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Roberto Duran

Roberto Duran (b. June 16, 1951) is a famous boxer from Panama. He held world titles at four different weights - lightweight (1972-79), welterweight (1980), junior middleweight (1983-84) and middleweight (1989). He was also the only boxer to have fought in five different decades. He finally retired in January 2002 (having previously retired in 1998) following a bad car crash in October 2001, aged 52 with a professional record of 120 fights, 104 wins with 69 KOs. He was nicknamed Manos de Piedra (Hands of Stone).

Born in Guarare, Panama he had his first professional fight in 1967. After a initial adjustment he won thirty in a row, culminating in his first title bout in June 1972, beating Ken Buchanan in New York for the World and WBA lightweight belts. He made twelve successful defences of his title before giving the belt up in February 1979. He then built up for an attempt at the welterweight title, he fought and beat Sugar Ray Leonard in June 1980 to win the title but in a re-match in November he shockingly quit in the eighth round (No Mas). He took some time to recover from that fight, gaining more mass to contend for the WBC junior middleweight title, losing in his first effort at a championship in that division on the 30th of January of 1982, against Wilfredo Benitez by a 15 round unanimous decision.After being relegated to a 10 round walk out win over tough Englishman Jimmy Batten[?] at The Battle Of The Champions[?] in Miami, he signed with promoter Bob Arum. This marked the beginning of a comeback in which he destroyed former world champion and now hall of famer Pipino Cuevas, knocked out in 4 rounds, earning his second crack at the Jr Middleweight[?] title, this time against WBA champion Davey Moore. Duran conquered his third title on his birthday, June 16th, 1983, totally dominating the unexperienced champion Moore, giving him a dangerous beating before the fight was stopped in the 8th.Duran later tried to take the World middleweight title, he met Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas in November 1983 and and he lost over fifteen rounds. in June 1984 he lost his junior middleweight title to Thomas "Hitman" Hearns. He did not contend another title fight until 1989, he won the WBC middleweight title from Iran Barkley in February but lost it and a chance to win the super middleweight title in a disappointing clash with "Sugar" Ray Leonard in December. Although clearly in decline he tried to win further middleweight titles in 1994, 1995 and 1996 (IBC[?]), and 1998 (WBA). After a bad defeat to William Joppy in three rounds in 1998 he announced his retirement in August 1998, but was back fighting in 1999. In June 2000 he won a super middleweight title from Pat Lawlor. He lost that title when he was beaten by Hector Camacho

After splitting fights with Jorge Castro and losing a rematch to Camacho, Duran went to Argentina to promote a Salsa music cd of his 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.


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