very good jab and great power, as his KO ratio can testify.
- Due to his tremendous reach, he could fight on the outside even against taller fighters with great success.
- His chin was tremendous. He was never stopped, I don't know for a fact right know if he was ever dropped, but you only need to watch his absolutely historic fight against Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns (a favourite of mine, and an absolutely tremendous puncher) to tell he was special. As Pakinpower said once, to take on Hearns you needed to eat his bombs and bomb him harder. Marvin was able to do both and stop The Hitman.
- He fought some of the best boxers in history. Enough said.
Quick info about Roy Jones Jr.
- At 5'11'' and with a 74" reach, Roy looks to me as a decently sized middleweight, I haven't watched many full fights from his days at middleweight, but considering how he went up in weight, and how his height and reach are comparable to Hagler, Roy's frame should have looked quite big and thick for a middleweight.
- Roy had an unorthodox style, mostly basing it all on talent, speed and reflexes, which were probably among the best in boxing history when he was at his best.
- While he wasn't the hardest puncher out there, his accuracy and speed made him quite a puncher, and he stopped plenty of people in his career.
- His chin was found to be very dubious. I don't know if it was plainly horrible, just bad, or just average but got caught with monster shots. Still, it's probably his worst trait.
- Skill-wise, in the technical and defensive aspect, Roy basically seemed to have no regular defense. He relied in not getting hit at all.
- I give the edge to Roy in speed, reflexes and footwork. They were his best attributes and few boxers can stand next to him in those categories.
- I give the edge in power, chin (big edge), technique, competition and experience to Marvin Hagler.
Setting up the fight:
Since Marvin was a pure middleweight, and Roy was a middleweight that later grew into higher categories, I will consider them to be more or less the same size, with Roy having a slight edge in height and Marvin having it in reach.
One thing to consider and I'd appreciate help on this, I don't know where "prime" Roy was, was it at middleweight? If his prime happened after his middleweight years, just pick that prime Roy and shrink him back to middleweight, that would do. So maybe this hypothetical middleweight Roy would actually be better than the real middleweight one.
My own pick:
A difficult pick, this one! Let's see. For one, I think Marvin has what it takes to stop Roy. He stopped Hearns, he stopped many people. But, does he have what it takes to get to Roy's chin? Roy was almost impossible to hit flush back then. But, again, Marvin had a tremendous reach.
Marvin was known for not stepping on the gas fully, he wasn't the most aggressive fighter. Would that help Roy to get a decision like he got against Toney? Because I don't think Roy had the power to stop Marvin, and he would need to be so aggressive that he would expose himself to retaliation. And Hagler's retaliation might perfectly lead to an stoppage of Roy.
All in all, I'm going to go with Marvin because he was truly great all-around. His loss against Leonard was controversial and Leonard was as talented as Roy or more and had an edge on him in many departments. So, as a very cautious pick, and taking into account Roy's ducking tales, I pick Marvin.
Who do you pick?