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 need for victory, astounded the boxing world by turning human within the New Orleans Superdome.
Duran walked out of his WBC welterweight title re-match with Sugar Ray Leonard after 2 minutes 44 seconds of the eighth spherical.
He was not damage, 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 stated. “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 stated he had cramps in his abdomen and proper arm. All through the seventh spherical Leonard had taunted him, dropping his fingers and welcoming 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. Immediately 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 imagine 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 together with his arms raised in triumph.
Duran made a belated present of eager to resume the battle however by this time the ring was stuffed with assorted hangers on. Duran trudged again to his nook. Bodily, there appeared nothing improper.
As for Leonard, the longer term is vivid once more. At 24 he has an apparently dazzling and profitable profession forward. Solely rival champ Thomas Hearns would supply the slightest risk to his supremacy now.
Helped by a big ring, Leonard danced round and picked Duran off from the beginning. His was an aesthetic 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 great opening spherical earlier than they each upped the tempo within the second. Duran raced in and scored with two exhausting rights, one in every of which despatched Leonard again.
The challenger stored 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 appeared to be having fun with himself. The happy, menacing smile emphasised that he was doing what he cherished finest.
He barged Leonard into the ropes and pounded away, however Leonard sunk a tough left to the pinnacle. It was a great 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 injury.
Within the fourth, Leonard was once more compelled into the ropes, however moved off them to catch Duran with a left hook to the waist line. The challenger out of the blue 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 method by way of the ropes on his knees.
Within the fifth, the challenger’s work fee dropped however he obtained on his toes and moved across the ring effectively within the early a part of the spherical.
Duran cracked dwelling a proper hand, however Leonard took it effectively. Duran pushed him over fairly spectacularly within the American’s personal nook and out of the blue the champion’s strain 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 fingers.
However Leonard took over once more in spherical six, boxing effectively behind a stinging left jab. He caught Duran with a great proper and left hook in mid-ring. Though the champion stored 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 fingers, swayed back and forth, shrugged his shoulders and wobbled his legs.
Duran appeared bemused. Leonard produced his most outrageous act of disrespect by winding up the precise hand – Ali fashion – then out of the blue 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 great proper hook simply earlier than the ultimate, mid-ring trade which was interrupted by his sudden resolution to stop.