In the world of boxing, fighters
must be conscious of executing both victory in the
ring and a performance that electrifies fans. Panamanian
patriot and relentless boxing veteran Roberto Duran
accomplished both effortlessly. Duran's rugged determination
promised his opponents fierce physical battles, and
guaranteed the audience a high energy, hard-hitting
Born in Guarare, Panama on June 16, 1951, Duran's
amateur career was brief but promising. Propelled
by the income a successful boxing career offered,
16-year-old Duran made the decision to turn professional.
After a short adjustment period, he turned the tables
on his older and more experienced opponents. It didn't
take long for audiences and the media to recognize
that Duran's raw, explosive talent was the stuff legends
are made of. Though he lacked a press agent and professional
representation, the newcomer consistently brought
in packed houses. He had fought - and won - a streak
of 21 professional fights without any specialized
instruction when wealthy landowner Carlos Eleta bought
his contract for a mere $300. Eleta then hired renowned
trainers Ray Arcel and Freddie Brown to streamline
Duran's relentless style and teach him cunning defensive
strategies. On June 26, 1972, Duran's uninterrupted
victories hit 30, 19 of which were KOs. That night,
he defeated WBA Lightweight Champion Ken Buchanan
in the 13th round at New York's Madison Square Garden.
It was the 21-year-old's first world title. And he
was just getting started.
In a career that spans five decades, Duran went on
to be the WBC Lightweight Champion, WBC Welterweight
Champion, WBA Light Middleweight Champion, WBC Middleweight
Champion and WBA Junior Middleweight Champion. His
lights-out right punch has stopped opponents from
Esteban De Jesus, to Dave y Moore, to Sugar Ray Leonard.
Seemingly endless stamina and persistent ferocity
have pitted him against many of the world's best light
and middleweight fighters, arguably making Roberto
Duran one of the 10 best boxers of all time.