Much debated, never solved… until now! Marvelous Marvin Hagler and ‘Escopeta’ Carlos Monzon are universally considered to be the two greatest middleweight fighters of all time and now for the first time they will go head to head in the Fantasy Fights 5 a side tournament. Many thought they would comprise the Final of the eWBSS tournament but alas some bizzare results threw the matchup askew. We however have had such setbacks and the Matchup is on. Simboxx, first to choose, have chosen the middleweight division and Hagler and South west boxing media went with Monzon. The fight will take place on Wednesday the 3rd of April at 7pm on Instagram live and is sure to be an absolute war.
Marvelous himself said “I think it would have been an interesting fight if I had fought Carlos Monzon,” he said. “I think he was a great champion. I believe I would have caused some sort of problem for him.” The fight was talked about a lot during Hagler’s reign as Monzon had retired in 1977 as the reigning WBC, WBA, Ring and Lineal Middleweight champion while Hagler was still coming up as a contender. They came ever so close to clashing for the title and yet it was never meant to be as Monzon called time on his Career 3 years before Hagler would fight for the belts that had once belonged to the Argentinian.
To establish who is the most likely to win our fantasy matchup I will look at when the prime of each fighter was and what skills they possessed at their best. We start with the more recent of the two, Marvin Hagler, Champion 1980-1987. I believe Hagler’s best night in the ring was his epic showdown against the big pinching Hitman, Thomas Hearns. Widely considered the greatest first round and by many the greatest fight of all time it demonstrates everything great about the Marvelous one. In that fight Hagler was able to dictate a pace that Hearns simply couldn’t match, his physical conditioning and seemingly unending gas tank allowed him to maintain an ungodly output. Coupled with his granite chin and ability to take Hearns’ power shots, magnificent switch hitting and crafty inside punching, crafty and underrated footwork he was able to dominate Tommy stopping him in three rounds. This again doesn’t mention the ambidextrous KO power Hagler possessed at his peak. He maintained a 77.61% KO average across his career, knocking out 52 of his 65 opponents. This is higher than every Middleweight champion in the 20th century, excluding Stanley Ketchel but including Monzon.
Monzon, despite his inferior KO statistics, was a ferocious competitor in its own right. He dominated the middleweight Division from 1970 to 1977 beating the likes of Jose Napoles, Tony Mundine, Rodrigo Valdez, Nino Benvenuti and what I see as his greatest win his stoppage over Emile Griffith.Griffith had only been stopped once in his previous 81 fights. In 1971 they competed for the WBA, WBC, The Ring, and lineal middleweight titles at Estadio Luna Park in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Monzon displayed his enormous physical advantages, standing at 5”11 ½ and with a 76 inch reach he stood Taller and had a longer reach than Joe Frazier the reigning heavyweight champion at the time. He peppered Griffith with power shots, moving well and imposing his size and power on the smaller but incredibly skillful former champion. Using An impressive punch variety he dominated the fight and eventually stopped Griffith in the 14th round.
These two figures are towering giants in boxing, each going on a 7 year run where they dominated several worthy contenders including future hall of famers. They stamped their authority on the middleweight division like few before or since and they are sure to thrill us tonight when they go head to head in the Fantasy Fights 5-a-side series.
Ewan Breeze of SimBoxx