As a sidenote, Jake LaMotta has to be a contender for having the hardest chin in middleweight history.
My vote is for Hagler, he was befriended by Sugar Ray Leonard and was psyched out and softened up by him in the run up to their 'Clash of the Titans' bout shortly after Hagler had hammered Larry Hearns, he would and should have taken Leonard down in less than seven or eight rounds in my opinion otherwise.
All credit to Leonard though, if you see boxing as being about psychological tactics/warfare then he was a worthy winner, he obviously felt Hagler had the beating of him and hence the ersatz, contrived, disingenuous and ulterior motivated 'friendship' he initiated with Hagler in the run-up to their epic confrontation in the ring.
Thanks for that Ken, I never knew.
I remember being shocked when hearing Leonard won the next morning.
It's a shame Hagler didn't fight again as he still had it.
Without each of them going toe to toe against each other while still in their prime, it's almost impossible to answer. We might ask which fighter dominated his era the most, though some eras are tougher than others. "The Man of Steel" Tony Zale, for example, held the title for seven years, but four of those years were during WWII, and the top boxers at that time might have been off to war. Sugar Ray Robinson won the title five times, but doesn't that mean he lost it at least four times? Nino Benvenuti was a great fighter and was champion in the late sixties, but his best years were before he actually became champion. Carlos Monzon was awesome and was champ from 1970-1977. Little to criticize except that he didn't seem to have too much competition. Marvin Hagler fought in a tough era and was also champ for seven years (1980-1987). In my opinion, the fight against Leonard was a draw (I saw it) - Leonard won over the crowd and the judges with his showboating. Plus he only held on to the title for about a year after that. I do feel, however, that Leonard was the greatest welterweight of all time, and Roberto Duran was the greatest lightweight of all time. As for the greatest middleweight of all time, I'm going with Hagler.
Monzon also beat Rodrigo Valdez and Bennie Briscoe who were both excellent. Don't know much about the other names he fought though.
It's a shame Monzon and Hagler just missed each other 'cos I would've loved to see that.
Talking of Zale, I forgot to put him in the original choices.
Good list Guest User and I agree with you about Hopkins. Never really impressed me and all the best middles moved up. He had nothing to beat.
I just mull over the defences Nigel Benn, who was my favourite boxer at the time, would've made at middle.
He was much stronger at middleweight and would've knocked Hopkins' block off, yet this guy made 25 defences to Benn's one?! Amazing.
Hmmm..maybe I was a bit zealous with my Benn/Hopkins prediction.
I sometimes let my British pride get in the way and I can understand people saying Hopkins would've won. Benn always had trouble with good defensive fighters and may have struggled.
I still think Benn was twice the fighter at middleweight than he was at super-middle though.