Hands of Stone Celebrates His 65th

by
Hands of Stone Celebrates His 65th

Hands of Stone Celebrates His 65th

by
Hands of Stone Celebrates His 65th

Duran is universally considered among the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the long and noble history of the Sweet Science.
Roberto Duran is universally considered among the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in boxing’s long and noble history.

“I was born to fight. I do not know what else to do.”—Roberto Duran

Regarded as among the greatest—the greatest, according to many—lightweights of all time, Roberto Duran celebrates his 65th birthday today.

Born in El Chorrillo, Panama, “Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”) fought out of Panama City from—amazingly—1968 to 2001 (103-16, 70 KOs). He won the WBA World lightweight title by stopping Ken Buchanan via controversial 13th-round TKO at Madison Square Garden on June 26, 1972. He successfully defended his belt 12 times before vacating in January 1979.

Duran won the WBC version of the title by stopping Esteban De Jesus via 12th-round TKO at Caesars Palace on January 21, 1978. He vacated that title the following January as well.

It was on June 20, 1980, at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, that Duran scored the WBC World welterweight title by beating Sugar Ray Leonard via close unanimous decision, thus handing Leonard his first loss. In the infamous “No Mas” bout of November 25 that year, at the Superdome in New Orleans, Duran lost the belt to Leonard by eighth-round TKO.

On June 16, 1983, his 32nd birthday, Duran won the WBA World super welterweight title by stopping Davey Moore at the Garden via eighth-round TKO. Stripped of his belt the following year for refusing to defend against first-ranked contender Mike McCallum, Duran instead took on Thomas Hearns for the WBC World super welterweight title. The fight took place at Caesars that June 15, the Panamanian losing by second-round TKO.

Between Moore and Hearns, Duran had challenged Marvelous Marvin Hagler for the WBA/WBC/IBF World middleweight titles. The bout took place at Caesars on November 10, 1983, Hagler winning by close unanimous decision. Duran won his fourth crown on February 24, 1989, thus becoming only the third boxer in history to win titles in four weight divisions, by beating Iran Barkley via split decision at the Convention Center in Atlantic City. He vacated the following year.

Universally considered among the greatest pound-for-pound fighters in the long and noble history of the Sweet Science, Roberto Duran was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.

This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.


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