41 years in the past Roberto Duran walked out of his rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard. Read the unique Boxing News ringside report from the November 25, 1980 combat
ROBERTO DURAN, the person they referred to 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 harm, not bleeding, not out of the combat. He simply misplaced his mood and give up.
Duran introduced his retirement afterwards. “I will never fight again,” he stated. “I am retiring from boxing now.”
The Louisiana State Commission 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. Throughout 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 may think about the impact it may have. Suddenly 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.
But 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 wanting to resume the battle however by this time the ring was full of assorted hangers on. Duran trudged again to his nook. Physically, there appeared nothing fallacious.
As for Leonard, the longer term is vivid once more. At 24 he has an apparently dazzling and profitable profession forward. Only 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 very good opening spherical earlier than they each upped the tempo within the second. Duran raced in and scored with two arduous rights, one in all 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 glad, menacing smile emphasised that he was doing what he beloved greatest.
He barged Leonard into the ropes and pounded away, however Leonard sunk a tough left to the pinnacle. It was a very good 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 head and physique. Leonard wrapped his left glove round Duran’s neck to preserve him from doing an excessive amount of injury.
In 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 pictures had been falling quick nevertheless it was additionally troublesome to inform what number of of Leonard’s counters had been touchdown solidly. Duran missed with a cost close to Leonard’s nook and ended up half means by means of the ropes on his knees.
In the fifth, the challenger’s work fee dropped however he received on his toes and moved across the ring nicely within the early a part of the spherical.
Duran cracked dwelling a proper hand, however Leonard took it nicely. Duran pushed him over fairly spectacularly within the American’s personal nook and abruptly the champion’s strain threatened to give 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.
But Leonard took over once more in spherical six, boxing nicely behind a stinging left jab. He caught Duran with a very good proper and left hook in mid-ring. Although 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 arms, swayed from aspect to aspect, shrugged his shoulders and wobbled his legs.
Duran appeared bemused. Leonard produced his most outrageous act of disrespect by winding up the appropriate 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 very good proper hook simply earlier than the ultimate, mid-ring change which was interrupted by his sudden determination to give up.