41 years in the past Roberto Duran walked out of his rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard. Learn the unique Boxing Information ringside report from the November 25, 1980 combat
ROBERTO DURAN, the person they known as Stone Fists, the person in whom burned a chilly, cruel want for victory, astounded the boxing world by turning human within the New Orleans Superdome.
He was not harm, not bleeding, not out of the combat. He simply misplaced his mood and stop.
Duran introduced his retirement afterwards. “I’ll by no means combat once more,” he mentioned. “I’m retiring from boxing now.”
The Louisiana State Fee voted unanimously to withhold all of Duran’s $8m purse and likewise ordered that he be medically examined.
A distressed Duran mentioned he had cramps in his abdomen and proper arm. All through the seventh spherical Leonard had taunted him, dropping his arms and alluring him to throw a punch, winding up his proper hand and jolting Duran with a left jab.
It was designed to ship the champion right into a rage, however not even Leonard might think about the impact it might have. All of a sudden the Panamanian stopped bobbing and weaving, straightened up and waved his glove in a dismissive gesture.
He half turned away and Leonard drove in a proper to the physique and left to the aspect.
Referee Octavio Meyran jumped between the 2, and – as if he couldn’t consider it both – hesitated and invited Duran to proceed.
However the 29–year-old champ turned his again once more, scowling and gesticulating. Leonard raved throughout the ring and leapt on the ropes in a impartial nook along with his arms raised in triumph.
Duran made a belated present of desirous to resume the battle however by this time the ring was crammed with assorted hangers on. Duran trudged again to his nook. Bodily, there appeared nothing improper.
As for Leonard, the longer term is vibrant once more. At 24 he has an apparently dazzling and profitable profession forward. Solely rival champ Thomas Hearns would supply the slightest menace to his supremacy now.
Helped by a big ring, Leonard danced round and picked Duran off from the beginning. His was a cultured show of boxing on the transfer and off the ropes. The outcomes re-instate him as one of many trendy greats.
Leonard turned in a superb opening spherical earlier than they each upped the tempo within the second. Duran raced in and scored with two arduous rights, one in every of which despatched Leonard again.
The challenger saved on the transfer catching Duran with one flashing proper hand because the champion’s lead fell quick. Shortly earlier than the bell, one other left hook landed solidly on Duran’s bearded jaw.
As he got here off his stool for the third Duran gave the impression to be having fun with himself. The happy, menacing smile emphasised that he was doing what he liked greatest.
He barged Leonard into the ropes and pounded away, however Leonard sunk a tough left to the pinnacle. It was a superb spherical for Duran.
He managed to pin Leonard on the ropes for lengthy spells and regardless of the challenger’s eye-catching flurries, punched away to go and physique. Leonard wrapped his left glove round Duran’s neck to maintain him from doing an excessive amount of harm.
Within the fourth, Leonard was once more pressured into the ropes, however moved off them to catch Duran with a left hook to the waist line. The challenger abruptly put his punches collectively in a typical burst and Duran took them in midring.
Duran’s photographs have been falling quick nevertheless it was additionally tough to inform what number of of Leonard’s counters have been touchdown solidly. Duran missed with a cost close to Leonard’s nook and ended up half means by the ropes on his knees.
Within the fifth, the challenger’s work charge dropped however he bought on his toes and moved across the ring properly within the early a part of the spherical.
Duran cracked house a proper hand, however Leonard took it properly. Duran pushed him over fairly spectacularly within the American’s personal nook and abruptly the champion’s stress threatened to present him management.
Leonard ended the spherical backed towards the ropes in a impartial nook with Duran utilizing his weight and powering away with each arms.
However Leonard took over once more in spherical six, boxing properly behind a stinging left jab. He caught Duran with a superb proper and left hook in mid-ring. Though the champion saved up the chase he was touchdown fewer punches.
Then got here the dramatic seventh when Leonard merely stood and taunted his man. He dropped his arms, swayed backward and forward, shrugged his shoulders and wobbled his legs.
Duran appeared bemused. Leonard produced his most outrageous act of disrespect by winding up the fitting hand – Ali fashion – then abruptly snapping left jabs into Duran’s face.
The eighth noticed Leonard in management behind a pointy left jab. Duran was nonetheless tossing punches; however was caught by a superb proper hook simply earlier than the ultimate, mid-ring change which was interrupted by his sudden resolution to stop.