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Panamanian Boxer Roberto (Hands of Stone) Durán has a Heart Problem

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Panamanian Boxer Roberto (Hands of Stone) Durán has a Heart Problem


Posted 16/03/2024

World boxing legend and Panamanian sporting hero Roberto 'Mano de Piedra' Durán has had a health setback regarding his heart. This was confirmed by his family through social networks. "The Durán family reports that our Panamanian champion suffered a health complication due to a Complete Atrioventricular "Complete AV Block".  They are awaiting some results to later share more information about his health with us."  The Durán family thanks all family, friends and followers for keeping him in their prayers. Atrioventricular (AV) block is a partial or complete interruption of the transmission of impulses from the atria to the ventricles. The most common cause is fibrosis and idiopathic sclerosis of the conduction system.  Roberto Durán, 72 years old, is considered one of the best boxers of all time worldwide and without a doubt one of the greatest sporting heroes that Panama has known and has given to the world.  He was recognized as the best lightweight (135 pounds) of all time, and also widely cataloged by sportswriters and historians as one of the best pound for pound fighters in the entire history of boxing. 



As far as pound-for-pound greats go you can’t have the discussion without including the “Fighting Pride of Panama” Roberto Durán. The man known as “Manos de Piedra” or "Hands of Stone" was a world champion across four weight classes, fought a murderer’s row of the greatest from Lightweight to Super Middleweight and was one of the four kings of the Middleweight division in the 1980’s alongside Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns. Unfortunately for Durán he is mostly remembered for his second fight with Sugar Ray where he infamously proclaimed “No más” before retiring to his corner during the 8th round.  Born in 1951 in the slums of El Chorillo, Panama, the young Durán grew up in poverty hustling money as best as he could manage. His career with boxing began by sparring with the more experienced boxers in the Neco De La Guardia gym when he was only eight years old. Unlike many of his later opponents Roberto would forgo any amateur career, turning pro at the age of 16 in the Lightweight division. 


Roberto Launched his young career with an unbelievable 31 wins including retiring Hiroshi Kobayashi by 7th round knockout.  With 28 victories, the vast majority by KO “El Cholo” got his shot at his first world title opposite British boxer Ken Buchanan. Buchanan is regarded by many as not only the greatest Scottish boxer of all time, but also one of the greatest British fighters ever, and the greatest British Lightweight boxer in history.  Durán TKO’d him in the 13th round in order to win the WBA Rings and Lineal Lightweight championships.  Losing his first foray up in the Welterweight division to Esteban de Jesús, Durán would remain a Lightweight for another 35 fights, defending his titles and re-matching de Jesús to add the WBC Lightweight belt to his collection. His style was characterized at the time by his tenacity, blistering speed and movement coupled with powerful hands, earning him the nickname “Manos de Piedra” or “Hands of Stone.”


In 1979 Durán abdicated his belts in order to move up to the Welterweight division, adding two wins to build steam towards a title match against future rival “Sugar” Ray Leonard, who at the time was undefeated. In typical pomp and style, Leonard chose to have the fight in the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the site of his Olympic gold medal winning performances during the 1976 Summer Olympics.  Roberto resented the fact that he was only earning 20 per cent of the purse of his rival “Sugar” Ray Leonard despite his impressive 71–1 record.  On the biggest stage of both fighters careers, Durán would proceed to deliver a career best performance, battering his opponent and taking the best shots that Sugar could dish out en route to a 15 round unanimous decision. 


This is where the price of fame in his homeland and his iconic status in Panama started to cause trouble. He quickly gained weight and fell out of shape as Leonard initiated his rematch clause as stipulated in his contract. Durán-Leonard II was set; the infamous “No Más” fight was signed for November 25th at the Superdome in New Orleans Louisiana. Unable to get Leonard to the ropes as he had done in their previous bout, Leonard was winning on the scorecards and began taunting El Cholo.  Their rematch concluded in bizarre fashion; the normally relentless Durán suddenly quit near the end of the eighth round, allowing Leonard to regain his title. The enduring legend was that Durán said “No Más” as he walked back to the corner while Durán himself maintains he said “No Peleo,” (I won’t fight). 


After taking time to recover from that fight, and to allow his reputation at home to somewhat mend, Durán moved up yet another weight class to Light Middleweight.  Picking up a checkered record in this new weight class Durán eventually built up momentum to take on WBA Light Middleweight Champion Davey Moore. Not the first choice for the fight, the aging Durán was brought in to replace Moore’s initial challenger, Tony Ayala junior, who was convicted of burglary and rape and sentenced to 35 years in prison.  On his 32nd birthday, he took the belt by 8th round TKO.  Moore underestimated the wily Durán who in turn dished out vicious punishment.  The beating was said to be so one sided that Moore’s mother and girlfriend supposedly fainted at ringside. 


Again packing on weight, the pride of Panama took on “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler for the Undisputed Middleweight Championship.  Hagler was in the height of his career and to this day holds the greatest KO percentage of any Undisputed Middleweight Champion in history.  In Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas the two went to war for 15 straight rounds, with Durán ahead on two scorecards after 12, though Hagler battled ferociously to take the final three and earn a unanimous decision.  Durán again showed his veteran capabilities and toughness in being only the second man to go the distance with the powerful Middleweight champion Hagler.  He was later stripped of his Light Middleweight belt when his bout with Tommy Hearns was not approved by the WBA. Again making history, except in the negative kind, Durán was laid out in the second round.  Hearns dropped Durán twice in the first round and as he rose to his feet after the second knockdown, which ended the round, the former champion did not know where his corner was.  During the fight “The Hitman” knocked Duran down twice in the first round and a third in the second round and the fight was stopped, marking the first time in his career that Durán had been knocked out in a fight. 


In 1989 Durán would again return to prominence, at 37 years of age taking the WBC Middleweight crown from Iran “The Blade” Barkley by decision in what was dubbed the “Fight of the Year.” This title reign would be short lived as Durán would move up to the Super-Middleweight division for a rubber match with Sugar Ray.  Losing a unanimous decision, Durán seemed to decline over the next few years remaining a game, if somewhat diminished contender. Winning the minor NBA Super Middleweight title against Pat Lawlor, Durán would lose the belt the following year to Hector Camacho in what would turn out to be his last fight as shortly afterward the 50 year old Durán would suffer severe injuries in a car accident, ending his career with a record of 103–16–0 and 70 knockouts.  Durán fought across four decades, against the best competition and while not always victorious was always game.  He is rightly considered a pound for pound great and exemplifies the reason why the label was coined in the first place.  He repeatedly proved himself a great boxer, regardless of weight class; relying not just on his natural gifts of speed, power, his chin and tenacity but developed numerous tricks and traps as only a savvy veteran can. Not all of these were legal, but he knew how to employ every one of them. Not to mention his fantastic defensive skills, always being positioned in the best spot for his punches without receiving too much damage.


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Roberto Durán Pacemaker Implant a Success


Posted 18/03/2024

The Durán Family, is pleased to announce that thanks to GOD, the operation to our champion Roberto Durán, the "Pacemaker Implant" was a success.  THANKS to all my family, friends and supporters for your prayers. Especially to the medical team for their great Labor.  We will keep you posted. Pictured above, Felicidad Iglesias, wife of Roberto Durán with hubby who has been sending reports the last few days.


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