One of the world’s best boxers of all-time is currently in hospital with coronavirus. From 1968 to 2001, Roberto Duran fought in the ring in a variety of weight classes and remarkably was the world champion for a period of time in the lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight, and middleweight divisions. Known as Manos de Piedra, or “Hands of Stone,” Duran had a career record of 103 wins and 16 losses in 119 career bouts.
The native of El Chorrillo, Panama entered a Panama hospital with a viral infection according to Tom Taylor of bjpenn.com, and subsequently tested positive for the disease. At this time Duran has cold-like symptoms. However, everyone knows that coronavirus impacts the older population more. Duran is 69 years of age.
There are currently 29, 905 cases of coronavirus in Panama, and 575 deaths. Of those 29,905 cases, a total of 14,060 are active cases.
Just how good of a fighter was Duran? A total of 70 of his 103 wins came via knockout. While Muhammad Ali was dominating the heavyweight division, it was Duran who made headlines with his boxing skills outside boxing’s top category.
Duran won his first 31 professional fights. When he knocked out Ken Buchanan of Great Britain on June 26, 1972 at Madison Square Garden, he became the WBA lightweight champion.
Duran also had three legendary fights against his top rival at the time, Sugar Ray Leonard of Wilmington, North Carolina. The fight on June 20, 1980 was known as “The Brawl in Montreal,” and was won by Duran in a unanimous decision. With the win, Duran won the WBC Welterweight Title. Then later that year, on November 25, 1980, Leonard beat Duran in a rematch from the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans. The fight will always be remembered when Duran gave up and said “No Mas” according to boxing commentator legend Howard Cosell. The third fight was then won by Leonard on December 7, 1989 for the WBC Super Middleweight Title at the Mirage in Las Vegas.
Where Duran deserves his highest praise is his longevity. Following his loss to Leonard in 1989 at age 38, he went on to fight 26 more times, and had a record of 18 wins and eight losses in that span. Also during the 26 bouts from 1991 to 2001, Duran won seven straight bouts from September 30, 1992 to March 29, 1994. Duran’s final fight was at age 50 against Hector Camacho of Puerto Rico. Duran lost in 12 rounds by a unanimous decision.