The Dominance Of Roberto Duran And Why He Should Be In The I.B.H.O.F.

17.11.06 - By Jim Amato: Roberto Duran is already enshrined in the World Boxing Hall Of Fame. He is on the ballot for induction into the International Boxing Hall Of Fame in 2007. In reviewing his record I was absolutely amazed at what he had accomplished. This is a man who turned pro in 1968 and had his last fight in 2001! He competed in five decades.

There is more to the Duran story, much more. His first major win was in 1970, in which he stopped future featherweight champion Ernesto Marcel. Interesting note, Marcel's last fight was in 1974, when he outpointed the great Alexis Arguello in defense of his featherweight title.

Duran impressed the boxing world on September 13, 1971, when he destroyed Benny Huertas in one round. Later that year, he knocked out former junior lightweight champion, Hiroshi Kobayashi. On June 26, 1972, the undefeated Duran halted the formidable Ken Buchanan to win the world's lightweight title. The reign of terror had begun.

Duran's last title defense was in 1978. During that stretch, Duran only lost one fight, a non title decision to the superb Esteban DeJesus. He would later stop Esteban twice in subsequent title fight rematches. In all, Duran made twelve successful defenses of his title. An often overlooked fact, though, is that during his tenure as lightweight champion, he also had 22 non title bouts. I guess, Duran's handler's, the legendary pair of Ray Arcel and Freddie Brown felt the best way to keep Duran in shape was to keep him busy. Some of those non title affairs were against stiff competition. Future junior welterweight titleholder Saoul Mamby, Edwin Viruet who later challenge Duran for the crown. Hector Matta, Doc McClendon, Javier Ayala...These men were no walk in the park opposition.

After Duran abdicated his lightweight title in 1978, he would box for 23 years in higher weight classes. He would win titles at welterweight, junior middleweight and middleweight. He completely skipped over the junior welterweight division. From 1978 until his last bout in 2001, he met twelve world champions. Although his combined record against these champions was 6-11, you must understand he was fighting well above his natural weight.

In all, Roberto had 119 fights, winning 103 of them, with 70 by knockout. Now that's impressive. Does he belong in the Hall Of Fame? Now that's a no brainer.

Article posted on 18.11.2006

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