PART II: ROBERO DURAN’S LAST STAND AS CHAMPION
BOXING HISTORY YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGEMAYBE NO GREATER FIGHTER THAN ROBERTO San Francisco, CA– We are picking up the story up here in Part II: Roberto Duran’s Last Stand. That being the case, I suggest you read Part I right now by clicking on this link. Click for Part I: Duran's Last Stand As Champ. Duran had just lost a ten round decision to Martvin Hagler’s stepbrother Robbie Sims. in June 1986. Fleshy and unmotivated, Duran takes 11 months off before ring smart promoters Mike Acri and Luis De Cubas put him in with middle of the road type Victor Claudio in May 1987 in Miami, FL, which was now Roberto’s second home.
AN OLD “GREAT QUEER” STOPS BY NOT!
Claudio was beaten widely on points and the funniest thing I remember about this night involved the late Marty Cohen, manager and advisor to many stars like Michael Dokes and Hector Camacho. Marty came into Duran’s dressing room afterwards to offer his congrats. Duran sees him, grabs him by the arm and introduces him to everybody as “el gran merry-cone,” which translates to “the great queer” in Spanish. But it sounded so close to Marty Cohen with Duran repeating it several times. Marty, the butt of the joke was eating it up as we all laughed at him!
THINKING DURAN WAS EASY, GIMENEZ LOSES WORLD RATING
Roberto’s next fight was in Miami some five months later with Juan Carlos Gimenez, a world rated fighter at 160 lbs. This was the time when Duran’s ex-manager Hector Martinez and I were drinking cocktails at SFO as our “red eye” flight to Miami rolled away from the gate. Unfazed, we had another cocktail and ended up watching the fight the following night at a Daly City pizza parlor that had a satellite dish on it’s roof the size of Rhode Island. Duran beats Juan Carlos on points and is now ranked at 160. Problem for Duran is that Tommy Hearns is the WBC champion, and Tommy who beat Roberto in two, because of size I think would always beat Roberto at any weight above 147, for at ’54 & ’60, Tommy was a beast!
ROBERTO BLOWING WIND IN WINDY CITY!
The next stop on the “Rebuilding Roberto” tour takes us to Chicago. Always a party town, Hector and I hit the ground running as Duran was set to fight local Jeff Lanas. This was the beginning of the online-dating on the Internet, Roberto, after two decent showings, besting both Ricky Stackhouse and Paul Thorn, appears unmotivated as the days approach. Winning a controversial ten round decision over Lanas, with only the great Denny Moyer voting for Lanas who probably won the fight, “Duran Escapes The Windy City with Undeserved Win” is what the headlines should have read the following AM.
“ALTHOUGH MY NAME IS I-RAN, I NEVER DID”
In the meantime, Tommy Hearns was beating Iran Barkely (the above quote is what he said to me as I introduced myself) so bad, you could hear “The Blade’s” reacting in pain as Tommy hit Iran with punches that could level a building. But the biggest middleweight in history (that I saw physically) he roared back, threw/landed a right hand and Tommy was as “done” like a burnt steak! Seeing Duran looked lackluster against Lanas, and Barkely withstood the punches that felled Roberto from Hearns, Barkely would be a big betting favorite for a fight vs. Roberto that eventually took place in February 1889. But before the fight can happen Iran has to undergo surgery over both of his eyes for the removal of metal particles that were in the Monsel solution illegally applied to his cuts by the late cut man, Eddie “The Clot” Alliano.
PART III LATE MONDAY NIGHT FOR TUESDAY MORNING!
Didn’t think this was going to be a three-parter, but I needed to water the plant enough for you the reader to get on the same mindset as myself. Come back to RingTalk.com for Part III, late Monday night for tomorrow morning.