PART II: ROBERO DURAN’S LAST STAND AS CHAMPION

BOXING HISTORY YOU MUST ACKNOWLEDGE

Roberto Duran

Roberto Duran

MAYBE 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.

Pedro Fernandez

5 comments

  • i will allways feel duran the best ever at 135 in his prime i saw him at msg fight viruet and monroe brooks wild seen after cervantes dec montilla …..i also feel pernell whittaker could not have beaten duran at 135 over 15 rds ialso felt duran only moved up in wieght cause he wasnt makeing the same bread as srl..and then..conned into quick rematch with sugar ray leonard i felt i never saw as quick as a rematch in a importent fight as these were glenn leslie

  • Didn’t know Denny Moyer voted for Lanas. Having been on the short end of bad calls (e.g., vs. Ray Robinson I ), he may have had a more refined sense of justice than other officials. Also, the metal particles needing surgical removal from Iran’s eyebrows–also new to me. Nice piece.

  • Duran has always been my favorite boxer.

  • I would be glued to the television watching these Duran fights during this period. I haven’t watched the fight in awhile, but Duran hits Lanas low, and Lanas plays it up like he’s in labor. Duran is laughing at him. Lanas is trying to push the baby out, his face all contorted in pain and Duran is grinning with disdain. Oh how great Duran was, even when not looking the greatest.

  • Great stuff Mr. Fernandez. It appears to me you may need more than a three parter to cover Roberto’s upcoming fight with Iran Barkley (whom I knew pretty well growing up in the South Bronx of NYC, same as Iran). However, this is a great lead in into that fight and so I’ll patiently wait to read part three before I comment further. Please keep this stuff coming, it’s awesome, particularly for us ‘old school’ boxing fanatics. Peace.

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