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A Thought about Jones,Calzaghe,Hopkins and their place in history

Posted 11-11-2008 at 08:36 AM by mr.crust
I have been amazed/disappointed by the amount of negativity towards Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones jnr and also Bernard Hopkins,the latter even I have found myself dismissing and over examining his credentials.With that in mind,I think its time we all took a step back and reminded ourselves why we are all here.I fell in love with boxing as a four year old in 1978 when my father sat a slightly bemused child in front of the tv and insist i watch some guy called Muhammad Ali regain his title against a crazy looking dude called Leon Spinks.Looking back now I realise that that wasnt a particularly great fight,but nonetheless back then i was spellbound,and from that moment on i was hooked.Through the eighties I was spoilt on a diet of Hagler,Leonard,Hearns and Duran.Hearns being my favourite courtesy of that devastating knockout of Duran.In truth,I loved all of those fighters,absolute giants of men to me as a kid.Then came Mike Tyson,a force of nature in the mid-late eighties the like of which i hadnt seen before or since.One fighter who really caught my imagination was Nigel Benn.The guy was absolutely devastating and could knock you out cold with either hand,especially when he was hurt himself! JC Chavez was peerless at that time too,a cold and calculated winning machine who would break fighters hearts.These are a few of the great characters of the sport that cemented my bond with boxing,and apologies for missing any of the other great fighters of those times.They know who they are,and I know who they are..I digress.I was having a beer down the local on the day of the Calzaghe-Jones fight,when an old guy called Chris whom I have known for a number of years,sat down and started talking about the greatest british fighter of all time.A heated debate got underway,and he would not have Calzaghe anywhere near his top five,which left me flabbergasted.He insisted that John Conteh was the best of the lot! It dawned on me at this point that whilst I love Joe and Roy,would i put them up there with a Hagler or a Hearns etc? Probably not,but not because its objective to do so,its more to do with the fact that the Leonards,Haglers et al. captivated my imagination at an impressionable age and stage in my life.I dont know with any certainty whether a 'prime' Jones would have thrashed a 'prime' calzaghe any more than I know that a 'prime' Hagler would have broken down a prime Hopkins! All I can say is that messrs Jones,Calzaghe and Hopkins were fantastic fighters of their time and for that reason they deserve their place in the sport I loves rich history.
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  1. Old
    We usually bring out the fighters/athletes we grew up with. I believe Chris is a bit older than you, so am I. In my eyes, there hasn't been a better tennis player than Bjorn Borg or a better downhill racer than Franz Klammer. In ten years, today's youngsters will claim that the man who will succeed Calzaghe is the best light heavy of all time. I like what Sonny Liston once said: "You cannot separate a champion from his time". Of course, Calzaghe, Jones and Hopkins all have to be characterized as fantastic fighters. But Conteh or Andries weren't that bad either. "You cannot separate a fan from his time."
    Posted 11-14-2008 at 11:07 AM by gridiron gridiron is offline
  2. Old
    Brilliantly put.Chris is in his 70s,but is still sharp as a tack.Funny you mention Andries as Chris was lauding him as well.One of my presents for my fifth birthday was a John Conteh standing punchbag and gloves kit!
    Posted 11-16-2008 at 11:05 AM by Roger Mellie Roger Mellie is offline
  3. Old
    at the end of the day joe was champ for 10 years,only the brown bomber reigned longer,he had hand trouble but remained undefeated,fighting some good ones along the way,hopkins was very underated,king gave him all his demands in match v tito as he thought hopkins would lose,also beat pavlik and antonio tarver,he was a very good middleweight b hop,turning now to jones,jones was a unique talent like ali,relied on his cobra reflexes to counterpunch,he was one of the greatest jones,it hurt me seeing him go on too long,hopkins never beat jones,father time did
    Posted 06-13-2010 at 07:49 PM by fergy fergy is offline

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