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 show.
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.
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