When Roberto Duran first faced rival Sugar Ray Leonard, he looked into the soul of former “Smokin” heavyweight world champion Joe Frazier ahead of the “Montreal Brawl.”
Asked by a spectator, before the glamorous 1980 bout, if the Panamanian reminded him of anyone, Frazier was adamant in his response. “Yeah,” the legend said, remembering a mass murderer. “Charles Manson. “
. – .
Roberto Duran’s coronation took place in 1980 when he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard in Montreal
Simply one of the toughest men to ever set foot in the ring, the legend and mystique of the deadly four-weight world champion has been aided and encouraged by none other than his revered trainer, Ray Arcel.
Just three days before the fight with Leonard, an ECG determined that Duran had an irregular heartbeat.
“It can’t be true,” Arcel remarked. “Duran has no heart.
By the time, Duran had won 71 of his 72 professional fights and was starting to earn the nickname “El Diablo” among American journalists for his killer instinct and odd presence. Today, at 70, his legendary status is assured and his place in boxing history cemented forever.
Born in poverty in 1951, Duran began training at the age of eight with adult men and won his first 28 fights as a professional after leaving the amateur ranks at the age of 16.
The “Hands of Stone” cemented his reputation as one of the greatest lightweight of all time when he eliminated Ken Buchanan
He faced Scotsman Ken Buchanan at Madison Square Garden for the WBA, Ring Magazine and Lineal lightweight world championships and was considered a 2-1 underdog.
Within the first 15 seconds, Duran knocked down Buchanan and will continue to beat the champion until round 13. An accidental low blow caused by referee Johnny LoBianco forced Buchanan out of the fight.
Duran returned to his home country with two new belts, improved reputation and number one status. Buchanan said he left “with sore balls”.
In his autobiographical film titled “I Am Duran,” the legendary slugger suggests, “I was Mike Tyson before Mike Tyson came.
“The fighters would look at me and put the shit in their pants. Leonard would be no different.
“Americans were starting to realize that they had never met anything like me before – this weird, deadly being with his jet black hair, black eyes and evil intentions.
“El Diablo, they called me: The Devil. “
Under the “leadership” of promoter Don King, Duran began to enjoy his celebrity status.
. – .
Tyson and his idol Duran kiss as ex-wife Robin Givens looks on
In November 2020, Tyson made a comeback against Roy Jones Jr at the ripe age of 54, but it was Duran who inspired him to lace the gloves in the first place.
“Roberto Duran is my favorite [sic] fighter, ”Tyson wrote on Facebook. When I saw Duran fight, he was just a street guy… Dude, that guy is me, I thought. This is what I wanted to do.
“He wasn’t ashamed of being what he was. I related to him as a human being. As my career progressed and people started praising me for being a savage, I knew that being called an animal was the highest praise I could get from someone in the ring. I was fierce and fearless like Duran.
Joe Scarnici / Triller
Tyson returned and fought an exhibition with Jones Jr – which ended in an unofficial draw
Duran defeated Leonard in 1980 by pushing him to engage and prepare for a fight, instead of choosing to send the Olympic gold medalist to Montreal.
When they met in November of the same year for a rematch, Duran had spent time away from the sport partying and eating. He was forced to shed nearly 200 pounds to the 155-pound welterweight limit in just under six weeks and it wore him out.
He knew Leonard would beat him before the first bell, but Ali’s reshuffle and the American’s taunts in the seventh round proved too much.
In the eighth round, Duran would have proclaimed “No Mas” and would have waved his glove towards the referee to end the fight.
. – .
The Panamanian was badly drained by huge weight reduction for rematch with Leonard
The new celebrity status began long before the infamous sequel with Sugar Ray Leonard, with Duran actually appearing in Rocky II as a quick training partner alongside Sylvester Stallone.
While filming the sequel in 1978, Stallone reportedly gained confidence in his boxing abilities while training for the first two films of the famous films.
The Panamanian allegedly beat the A-list celebrity so badly that he had to tell her not to punch him in the face when the cameras rolled, fearing it would ruin his good looks.
When Stallone was asked in 2014 about Bernard Hopkins’ potential fight, he told TMZ: “No. I learned my lesson from Duran.
. – .
Rocky Balboa could get by onscreen, but Duran pushed him to practice off-camera
Middleweight fights against Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns cemented his legacy as one of the ‘Four Kings’ of the 1980s and earned him the salvation of his career as he continued to gain weight and fight. all comers.
In 2001, while still fighting incredibly, he was nearly killed in a car crash in Argentina and had to undergo life-saving surgery after puncturing a lung caused by a broken rib.
At 50, he officially announced his retirement and managed to make fun of his friend Diego Maradona during his last speech as a fighter.
He told El Panama America, “Right now I’m exercising so that when the (retirement) honors come in people will see me in good shape. I don’t want to (look like) a fat Maradona.
. – .
Maradona enjoyed cult status, as did her friend Duran
He finished with a career record 104-16 and is widely recognized as one of the greatest punchers and most entertaining fighters to ever don a pair of gloves.
Forged in the wicked streets of Panama, the “Stone Hands” have inspired millions of people around the world and plan to leave this world exactly as it happened.
“I was born a fighter and I will die a fighter,” he said. “In this story, there is only one legend. It’s me. “