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.