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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Fri 20 Mar 2015, 3:44 pm

I personally pick the great Jose Napoles to not only outbox but KO the great Roberto Duran.

Why?

As Duran said, his first fight with Leonard was not his toughest. Duran has always credited some of his earliest opponents as the toughest he ever faced. Many of the boxers Duran claims gave him his toughest fights were names that can be find as KO victims of Napoles

Many have Duran as the best lightweight ever but in purely boxing terms I have Napoles higher. Napoles, after fleeing Cuba fled to Mexico as we know Mexico was almost perfect for Napoles, rich in boxing talent. Many of the world's best boxers under 147 pounds hailed from Mexico and the Cuban lightweight would have the opposition necessary to take him to the next level

So prime Napoles v the Duran who beat Leonard 1

who wins.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Fri 20 Mar 2015, 3:47 pm

Which of Duran's toughest opponents was Napoles knocking out?

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Post by captain carrantuohil Fri 20 Mar 2015, 4:01 pm

Improbable to see Napoles stopping the Duran who beat Leonard 1. Much easier to see Mantequilla refusing to respond to taunts about his wife, his manhood, Cuba, Mexico or anything else and deploying precisely the right strategy to beat Duran.

The man who wasn't afraid at least to give it a go against Monzon isn't going to be rattled by Duran's aggression. He also has all the equipment to box circles around him - if he can do it to Griffith, he can definitely do it to the Panamanian. Think Benitez-Duran but with an even greater fighter in the role of ring-master. Napoles by conclusive decision for me.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Fri 20 Mar 2015, 4:10 pm

People keep forgetting that Duran won a brawl in Montreal................When he fought a boxing Leonard he quit.....

Great win for sure but kind of under false pretences...

Was Napoles as big a jigsaw as Benitez yes.....(Benitez-Duran was a strange fight...Almost as If Duran's mind was elsewhere)........Personally I think Leonard is streets ahead of both.....

Napoles decision..

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Fri 20 Mar 2015, 4:12 pm

I'd have to back Duran by stoppage to be honest Captain, it's odd to predict a cuts stoppage but it was Napoles one Achilles heal and you have to imagine Duran is going to be connecting enough to open something up. I'm also not sure he has the strength or power of Benitez to keep Duran honest, can see him being walked down a bit.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Fri 20 Mar 2015, 4:14 pm

Benitez went the distance 6 times in a row before losing to Leonard...........Then after winning the light midd title went the distance 7 in a row...

Think you've been watching the Hope knockout too much ...

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Post by Hammersmith harrier Fri 20 Mar 2015, 4:35 pm

Very hard to judge something like that when he's going the distance with Cervantes, Duran, Palomino, Ranzany and Santos, guys not exactly known for going down nor did he ever really up his tempo. One of lifes great mysteries how any of those fights were close on the scorecards, not one for getting a fair crack with the judges was Benitez.

Napoles effectively being a lightweight forced up to get a title shot didn't have destructive power either but was the more spiteful of the pair and a classically more aesthetic style to please the judges. Aside from the first Backus debacle one of if not the most dominant Welterweight champions and in Griffiths has a stand out win at the weight but would have to question how comfortably he made the 147lb at that point in time. Unlike a lot of long-standing champions didn't take many crap defences and fortunately the 'foreign' champions of the time did tend to clean out their divisions properly.

One of the most under rated of the truly great boxers, when I say Duran stops him that isn't an opinion based on their talent, Napoles' overall game was a match for Leonard but his vulnerability bit him on the arse more than once.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Fri 20 Mar 2015, 4:41 pm

Curry x 2 and Weston x 2 too at 140..............and some guy called vernon Lewis..

Not sure Benitez power was much better than Napoles..at 147..

But let's not argue ....Have a good weekend..


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Post by 88Chris05 Fri 20 Mar 2015, 5:04 pm

Helluva fight.

Hard to argue against what the captain is saying with regards to what Benitez did to Duran, but Napoles was a bit more aggressive than Benitez and loved getting on that front foot. Benitez did show Duran the odd trick or two on the inside, but he mixed that in with his usual brand of defending and countering off the ropes, controlling the distance etc.

Think Napoles, though very hard to hit cleanly even when on the attack, might be a bit more inclined to carry the fight to Duran more often which could play in to Duran's hands. Napoles chased guys like Cokes and Charles (tremendous performances) out of the ring and even had Monzon doing a Wladimir impression (back up, grab hold) for a few rounds before his eye started closing up. Strength and power wasn't a problem for him but his style would give Duran some opportunities, and Duran could be pretty slick himself in that kind of scenario.

Maybe I just can't envisage it because he was fortunate enough to never meet a 135 / 140 pounder (which is all Napoles was really, but he couldn't get a title shot there) with the same mix of skills and attributes as 'Mantequilla', but I'm having a hard time seeing Duran conceding ground as easily as those guys did, and all told he's the more durable man here if we take in to account Napoles' vulnerable eyebrows as Hammersmith has touched on.

But yep, speed of hand and foot, good defence without having to 'run', toughness and a great ring IQ - Napoles did have all the equipment to beat Duran. But if Duran can force an even faster, harder-punching fighter like Leonard in to his kind of fight (I think it does him a bit of a disservice to suggest it was solely down to Leonard's mental fragility at the time) then he could chop the Cuban down and stop him late, too.

I'm more or less on the fence, but I'll go with Napoles - just about - to win more than he loses here, as I believe there's more 'blueprint' evidence to suggest he decisions Duran three times in five or something along those lines. The other two, Duran roars back down the stretch to nick a points win of his own, and maybe even gets a stoppage in the championship rounds, not necessarily on cuts either.
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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Fri 20 Mar 2015, 5:06 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:I'd have to back Duran by stoppage to be honest Captain, it's odd to predict a cuts stoppage but it was Napoles one Achilles heal and you have to imagine Duran is going to be connecting enough to open something up. I'm also not sure he has the strength or power of Benitez to keep Duran honest, can see him being walked down a bit.

Duran wouldn't be able to bully Napoles like he did Leonard. Napoles the counterpuncher had the power to make him pay.

Saying that, However, if Duran landed cleanly on the thin-skinned Napoles and inflicted a cut, Duran will be like the shark smelling blood.

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Post by captain carrantuohil Fri 20 Mar 2015, 5:36 pm

Don't rule out what you're saying, Chris and HH but Napoles was always a real thinking fighter. Just as capable of giving Duran different looks as Leonard, even, and most unlikely to be sucked into the type of fight that gives Duran his best chance.

Yes, Napoles could cut, but he wasn't exactly Henry Cooper or Walter McGowan in that department, either. Went 15 innumerable times with plenty of sharp punchers and Duran was no massive hitter at 147. In all probability, Napoles would have been unable to avoid some sort of spell of telephone box warfare but he could look after himself on the inside and I feel that he'd generally be the bloke dictating what type of fight this was. Could see him win going away with Duran complaining afterwards that the elusive Mantequilla wasn't man enough to stand and trade with him.

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