Roberto Durán (born June 16, 1951) is a retired professional boxer from Panama, widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all-time. During his career he would be called in admiration "Manos de Piedra, which translates to "Hands of Stone".
In 2002, he was chosen by The Ring Magazine to be the 5th greatest fighter of the last 80 years. He held world titles at four different weights - lightweight (1972-79), welterweight (1980), junior middleweight (1983-84) and middleweight (1989). He was the second boxer to have fought in five different decades. Mamby became the first boxer in history to compete in five decades. Two weeks later, Roberto Duran became the second fighter to do it.
He finally retired in January 2002 at age 50 (having previously retired in 1998) following a bad car crash in October 2001, with a professional record of 119 fights, 103 wins with 70 KOs. Up until the second Ray Leonard fight, he was trained by legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel.
Born in Guararé, Panamá to a Mexican father and a Panamanian mother, he had his first professional fight in 1967. After an initial adjustment he won thirty in a row, culminating in his first title bout in June 1972, where he controversially defeated Ken Buchanan at New York's Madison Square Garden for the WBA world lightweight championship. Duran knocked down Buchanan in the first round and dominated him throughout the fight, until Duran floored him with an unpunished low-blow with the final punch of the match. Duran followed up on his title winning performance with several non-title matches. Later that year, in another non-title bout, he lost a ten round decision to Esteban De Jesus. Duran got back on track with successful title defenses against Jimmy Robertson, Hector Thompson, and former lightweight champion Guts Ishimatsu. In 1974, Durán would avenge his loss to De Jesus with a brutal eleventh round knock out. Overall Durán made twelve successful defenses of his title (eleven coming by knock out), his last defense coming in 1978 where Durán fought a third fight with De Jesus, a unification match where Durán once again knocked out De Jesus and captured his WBC lightweight belt. Durán would give up the unified lightweight title in February 1979.
Vacating the lightweight title was a build up for an attempt at the welterweight title. Duran earned a pair of wins against former WBC welterweight champion Carlos Palomino and Zeferino Gonzales, setting the stage for a title bout against then undefeated WBC Welterweight Champion Sugar Ray Leonard. The venue chosen would be the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the same location where Leonard won an Olympic gold medal during the 1976 Summer Olympics. Duran resented the fact that he was getting only one-fifth the money Leonard would make despite the fact that he was entering the bout with a 73-1 record. He would curse and insult Leonard during press conferences in an attempt to intimidate the young champion. On June 20, 1980, Duran captured the WBC welterweight title by defeating Leonard via a 15-round unanimous decision. The fight would become known as "The Brawl in Montreal". In the November re-match, however, Durán shockingly quit. Leonard has said that his strategy was to use speed and agility to taunt and frustrate Durán, believing it was his best chance of winning the fight. In round 8, Durán turned around, walked to his corner and gave up, supposedly saying the now famous words, "no más" (no more). However he claims to have actually said, "No quiero pelear con el payaso." (Meaning "I do not want to fight with this clown.") Another version of events has him saying, in Spanish, "I can't continue". Referee Octavio Meyran, perhaps as incredulous as was the rest of the world at what he was seeing, asked Durán if he was sure, and Durán then said, "No más, no más" (no more, no more). In violation of what any professional fighter does on the day of a fight, Durán gorged himself after the weigh-in, claimed he quit because he was having stomach cramps. The controversy regarding this bout continues to this day.
He took some time to recover from that fight, gaining even more weight to contend for the WBC world junior middleweight title, but losing in his first attempt at a championship in that division on the January 30 of 1982, against Wilfredo Benitez by a 15 round unanimous decision. Duran was also to lose his come back fight in December 1982 in Detroit. Kirkland Laing, from London, shocked the boxing world, producing the type of display his talents promised yet he so rarely produced, taking the split decision. After being relegated to a 10 round walk out win over Englishman Jimmy Batten at The Battle of The Champions in Miami, Durán signed with promoter Bob Arum. This marked the beginning of a comeback in which he beat former world champion and now hall of famer Pipino Cuevas via a fourth round knock-out, which earned him a second crack at the junior middleweight title, this time against WBA champion Davey Moore.
The WBA title bout took place at Madison Square Garden on June 16, 1983, which also happened to be Duran's 32nd birthday. The result turned out to be a one sided affair as Duran dominated Moore throughout the bout. The pro-Duran crowd at ringside cheered as Duran relentlessly punished Moore. By the end of the sixth round, Moore's eye had swollen shut and he was floored near the end of the seventh. Finally the fight was stopped in the eighth round as Moore was taking such a horrific beating and Duran won his third world title. After the victory, Duran was hoisted up in the air as the crowd sang "Happy Birthday" to a sobbing Duran.
Durán later fought for the World middleweight title, meeting Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas in November 1983, but losing in a competitive fight that went the full fifteen rounds. Despite the loss, Duran was the first fighter to go the full distance with the great middleweight champion in one of his defenses. In June 1984, Duran was stripped of his junior middleweight title when the WBA did not approve of his fight with WBC world champion Thomas "Hitman" Hearns, and took away recognition of Duran as world champion the moment Duran stepped into the ring to box Hearns. Durán lost the fight after a vicious second round knock-out by Hearns.
Durán did not contend another title fight until 1989, but made the shot count when he won the WBC middleweight title from Iran Barkley in February, a fight in which Duran used Don Longanecker as a training partner.The fight is considered one of Duran's greatest achievements, as the 38 year old former lightweight champion took the middleweight crown, his fourth title. In a tough, back and forth fight, Durán knocked Barkley down in the eleventh round and won a close decision. The bout was named the 1989 "Fight of the Year" by Ring Magazine. His reign was short lived once again as Duran moved up to super middleweight for a third clash with Sugar Ray Leonard in December (a fight dubbed Uno Más--One More--by promoters), but lost in a decision. Duran seemed to be in decline after the fight, he attempted to win further middleweight titles in 1994, 1995 and 1996 (fighting for the minor IBC belt). In 1998, at the age of 47, he challenged 28 year old WBA middleweight champion William Joppy. Joppy, a trim, quick-fisted fighter, battered Duran to defeat in just 3 rounds. It was Duran's most emphatic loss since the Hearns fight, over a decade earlier. Duran then announced his retirement in August 1998, but was back fighting in 1999. In June 2000 he won a minor super middleweight title from Pat Lawlor but quickly lost it to Héctor Camacho.
After splitting fights with Jorge Castro and losing a rematch to Camacho, Durán went to Argentina to promote a Salsa music CD that he had just released. While there, he was involved in a dramatic car crash and required life-saving surgery. After that, he announced his retirement from boxing.
Durán's five world title belts, which he won in four different divisions, were stolen from his house in Panama in 1993 during a robbery allegedly staged by his brother-in-law, who gave them to memorabilia seller Luis González Báez, who will stand trial for trying to sell stolen goods. González Báez allegedly sold the belts to undercover FBI agents. He alleges that Duran authorized the sale of the five belts to him during a time that Duran was facing financial trouble. On September 23, 2003, a federal judge in Florida ordered the five belts returned to Duran.
His 70 wins by knockout place him in an exclusive group of boxers who have won 50 or more fights by knockout.
Roberto Duran's life and boxing career are collected in the documentary "Los puños de una nación" (The fists of a nation) by Panamanian film maker, Pituka Ortega-Heilbron.
|103 Wins (70 knockouts, 32 decisions, 1 retirement), 16 Losses (4 knockouts, 12 decisions)|
|Loss||Héctor Camacho||Decision||12||2001-07-14||Denver, Colorado|
|Win||Patrick Goossen||Decision||10||2000-08-12||Toppenish, Washington|
|Win||Pat Lawlor||Decision||12||2000-06-16||Panama City, Panama|
|Loss||Omar Gonzalez||Decision||10||1999-03-06||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Loss||William Joppy||TKO||3 ,||1998-08-28||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||Felix Jose Hernandez||Decision||10||1998-01-31||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||David Radford||Decision||8||1997-11-15||Temba, South Africa|
|Win||Jorge Fernando Castro||Decision||10||1997-06-14||Panama City, Panama|
|Loss||Jorge Fernando Castro||Decision||10||1997-02-15||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|Win||Mike Culbert||TKO||6||1996-09-27||Chester, West Virginia|
|Win||Ariel Cruz||KO||1||1996-08-31||Panama City, Panama|
|Loss||Héctor Camacho||Decision||12||1996-06-22||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||Ray Domenge||Decision||10||1996-02-20||Miami, Florida|
|Win||Wilbur Garst||TKO||4||1995-12-21||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Win||Roni Martinez||TKO||7 ,||1995-06-10||Kansas City, Missouri|
|Loss||Vinny Pazienza||Decision||12||1995-01-14||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||Heath Todd||TKO||7||1994-10-18||Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi|
|Loss||Vinny Pazienza||Decision||12||1994-06-25||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||Terry Thomas||TKO||4||1994-03-29||Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi|
|Win||Carlos Montero||Decision||10||1994-02-22||Marseille, France|
|Win||Tony Menefee||TKO||8||1993-12-14||Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi|
|Win||Sean Fitzgerald||KO||6||1993-08-17||Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi|
|Win||Jacques LeBlanc||Decision||10||1993-06-29||Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi|
|Win||Ken Hulsey||KO||2 ,||1992-12-17||Cleveland, Ohio|
|Win||Tony Biglen||Decision||10||1992-09-30||Buffalo, New York|
|Loss||Pat Lawlor||TKO||6 ,||1991-03-18||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Loss||Sugar Ray Leonard||Decision||12||1989-12-07||Las Vegas, Nevada|
|Win||Iran Barkley||Decision||12||1989-02-24||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||Jeff Lanas||Decision||10||1988-10-01||Chicago, Illinois|
|Win||Paul Thorn||Retirement||6||1988-04-14||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||Ricky Stackhouse||Decision||10||1988-02-05||Atlantic City, New Jersey|
|Win||Juan Ferreyra||Decision||10||1987-09-12||Miami, Florida|
|Win||Victor Claudio||Decision||10||1987-05-16||Miami, Florida|
|Loss||Robbie Sims||Decision||10||1986-06-23||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Jorge Suero||KO||2 ,||1986-04-18||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Manuel Zambrano||KO||2 ,||1986-01-31||Panama City, Panama|
|Loss||Thomas Hearns||KO||2||1984-06-15||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Loss||Marvin Hagler||Decision||15||1983-11-10||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Davey Moore||TKO||8 ,||1983-06-16||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Win||Pipino Cuevas||TKO||4 ,||1983-01-29||Los Angeles, California|
|Win||Jimmy Batten||Decision||10||1982-11-12||Miami, Florida|
|Loss||Kirkland Laing||Decision||10||1982-09-04||Detroit, Michigan|
|Loss||Wilfred Benitez||Decision||15||1982-01-30||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Luigi Minchillo||Decision||10||1981-09-26||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Nino Gonzalez||Decision||10||1981-08-09||Cleveland, Ohio|
|Loss||Sugar Ray Leonard||TKO||8 ,||1980-11-25||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Win||Sugar Ray Leonard||Decision||15||1980-06-20||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Win||Wellington Wheatley||TKO||6||1980-02-24||Tropicana Hotel, Las Vegas|
|Win||Joseph Nsubuga||TKO||4 ,||1980-01-13||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Zeferino Gonzalez||Decision||10||1979-09-28||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Carlos Palomino||Decision||10||1979-06-22||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Win||Jimmy Heair||Decision||10||1979-04-08||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Monroe Brooks||KO||8 ,||1978-12-08||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Win||Ezequiel Obando||KO||2 ,||1978-09-01||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Adolfo Viruet||Decision||10||1978-04-27||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Win||Esteban De Jesús||TKO||12 ,||1978-01-21||Caesars Palace, Las Vegas|
|Win||Edwin Viruet||Decision||15||1977-09-17||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Win||Bernardo Diaz||KO||1 ,||1977-08-06||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Javier Muniz||Decision||10||1977-05-16||Landover, Maryland|
|Win||Vilomar Fernandez||KO||13 ,||1977-01-29||Miami, Florida|
|Win||Alvaro Rojas||TKO||1 ,||1976-10-15||Hollywood, Florida, United States|
|Win||Emiliano Villa||TKO||7 ,||1976-07-31||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Lou Bizzarro||KO||14 ,||1976-05-23||Erie, Pennsylvania|
|Win||Saoul Mamby||Decision||10||1976-05-04||Miami Beach, Florida|
|Win||Leoncio Ortiz||KO||15 ,||1975-12-20||Hato Rey, Puerto Rico|
|Win||Edwin Viruet||Decision||10||1975-09-30||Uniondale, New York|
|Win||Alirio Acuna||KO||3||1975-09-13||Chitre, Panama|
|Win||Pedro Mendoza||KO||1 ,||1975-08-02||Managua, Nicaragua|
|Win||Jose Peterson||TKO||1||1975-06-03||Miami, Florida|
|Win||Ray Lampkin||KO||14 ,||1975-03-02||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Andres Salgado||KO||1 ,||1975-02-15||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Masataka Takayama||KO||1 ,||1974-12-21||San Jose, Costa Rica|
|Win||Adalberto Vanegas||KO||1||1974-11-16||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Jose Vasquez||KO||2||1974-10-31||San José, Costa Rica|
|Win||Hector Matta||Decision||10||1974-09-02||Hato Rey, Puerto Rico|
|Win||Flash Gallego||TKO||7 ,||1974-07-06||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Esteban De Jesús||KO||11||1974-03-16||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Armando Mendoza||TKO||3 ,||1974-02-16||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Leonard Tavarez||TKO||4||1974-01-21||Paris, France|
|Win||Tony Garcia||KO||3||1973-12-01||Santiago de Veraguas, Panama|
|Win||Guts Ishimatsu||TKO||10 ,||1973-09-08||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Doc McClendon||Decision||10||1973-08-04||Hato Rey, Puerto Rico|
|Win||Hector Thompson||TKO||8 ,||1973-06-02||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Gerardo Ferrat||TKO||2 ,||1973-04-14||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Javier Ayala||Decision||10||1973-03-17||Los Angeles, California|
|Win||Juan Medina||KO||7 ,||1973-02-22||Los Angeles, California|
|Win||Jimmy Robertson||KO||5||1973-01-20||Panama City, Panama|
|Loss||Esteban De Jesús||Decision||10||1972-11-17||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Win||Lupe Ramirez||KO||1 ,||1972-10-28||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Greg Potter||KO||1 ,||1972-09-02||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Ken Buchanan||TKO||13||1972-06-26||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Win||Francisco Munoz||TKO||1 ,||1972-03-10||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Angel Robinson Garcia||Decision||10||1972-01-15||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Hiroshi Kobayashi||KO||7 ,||1971-10-16||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Benny Huertas||TKO||1 ,||1971-09-13||Madison Square Garden, New York City|
|Win||Fermin Soto||TKO||3||1971-07-18||Monterrey, Mexico|
|Win||Lloyd Marshall||TKO||6 ,||1971-05-29||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Jose Acosta||KO||1 ,||1971-03-21||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Jose Angel Herrera||KO||6||1971-01-10||Monterrey, Mexico|
|Win||Ignacio Castaneda||TKO||3||1970-10-18||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Marvin Castaneda||KO||1 ,||1970-09-05||Chiriqui, Panama|
|Win||Clemente Mucino||KO||6 ,||1970-07-18||Colon, Panama|
|Win||Ernesto Marcel||TKO||10||1970-05-16||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Felipe Torres||Decision||10||1970-03-28||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Win||Luis Patino||TKO||8||1969-11-23||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Serafin Garcia||TKO||5||1969-09-21||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Adolfo Osses||TKO||7||1969-06-22||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Jacinto Garcia||TKO||4||1969-05-18||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Eduardo Frutos||Decision||6||1969-02-01||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Alberto Brand||TKO||4||1969-01-19||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Carlos Howard||TKO||1||1968-12-07||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Juan Gondola||KO||2||1968-11-16||Colon, Panama|
|Win||Ulises De Leon||KO||1 ,||1968-09-22||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Leroy Carghill||KO||1||1968-08-25||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Enrique Jacobo||KO||1||1968-08-10||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Eduardo Morales||KO||1 ,||1968-06-30||Panama City, Panama|
|Win||Manuel Jiménez||KO||1||1968-06-15||Colon, Panama|
|Win||Juan Gondola||KO||1||1968-05-14||Colon, Panama|
|Win||Carlos Mendoza||Decision||4||1968-02-23||Colón, Panama|
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