40 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 battle
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 battle. He simply misplaced his mood and stop.
Duran introduced his retirement afterwards. “I’ll by no means battle 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 in addition 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 palms 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 may think about the impact it may have. Abruptly 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 facet.
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 eager 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 incorrect.
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 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 fashionable greats.
Leonard turned in opening spherical earlier than they each upped the tempo within the second. Duran raced in and scored with two laborious rights, one in all 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 appeared to be having fun with himself. The happy, menacing smile emphasised that he was doing what he beloved finest.
He barged Leonard into the ropes and pounded away, however Leonard sunk a tough left to the top. It was 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 move 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 all of a sudden put his punches collectively in a typical burst and Duran took them in midring.
Duran’s photographs have been falling quick however it was additionally troublesome 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 via the ropes on his knees.
Within the fifth, the challenger’s work charge dropped however he received on his toes and moved across the ring nicely within the early a part of the spherical.
Duran cracked residence a proper hand, however Leonard took it nicely. Duran pushed him over fairly spectacularly within the American’s personal nook and all of a sudden the champion’s strain threatened to present him management.
Leonard ended the spherical backed in opposition to the ropes in a impartial nook with Duran utilizing his weight and powering away with each palms.
However Leonard took over once more in spherical six, boxing nicely behind a stinging left jab. He caught Duran with 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 palms, 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 proper hand – Ali type – then all of a sudden 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 proper hook simply earlier than the ultimate, mid-ring trade which was interrupted by his sudden resolution to stop.