The Long Goodbye 1983-2001 Part 2
Iran Barkley – WBC Middleweight Championship
After 17 months of lazing around enjoying himself, Duran decided that he was making a come back, which is probably safe assume was for the money. Two twelve thousand capacity crowds turned up at the Gimansio Neuvo in Panama as two novices were lined up in early in 1986. Against Manuel Zambrano Duran dispatched him with a thunderous left hook in the 2nd round. In his second fight he looked much sleeker against Jorge Suero as he again dispatched his opponent in the 2nd round with a left hook, straight right hand combination. Zambrano suffered worse of the two opponents after receiving a triple jaw fracture.
In June’86 Duran dropped a 10 round split decision to Robbie Sims, the half-brother of Marvin Hagler. Sims, who was a solid contender, 10 years younger and ranked 4th in the world, had brutally knocked out Iran Barkley in a 6 round war 2 years previously.
Sims started the fight being the boss but he paid the price for taking Duran for granted thinking he was done. Duran by the middle rounds started to take over and even though Duran dropped the split decision he had been deducted a point for low blow that would ultimately cost him a draw.
Sims looked like he had been on the end of a beating and was forced to admit that Duran still had something to offer even though some scribes stated that Duran’s time was over but at least he went out spitting defiance.
Duran though never got the memo and was back in the ring 11 months later with a unanimous decision win over Victor Claudio, dropping him in the 9th round.
Three months later Duran again scored a unanimous decision win over 10 rounds this time over Juan Carlos Gimenez where he showed his underrated defensive abilities and boxed like an old master.
By January 1988 the taxman hit Duran with $4.3 million bill dating a far back as the late 1970’s so back on the comeback trail Duran beat Ricky Stackhouse whilst weighing 162lbs, again by unanimous decision.
Two more fights followed in 1988 one was a 6 round retirement of Paul Thorn then a labouring split decision win over 10 rounds against Jeff Lanas that finally had boxing writers begging him to retire. He had lost touch with reality according to some and that hurt Duran.
Duran countered those critics, “Who is anyone to say I can’t? If I want to fight, and I get hurt, that’s my problem, not yours. Everybody keeps saying I was. I was. I still am! How can I hurt my image? The name I built up cannot be torn down. I am Duran!”
Four months later he signed up to fight the fearsome Iran “The Blade” Barkley who was the reigning WBC Middleweight Champion the title that he had brutally ripped away from then champion Thomas Hearns.
The fight was set for 24th February 1989 at the Convention Centre in Atlantic City.
If Duran and Barkley had ever faced each other in a street fight it was sure to be an epic one. Duran had been known in his younger days to get involved in street fights and in one incident had apparently knocked out 5 people. Barkley though was more sinister.
Having grown up in the ghetto of the South Bronx Barkley loved to intimidate, he was 6 feet tall and was 160lbs of pent up aggression. During his days in the ghetto he ran with a ferocious street gang called the Black Spades who had a massive crew. The gang were responsible for numerous stabbings and clubbings.
He was so fierce that he finished the job that Duran couldn’t even start against Hearns. Badly cut over both eyes and behind on all score cards Barkley came out in round 3 and bludgeoned Hearns to the canvas. He had taken out one legend and was now eyeing up another one but with Duran it was personal.
Barkley grew up in the Bronx with his friend Davey Moore, they were more like brothers. They had boxed as amateurs, sparred and supported each other in the professional ranks then came Moore’s fight against Duran.
After such a terrific beating from the Hands of Stone Moore’s career went into decline, he lost to fighters that he would normally have beaten and then was sadly killed in a freak car accident and now Barkley wanted to avenge his friend.
Duran though thought that the way Barkley was talking that Duran himself had personally killed Moore. “This is a personal vendetta,” quipped Barkley.
On previous performances Duran wasn’t worthy or even deserved a shot at the WBC title but he was still name that brought enough interest plus the WBC president, Jose Sulaiman had his back and gave the fight his blessing.
The Barkley camp felt that Duran would make the fight competitive for a few rounds, make it interesting for the punters but were highly confident that Duran had little chance of winning.
There was however a tactical change in Duran’s boxing as he got older and wiser. The Duran of old loved nothing better than tearing forward, hunting his opponents down and attempted to disable them. This version of Duran though was different he preferred his opponents to come at him and Duran believed that Barkley was tailor made for him.
Barkley had been hurt in previous fights, he had taken punishment and was technically flawed at times but the general feeling was that the Blade was too big, too strong, too young and too fresh.
Duran’s purse for the fight was $350,000 whilst Barkley was to make $500,000. At the weigh in Barkley came in a pound under the middleweight limit whilst Duran weighed in at 156 ¼ lbs.
At the sounding of the opening bell Barkley came out and attempted to impose himself on the physically smaller Duran whilst Duran looked to side step the punches. Barkley began swinging hooks to the body in an attempt to slow down the older Duran but the veteran landed a few punches of his own, including the straight right hand.
The first round looked to be ending without incident then Barkley was reminded what the old tiger could still produce. With 10 seconds left in the round Duran slipped Barkley’s jab to the right and then came over the top and landed a stinging straight right hand that staggered Barkley into the ropes. There was little doubt that Barkley was hurt and as the bell sounded to end the round he and the onlookers knew that they had maybe, just maybe, wrote Duran off a bit too soon.
Both started boxing at the start of the second round with Duran always looking to counter the aggressive come forward Barkley. Solid body shots from Barkley done nothing to discourage Duran instead he came back with a solid crisp left hook but Barkley did appear to be bossing the round with Duran having some success but Barkley’s success was mainly coming with the body shots.
The third round was slower but Duran once again reminded Barkley that he was still in the fight. Duran started the fourth much quicker but it wasn’t until half way through the round that the fight truly kicked off when Duran stunned Barkley again with a right hand that pushed the champion to the ropes. The two fighters then proceeded to go toe-to-toe and slugged it out. It was another stark reminder to Barkley that if he believed Duran was done then he has just been rudely awakened.
As both looked to box early in the fifth Barkley landed a few heavy shots that still didn’t back Duran up. The challenger countered well but he took punches that would never have landed in his prime but with Barkley being a good 160lbs puncher he was still unable to put a dent in Duran.
Barkley was cut towards the end of the fifth and in the sixth it was the slowest round so far with both reverting to their boxing but in the seventh round inside warfare broke out as Duran launched a huge attack that Barkley attempted to counter but Duran was having the more success as the round progressed. Barkley eventually responded with a double left hook that made Duran clinch. Sensing that Duran was hurt Barkley tried to push the advantage but Duran was able to weather the storm to see out the round.
A slow start to eighth round was quickly forgotten as the most dramatic incident of the fight occurred. Duran attempted to throw a left hook, however Barkley was quicker with his own hook which came from the depths of hell and seemed to land on Duran’s throat. With the punch landing and Duran also swinging his hook at the same time the momentum spun Duran 180 degrees, he staggered but didn’t go down.
At full speed it looked as if the punch should have taken his head off but as Barkley attempted to finish him off Duran but on the inside he looked to recover. Duran though looked tired and his punches seemed to be pushed but he wouldn’t fall.
Barkley had swelling under his left eye and in the ninth he looked to be conserving energy as he danced and moved out of distance looking to coast but eventually both fighters would begin launching bombs at each other and in the tenth both again started wailing away at one another.
Duran though was landing more jabs and when he opened up the taps Barkley began throwing wide careless punches leaving him wide open but it was a huge round for Duran as he continued to land and even had time to taunt Barkley. He stood with his hands down and made Barkley miss with three successive jabs then Duran continued his assault.
Going into the eleventh both camps must have known that the fight was tight on the score cards but things were just about to swing in the favour of the challenger in dramatic fashion.
Duran and Barkley were trading hooks then Duran landed a massive overhand right followed by another which Barkley responded to. Duran then landed another right hand followed by the left hook which resulted in Barkley dropping his hands. Immediately Duran landed another straight right hand that buckled Barkley’s legs, the follow up left hook missed but then the third straight right hand dropped Barkley.
The crowd went mental as Barkley slowly got to his feet and for the remaining 20 seconds of the round backed off. At the end of the round Barkley was wandering around the ring looking for his corner.
The Hands of Stone, who had not really shown his power at middleweight, had just dropped a legit middleweight and had him hurt.
The final round saw Barkley get up off his stool slowly and a good few seconds after the bell had sounded, in fact he had to be encouraged by his corner but Duran smartly boxed whilst also landing some solid shots and clean and effective combinations to see out the fight.
As the fight ended the machismo in Duran saw him stand in the middle of the ring leering and pumping his fist at Barkley, however as Michael Buffer struggled to get his microphone to work to announce the final scores, the animosity between the two fighters was forgotten as they embraced in the ring as each man gave the other their props.
Finally the scores were read out. Judge Dave Brown scored it 116-113 in favour of Barkley. Giuseppe Ferrari scored the fight 118-112 and Tom Kaczmarek scored it 116-112 both in favour of Duran giving the Panamanian the split decision victory.
Significance of Fight: The obituaries that were written immediately after the Hearns defeat were quickly forgotten Roberto Duran once again had written his own piece of history and had proved the neigh sayers wrong again. At the age of 37 he became the oldest fighter since Bob Fitzsimmons to win a world title. It was his 4th world title in his 4th weight class.
Iran Barkley though felt aggrieved that the decision went to Duran. “You can’t win a fight on one knockdown,” complained the deposed champion, “it should have went to me. I knew he was a crafty guy, I knew he was dangerous and did dirty things in the ring. I got cheated.”
Barkley was perhaps hinting that Duran needed the win in order to get the rubber match against Leonard and that the boxing powers had conspired against him.
Sugar Ray Leonard III – WBC Super Middleweight Championship
Billed as Uno Mas (One More) the rubber match against Sugar Ray Leonard was to be Roberto Duran’s last fight of any historical significance. Nine years on from the shambles of New Orleans Duran finally had the fight he had craved.
A few days after breaking the cardinal rule of boxing Duran demanded a rematch with Leonard however Leonard was not willing to give him the rematch as he felt “the press would kill it.”
Leonard had annoyed many of his opponents in the past, including the press with his prima donna attitude, arrogance, constant retirements and his desire for total control.
After successfully defending his unified welterweight crown against Bruce Finch in 1982 Leonard complained of seeing “floaters” in what transpired to be a detached retina in his right eye which could have meant the end of his career in his prime.
In November 1982 Leonard retired from boxing in front of boxing dignitaries and Marvin Hagler, whom many thought Leonard was about to call out. High on cocaine Leonard admitted his eye was fully healed but he didn’t want to box again and therefore left Hagler in the lurch.
Throughout the mid-1980’s Leonard abused his prime years by indulging in cocaine and alcohol binges. A return to the ring was slated in for February 1984 against Kevin Howard but was postponed after Leonard required minor corrective surgery on his right eye. The fight was rescheduled for May of the same year which Leonard won by a premature ninth round stoppage. Afterwards he promptly retired for a second time claiming he “just didn’t have it anymore” after being dropped for the first time in his career in the fourth round.
Three years later he returned again. This time however his return was methodical, well timed and well researched. In 1987 he finally entered the ring against the Middleweight Champion, Marvellous Marvin Hagler and beat him by a hotly disputed split decision. Leonard had made it clear that the Hagler fight would be one fight and then he would retire again, however many believed that Hagler had missed a step and was on the slide and that it was the primary reason for Leonard taking the fight. Leonard himself has admitted himself that he waited for Hagler to get old.
Leonard though returned again 1988 against Donny Lalonde in a fight that once again proved Leonard’s desire to control everything in talks. Lalonde was the WBC Light Heavyweight Champion however the WBC in their infinite wisdom had by now created the WBC Super Middleweight Championship which would also be on the line.
The biggest problem was Lalonde had to come down to 168lbs, as per Leonard’s demands, to contest the title whilst also putting up his 175lbs title at the same time whilst also weakening himself to make weight.
Leonard didn’t get it all his own way in the fight when he was dropped for the second time in his career but managed to stop Lalonde in the ninth round and promptly vacated the WBC 175lbs title and remained the WBC 168lbs titlist.
A rematch against Thomas Hearns was set 7 months later which saw Leonard get dropped twice as he battled out a disputed draw that many felt should have went to Hearns.
Finally the stage was set for the trilogy against Duran however if truth be told the fight was against two fighters well past their prime who had just enough marquee value left to earn one last big payday.
Again Leonard laid down the terms and demanded that the fight be made at a catchweight of 162lbs. If either fighter came in over the agreed weight limit then there would have a heavy financial penalty.
Duran was guaranteed $7.5 million, however a mix up by the American tax authorities [they had mistakenly rebated Duran $1.7 million] meant that they would take what was owed back off of him, plus he had legal cases with former managers that eventually saw the best past of $3.5 million taken from his final purse.
Leonard on the other hand was guaranteed $15 million making him the first boxer in history to earn over $100 million in his career.
The bout took place at the new hotel and casino built by Steve Wynn called the Mirage at a cost of $630 million but a sell out crowd at the outdoor arena of 16,305 only generated a gate of $9 million.
The fight took place on 7th December 1989 and by the time fighters got into the ring the outside temperature was 2 degrees Celsius.
Trouble though was round the corner for promoter Bob Arum a few days before the fight when the US Treasury Department threatened to arrest him if one single second of the fight was shown on Panamanian television.
A few months earlier Arum had sold the rights of the fight to a Panamanian state-controlled station, the problem was diplomatic and economic relations between America and Panama had been severed after the rise of General Manuel Noriega and a fully fledged embargo was issued.
Arum though managed to work his out of trouble by repackaging the Panamanian rights to the privately owned Telemundo Canal 13 station who then in turn reimbursed the government owned station and allowed the Panamanian people to watch the fight.
Another problem cropped up when the WBC stated their middleweight title [still held by Duran] would also be on the line. Leonard’s lawyer, Mike Trainer, who had initially drew up the contract, objected saying that it was in the contract that only the super middleweight title was on the line.
Finally the WBC revised their position and stated that if Duran lost the title would become vacant and if Leonard won he would not necessarily be granted the 160lbs title either.
Historically in non-title fights the champion had always been careful to ensure that his opponent weighed over the actual weight limit, therefore if he had lost the challenger couldn’t lay claim to the title.
With Leonard weighing 160lbs and Duran 158lbs at the official weigh in it meant Duran’s title was no longer safe. Had one of the fighters weighed a fraction over the 160lbs middleweight limit then Duran’s title would not have been under threat, as it transpired it was a massive mistake on Duran’s advisors behalf.
The fight itself will never win any fights of the year awards as Duran showed all the aggression of a stoned hippy! As early as the 2nd round Leonard began show boating, playing to the crowd, dancing around, back off, pulled faces and simply refused to engage.
Duran was tentative to throw anything as Leonard began to mug him by hitting him low, on the break, all the dirty tactics that Duran had used in the past were now being brought to bare against him not to mention his legs looked very heavy.
It truly was a pitiful spectacle for anyone that had the misfortune to watch, especially for the A-list celebrities that forked out thousands of dollars on tickets
Leonard was frustrating the hell out of Duran and by the middle of the fight the fans were booing and by round 10 they were chanting “Bullshit! B*******!”
The disgruntlement from the crowd bothered Leonard as he was heard in between the rounds talking to his corner about the crowd booing.
The crowd chanting seemed to kick Leonard into gear as he decided to venture a little closer to the action but in doing so he paid a heavy price. Duran picked him off with a right hand lead and charged forward lowering his head right into Leonard. Blood immediately began to flow from Leonard’s forehead.
Leonard’s corner were in uproar screaming “headbutt” but slow motion replays show that Duran did open up the cut with an uppercut.
The cutman was unable to stem the flow of the blood so Leonard decided to see out fight running around the ring. If the cut had been opened earlier in the fight it may have taken a different path.
However, Leonard’s tactics were not aesthetic but they guaranteed one thing, a lopsided decision victory with the final scores of 120-110; 119-109 and 116-111 all in favour of Leonard.
Duran as usual was annoyed at Leonard and his clowning around. “I knew he was going to come in and here and clown around. I came to fight and he didn’t. He was just running around out there. When he did hit me, I hit him back.”
Significance of Fight: “The War becomes a Bore!” one newspaper headline stated. For Duran’s last fight of any significance he was unable to deliver for the goods.
The remarkable performance from Duran against Barkley gave him the emphasis for the final fight with Leonard however when Duran delved into his bag of miracles he found it empty.
At the age of 38 Duran would surely call it quits however it was well known that the money that he did manage to clear after the fight wouldn’t last long and in turn he would have to return to the ring at some point
As it transpired Duran would start another comeback 15 months later.
I Need Money Tour
Whilst training for the Pat Lawlor fight in 1991 Duran injured his shoulder in the gym. During the fight Lawlor landed a punch on the injured shoulder in the 6th round which resulted in Duran being taken to the ringside doctor by the referee who then called the fight off. Some observers actually called it a second no mas.
Sixteen months later Duran returned to the ring in September 1992 against Tony Biglen who he dropped in the first and fourth rounds on his way to a unanimous decision victory.
By the end of the year Duran was fighting out of small town casinos then in December 1993 Duran entered the exclusive boxing club of fighters having made a 100 appearances in the ring. He took on Tony Menefee who was a game fighter but was dropped in the 5th round from the old right hand of Duran and was thoroughly dominated as Duran forced the referee to stop the fight in the 8th round.
A couple of other wins against over matched opponents in early 1994 lined up a fight against former Lightweight and Light Middleweight World champion VinnyPazienza for the lightly regarded IBC Super Middleweight title.
At the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas some 10,000 fans turned up to watch the now 43 year old Manos de Piedra drop Pazienza in the 5th round and seemed to build up an early lead. Duran managed to cut Pazienza and was punishing him however he was unable to keep up the early pace and allowed Pazienza back into the fight and lost a unanimous decision
Four months later Duran stopped Heath Todd inside 7 rounds then took on the rematch against Pazienza in January 1995 however this time he was never at the races and was easily outpointed.
Three more victories were achieved before stepping into the ring against former 3 weight world champion Hector “Macho” Camacho. If the fight had been made prime for prime in their glorious Lightweight pomp it could have been a barnburner.
The appeal for the faded Duran and the flashy and mouthy Camacho was obviously good enough that the fight was broadcast on PPV. In the 5th round Camacho was clinging on for dear life as Duran’s trusted right hand seemed to scramble his senses and he was getting the better of the exchanges. However like the first fight against Pazienza he lost steam and just couldn’t convince the judges enough to get the nod.
A brutal knock out of Ariel Cruz in Panama was followed up with a fight against Mike Culbert where Duran earned $50,000 for the fight.
Five months later Duran travelled to Argentina and was controversially outpointed by former WBA Middleweight champion Jorge Castro.
Four months later, two days before his 46th birthday, Duran got his revenge as he outpointed Castro in the rematch in front of 10,000 adoring fans in Panama.
At this point in Duran’s career he was going into fights without training properly or without training at all. At the end of 1997 Duran fought David Radford in South Africa which, even though he won over 8 rounds, proved that Duran’s tank was empty.
Another victory in early 1998 set up, incredibly, another world title shot for Duran against the WBA Middleweight champion William Joppy. The sad fact was Duran never belonged in the ring with Joppy who was close to his prime whilst Duran was now 47 years old.
The only person who would have no scruples about making this fight was the same man that gave us Muhammad Ali versus Larry Holmes…Don King! Only King would have the front to send a man way beyond his prime to the slaughter.
Duran was eventually stopped on his feet, refusing to go down, after Joe Cortez intervened to stop the pummelling and to make matters worse Duran would only clear $25,000 from a near ¼ of a million purse after the IRS had taken their slice for back payments.
Duran fought once in 1999 which he lost on points. A rematch against Pat Lawlor in Panama was arranged for 16th June 2000 which was Duran’s 49th birthday. Duran would make history again that evening entering the ring for his 116th fight but amazingly Duran would now have fought in 5 separate decades.
Duran didn’t disappoint and won by unanimous decision and captured the NBA Super Middleweight title.
Duran entered the ring for the last time on 14th July 2001 for a rematch against Hector Comacho at the age of 50 and was soundly beaten on points.
No doubt Duran would have continued fighting if it had not been for one fateful day in October 2001 in Argentina. Duran was in the country to promote a salsa CD when he was involved in a car accident where he suffered several broken ribs and a collapsed lung which finally called an end to his career however Duran would not make his retirement official until January 2002.
After 119 fights, which include 103 wins with 70 knockouts, 16 defeats and no draws, he boxed a total of 822 rounds and had a knock out percentage of 58.82%, the Hands of Stone was no more. Of the 16 losses in his career half of them occurred after he had turned 40.
Throughout his career Duran is believed to have made close to $50 million in the ring much of which has since vanished. Duran was lavish in his parties where he invited the poor into his home or fancy hotels to eat steak and drink champagne. To the Panamanian people he was their Robin Hood who gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to the people that needed it the most. After defeating Leonard in Montreal he partied for three solid months.
Duran would pay complete strangers’ electricity bills, hospital bills, ensured that his family had a home after his old home of El Chorrillo was laid waste after the US invasion in 1989 to remove Manuel Noriega.
However there are other reasons which may explain why Duran squandered much of his fortune. His former manager Carlos Eleta has been accused of siphoning some of Duran’s purse money whilst his wife Felicidad is rumoured to have lost “a lot” in the casinos. Duran’s love of Felicidad ensured that Duran never questioned her where the money went.
The lack of formal education would not have stood Duran in good stead. Kicked out of school in the third grade he received his education on the streets fighting. The lack of education will not have helped when it came to balancing his accounts and he relied on other people to look after his money and investments. Sadly though many people took advantage of Duran’s good nature and stole money and other possessions from him.
However he lived his life to the extreme. In his heyday of earning the millions of dollars Duran also mingled with presidents, ate and drank the finest food and champagne, cavorted with some of the worlds most beautiful women, spoke with some of the worlds leading figures like Nelson Mandela, wore extravagant jewellery and drove fast cars, partied with A-list Hollywood celebrities and even appeared in Rocky II as Sylvester Stallone’s sparring partner.
The small boy from the impoverished streets of El Chorrillo in downtown Panama City had done well for himself.
Roberto Duran was a born fighter, a ring warrior who loved nothing more than to go one-on-one, some called him a savage, a man without a heart and no feelings but to others he was a hero, a caring person who wanted to help everyone that came from the same blinding poverty he did.
Throughout his career Duran faced 18 former or future world champions over 25 fights. Of the 18 former or future champions he faced 9 of them were in world title fights. Duran compiled a record of 7-5 against those 9 fighters and the only fighters to beat him are generally regarded as all time greats like Sugar Ray Leonard x 2, Wilfred Benitez, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns.
Prior to stepping up full time to welterweight against Monroe Brooks in 1978 Duran had completely cleaned out the lightweight division and made 12 successful defences of his crown and in doing so had more less had a full career as a lightweight after amassing 66 fights, a statistic that you will be hard pressed to find among some of the elite level fighters in today’s ranks.
However what he achieved from 1978 onwards is the stuff of what legends are made of.
Beating the great Sugar Ray Leonard in a prime vs. prime battle, written off and cast aside only to come back and punch Davey Moore around the ring for 8 brutal rounds to claim his 3 world title in his third weight division, lasting the distance with arguably the greatest middleweight champion of all time and being competitive throughout and then grabbing his 4th world title in his fourth weight division cements his legacy on my all-time top 3 pound for pound rankings.
A prime Duran was frightening and he would have given any fighter from lightweight to welterweight from any era absolute hell from start to finish.
Sugar Ray Robinson should be on everyone’s list as the Greatest Fighter that ever lived. Henry Armstrong comes number 2 on my list for two main reasons: holding the featherweight, lightweight and welterweight titles simultaneously and is probably one of the greatest brawlers ever who retired with a record of 150-21-10 (101KOs).
A fight between Duran and Armstrong either at lightweight or welterweight in their primes would really have been a fight to salivate over, a fight for the ages, it is perhaps safe to assume that the referee could probably have sat at ringside and just let the two of them get it on.
One thing however is for sure, and it isn’t up for debate Roberto Duran Samaniego truly was a fighter of the ages who took on everyone and should be celebrated.
Ray Arcel (Duran’s former trainer) on his generosity ~ “Deep down I think he is still fighting because he’s broke, and if he’s broke then I know how he got like that. He always misused his money. He has a heart that is bigger than he is. He once told me that Panama is a very poor country and that he felt he had to take care of everyone there because he was the only one with money.”
Gil Glancy (legendary trainer) commentating from ringside at the Iran Barkley fight ~ “Roberto Duran is one of the greatest fighters that ever lived.”
Sugar Ray Leonard (7 time world champion and former opponent of Duran) ~ “There was nothing that could prepare you for Duran. Duran was a fight within itself. Duran was a crazed, talented, technical boxer. He was a better boxer than people gave him credit for and a devastating puncher…an extremely good defensive fighter who was very elusive. He was a not a stationary target.”
Gerry Cooney (former World Heavyweight title challenger) ~ “Roberto Duran was the kind of guy who was a true fighter and you hardly see guys like that anymore.”
In closing I feel Roberto Duran should have the final say…
~ “Getting hit motivates me. It makes me punish the guy more. A fighter takes a punch then he hits back with three punches.”
~ “I’m not God – but I am something similar!”
~ Talking after knocking out Ray Lampkin “I didn’t catch him with my best shot if I had he wouldn’t be going to the hospital he would be going to the morgue!”
~ “I laugh when Floyd Mayweather says that if he went back in time he would beat us all. I’ll tell you this: if he was in the same era as Hagler, Hearns, Leonard and me, I don't think he would be such a big name!"
~ “There is only one legend. That’s me!”
~ “Everybody says it: black, white; everybody calls me a legend. Italians, Jews. Everybody!”