Tuesday, December 06, 2022  |


You decided who is greater: Jones or Hopkins


The readers were asked to provide their opinion on whom will be remembered as the greater fighter, Roy Jones Jr. or Bernard Hopkins. Sixty-five percent of respondents selected Jones to 35 for Hopkins, although a few were unclear as to their choice. Here are some examples of the e-mails we received (in order of when they were received).

It's difficult to say who will be remembered as the better fighter. I think Jones is destroying his legacy fight by fight and should have stopped when Joe Calzaghe beat him. That fight would be a good reference point to judge the fighters as they are today. Both knocked Calzaghe down in the first round, but Calzaghe got up and dismantled Jones, whereas Hopkins made a contest of it.

Newcastle, UK

Roy Jones will be remembered as the greater fighter. When substance is similar, sizzle stands out. He is the Sugar Ray Leonard to Hopkins’ Marvin Hagler.

Morristown, N.J.

Roy, for all his faults, at the end of the day always knew how to put on a good show, even in his last few fights (besides the Danny Green mess). In the Lacy fight, you saw six-punch combinations and him jumping off the ground to uppercut. It’s kind of the same effect the Harlem Globetrotters had if you know what I mean. And as you said in the article, Hopkins never had that quality. He's an extremely sound boxer who rarely goes for broke. He's textbook and wins textbook. Roy is Pablo Picasso, Bernard is Norman Rockwell. Both will be remembered as legends but the edge in style is what makes the difference.

Pensacola Fla.

I will concede that head to head, in their prime, Jones would beat Hopkins fairly consistently. I will even concede that Jones was the “better” fight in his prime. But as far as greatness and accomplishments go, Hopkins scores a decisive win. Keeping in mind this objective criteria – quality of opposition, longevity, and dominance. I will concede that quality of opposition is a toss-up. Longevity is not even up for debate. The deciding factor then in my mind is dominance, and while Hopkins was never as exciting or spectacular as a prime Jones was, he was every bit as dominant fight to fight and round to round.


Had Jones retired after Ruiz, he would have been remembered as one of the greatest ever, but he didn't and got KTFO several times since, which hurts him. Hopkins, like Ray Robinson, has never been stopped competing into his late 40s; that counts a lot. Against common opponents, BHOP is better. Jones has more marquee. In their primes Jones, overall BHOP.

Columbia, S.C.

Roy Jones, although they are hard to split because of Jones’ win over Hopkins and the fact that it is hard to determine Hopkins' prime. If Hopkins had played smart and got the rematch within five years of the first fight, I believe Jones would have beaten him.


The key here is who does the remembering. The casual sports fan 20 years down the road will say Jones because he will remember the highlight-reel moments. Hopkins had few such moments, but, provided B-Hop wins this weekend, most boxing historians will have Bernard ahead on longevity and skill.


Hopkins fared better against the top fighters both men fought. Jones was destroyed by Tarver, Johnson and Calzaghe. Hopkins destroyed Tarver and Johnson and fought Calzaghe in an even match. Hopkins all the way!


I believe Roy Jones will be remembered as a better fighter simply for the fact that he is the first fighter in over a century to win the middleweight title and the heavyweight title. Enough Said.

Springfield, Ohio

Roy's high was higher and his name is better than Hopkins, but Roy's high was above middleweight. That's like ranking Leonard over Duran based on their common opponents. That being said, the greatest fighters of all time should still be able to take a punch, even after they're shot.


Roy Jones will definitely be remembered as the greater fighter of the two. Jones was the first middleweight champion to become a heavyweight champion since Bob Fitzsimmons did it in 1897. Over 100 years! He did it all with flash! Hands behind back to KO Glen Kelly!

San Francisco

Roy Jones Jr. is better than Bernard Hopkins because, when they fought, Bernard couldn't touch Roy, let alone beat him. I do not understand how a fighter who had a hard time even competing with Roy can be compared to him. Not to mention, a lot of people fail to realize/mention that Roy beat Bernard with ONE HAND! However, I do expect B-Hop to beat Roy on Saturday. Roy has declined that much.

Long Beach, Calif.

Hopkins has the better resume, never lost in his prime, only lost clearly to one man (Roy) four years before entering his prime, has never been knocked out, and has been able to adapt with age. Roy's inability to modify his style effectively as he aged is a major detraction.


Ali or Foreman? Ali was physically amazing, but suffered losses to lesser fighters as he aged. Foreman got better with age. Ali's remembered as better than Foreman because his star peaked higher. For the same reason, Jones will be looked upon as better than Hopkins.

Columbus, Ohio

An impressive peak is weightier than longevity. Considerable dominance in multiple divisions and a (somewhat superficial) bonus heavyweight title make RJJ’s star shine brighter in the history records than BHop’s. Hopkins ‘ record doesn’t have the tarnishes that Jones’ does, but it does lack (by just a small amount) comparable significance.

Pittsburgh, Pa.

I feel that history will be better to Jones. I don't agree that Hopkins was still developing against Jones. His record after the fight provides no evidence of this. Jones will be remembered as being better at middleweight and light-heavyweight as well as being the best super-middleweight to date.


I'd favor Jones. Bottom line, he entertained more. Hopkins was more promotion/hype mixed with just enough entertainment to entice you to buy again. Hopkins only took on big names when he had advantages. Ask yourself this: Which fighter are you most likely to go back and watch old DVD's of?

Sean Brown
St. Louis

I would score (their careers) 6 rounds to 6, but 114-113 for Jones based on impressive peak-period performance.