BIRTHDAY BOY BELONGS ON BOXING’S MT. RUSHMORE
Las Vegas, NV-Having been put on the spot time and again, there is little doubt in my mind that Roberto Duran, who turned 64 today was the greatest fighter I ever saw. And looking at the history of boxing, at least in the past 50 years, there has never been a fighter that can approach the accomplishments of “Manos Di Piedra.” Turning professional at 118 lbs. in February 1968, Duran, then 16 years old, would answer the bell 119 times. He would never officially retire, instead an auto accident made his July 2001 fight with Hector Camacho his last.
MINISTER OF RING MAYHEM
When he beat Ken Buchanan for the lightweight (135) title, the end was punctuated by an obvious low blow that some say referee Tony LoBianco simply ignored. And since this is a story on the career of “Hands of Stone” that is running on his 64rd birthday, there is curiosity as to why he never afforded Ken a rematch. Mad for decades, Buchanan and Duran have made up of sorts. At least that was the PR push being made when Roberto toured Scotland a five or so years ago.
KENNY HAD LEGIT BBEF FOR REMATCH
When I last talked with Buchanan circa 2003, the fiery Scot was to put it mildly still angry when the subject of Roberto came up. We were in the lobby of the Days Inn of Cantestota, NY, literally a stones throw from the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He had voiced the opinion that his being World champion in his native land meant a whole lot more than here in the U.S. “As for Duran, I saw a picture of the low blow here today, that I never saw before. The referee knew Duran fouled me. Still, he was the greatest fighter I ever fought, and of all-time as well. They (people) don’t realize that he moved way up in weight and unlike other people, he kept winning.
TRILOGY WITH PUERTO RICAN CAPPED 35 LB. REIGN! Read more