During the 80’s the Fab four of Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran reigned supreme. Boxing fans, historians and pundits have and continue to argue about who was the best out of the four, it is of course an impossible task to come to a conclusion, quite simply they were as good as each other, it is why their fights with each other are rated as some of the best epic battles to take place in the ring.
Each of the Fab Four had different styles it is those styles that divide our opinions. Your judgement on who was the better man will ultimately come down to whose style you favor, it is as simple as that.
To truly decide on who was the best we must quantify the individual boxers, all four had impressive records when you judge their win to loss ratios, but what about the level of opponents they faced, you could argue that the early record of 28 straight wins by Duran were held in his native country Panama against unknown opponents but a win is a win, after losing to Esteban De Jesus he would then go on another winning streak of 41 fights collecting world titles, demolishing Ray Leonard along the way.
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Hagler without doubt had the tougher journey, he fought top level opponents for years consistently being over looked until finally getting a title shot at Vito Antuofermo a controversial draw robbing him of the middle weight title, However, After finally winning the belt Hagler dominated the division for 7 years beating top ranked fighters which included wins over Duran and Hearns, but yet another controversial loss this time to Ray Leonard would see him retire from boxing never to return to the ring.
My Personal favourite Hearns (for no other reason than I liked his style) was a multiple weight champion bouncing up and down the divisions beating top level fighters, the most memorable defence he made of the light middle weight belt was his stunning Round 2 KO of Roberto Duran, nobody else has ever dispatched Duran with such violence and ferocity. Hearns fought all the top contenders making him one of the best pound for pound boxers of all time.
Gifted with sublime skills and blinding speed, Ray Leonards super star roller coaster ride began as our only Olympic champion out of the Fab Four, Leonard was an instant fan favourite, so with this in mind, if this debate were based on popularity then he would win unanimously, with wins over Duran, Hearns and Hagler he is another pound for pound great and multiple weight champion, pretty much every fight from 1979 until his final retirement in 1997 was a world championship bout.
There is no overwhelming evidence that points to the ultimate Champion of Champions here, there are contestable facts that pits one fighter’s claim as the best to the other combatants named here. In conclusion their epic battles both individually and their own round robin have cemented their legacy’s that will last for decades to come, Who is the best? that’s for you to decide for probably Centuries to come.