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Hands of Stone: 10 of the best Roberto Duran victories

roberto duran
Richard Mackson/USA Today Sports
Panama legend Roberto Duran was a world champion at lightweight, welterweight, super-welterweight and middleweight. Here are 10 of his finest nights.

1. Ray Leonard I

Leonard was undefeated in 27 pro fights the night Duran got his hands on him in June 1980 at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Canada. He was also unprepared for the tenacity and spite of the marauding Panamanian, who took a decision win, and Leonard’s WBC welterweight title, after 15 rounds.

2. Esteban de Jesus II

Duran’s first pro defeat came at the hands of de Jesus in 1972, so this revenge victory two years later marked a real turning point for him. Duran was floored in the first round in both fights but rebounded better in the rematch, stopping de Jesus in the 11th round to retain his WBA lightweight title.

3. Esteban de Jesus III

Later in their careers, with Duran as the WBA lightweight champion and de Jesus in possession of the WBC crown, these two rivals met for a third time. In this 1978 fight Duran avoided getting knocked down to halt de Jesus in the 12th round.

4. Ken Buchanan

Though marred by controversy, owing to a low blow, Duran’s 13th round win over Buchanan in 1972 marked his first world title victory and began his reign as WBA lightweight champion.

5. Iran Barkley

Having scaled the heights as a lightweight, welterweight and super-welterweight, Duran campaigned as a middleweight in the eighties and became WBC champion in ’89 when outpointing Iran Barkley in Atlantic City.

6. Davey Moore

As a super-welterweight, Duran delivered a brutal beating to then-unbeaten WBA champion Davey Moore in 1983. The win landed Duran a world title in a third weight class and effectively ruined Moore.

7. Carlos Palomino

Palomino, a former WBC welterweight champion who lost his belt to Wilfred Benitez, boxed Duran in a non-title 10-rounder in 1979 and met a man a year away from dethroning Ray Leonard. Dropped in round six, Palomino was comprehensively beaten on the cards.

8. Edwin Viruet II

After first conquering Viruet in 1975, Duran defended his WBA lightweight title against him two years later, this time beating him not over 10 rounds but 15, the championship distance at the time.

9. Lou Bizzarro

Bizarro was undefeated in 22 pro fights when he stepped up in class to challenge Duran, the WBA lightweight champion, in 1976. He was also out of his depth, knocked down twice in the 10th round and twice in the 14th, the round in which he was ultimately stopped.

10. Ray Lampkin

Duran beat up Lampkin for the entirety of their 1975 WBA lightweight title fight, one of five defences Duran made in his native Panama, before bringing it to a close in the penultimate round.

Duran takes it to Leonard

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