IT was arguably Roberto Duran’s most destructive performance, he manhandled and terrorised Davey Moore to relieve the WBA super-welterweight title from the New Yorker, rebuilding his name after the embarrassing ‘No Mas’ incident in the process.

It was vintage Duran as he pressed forward snarling, and slipped and rolled while taking apart the younger, bigger, stronger 5-2 favourite.

A beautifully-timed right hand sent Moore crashing to the seat of his pants in the 7th. By then, Davey’s features were a bloody, swollen reminder of Duran’s punishing fists.

The brave champion hauled himself to his feet and tottered to his corner, clearly a beaten man. And in a bizarre incident, amid the drama, Duran had mistakenly gone to Moore’s corner and sat on his stool.

Extraordinarily the American’s corner sent him out for more suffering – by then Davey’s mother and girlfriend had fainted at ringside amid calls to stop the beating. Referee, Ernesto Magaña of Mexico, calmly watched as Duran knocked the 24-year-old champion from pillar to post seemingly content to see the fight continue.

By then, Moore was nothing more than a one-eyed punching bag for irresistible ‘Hands of Stone’.

Jose Torres, at ringside, was screaming at Magaña to halt the massacre. The end came as Moore’s corner hurled in a blood-stained towel finally prompting the referee’s intervention.

“The worst ref I’ve looked at for a long time,” Duran’s trainer Ray Arcel said.

The victory – on an elctrifying night at Madison Square Garden (20,061 fans in attendance) – was all the more sweeter for the Panamanian legend as it coincided with his 32nd birthday.

  • Moore was making the fourth defence of the title he had won in Japan stopping Tadashi Mihara.
  • Duran won his first world title at Madison Square Garden 11 years earlier.
  • Duran became the 7th fighter in boxing history to win world titles in three weight divisions.
  • The undercard saw the ill-fated Luis Resto-Billy Collins fight.