Who Is One Of Two Boxers In History To Compete Professionally In Five Different Decades?

Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran!

Roberto Durán Samaniego (born June 16, 1951) is a Panamanian former professional boxer who competed from 1968 to 2001. He held world championships in four weight classeslightweightwelterweightlight middleweight and middleweight, as well as reigns as the undisputed and lineal lightweight champion, and the lineal welterweight champion.[1] He is also the second boxer to have competed over a span of five decades, the first being Jack Johnson. Durán was known as a versatile, technical brawler and pressure fighter, which earned him the nickname of “Mano de Piedra” (“Hand of Stone”) for his formidable punching power and excellent defense.[2]

In 2002, Durán was voted by The Ring magazine as the fifth greatest fighter of the last 80 years,[3] while boxing historian Bert Sugar rated him as the eighth greatest fighter of all time. The Associated Press voted him as the best lightweight of the 20th century,[4] with many considering him the greatest lightweight of all time. Durán retired for good in January 2002 at age 50, following a car crash in Argentina in October 2001, after which he had required life saving surgery. He had previously retired in November 1980, June 1984 and August 1998, only to change his mind. Durán ended his career with a professional record of 119 fights, 103 wins, and 70 knockouts. From May 1971 up until his second fight against Sugar Ray Leonard in November 1980, as well as in his fight against Wilfred Benítez in January 1982, Durán was trained by legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel.

Durán competed as an amateur, compiling a record of 29–3[7] (other sources say 18–3 or 13–3[8][9]), with all 3 losses coming in Durán’s first 3 amateur fights. Following his amateur career, Durán made his professional debut in February 1968 at the age of 16.[10]

In October 2001, Durán traveled to Argentina to promote a salsa music CD that he had just released. While there, he was involved in a car crash and required life-saving surgery. After that incident, he announced his retirement from boxing at the age of 50.[21]

Announcing his retirement, Durán cited the weight issues of his friend, Argentinian football legend Diego Maradona, as motivation for getting back in shape, stating “as of now, I am exercising so that when the [retirement] honors arrive the people will see me in shape. I don’t want to [look] like Maradona did, all fat.”[21]

Durán’s five world title belts, which he won in four different divisions, were stolen from his house in Panama in 1993 during a robbery allegedly staged by his brother-in-law, who gave them to memorabilia seller Luis González Báez, who stood trial for trying to sell stolen goods. González Báez allegedly sold the belts to undercover FBI agents. He alleged that Durán authorized the sale of the five belts to him during a time that Durán was facing financial trouble. On September 23, 2003, a federal judge in Florida ordered the five belts returned to Durán.

His 70 wins by knockout place him in an exclusive group of boxers who have won 50 or more fights by knockout. He is ranked number 28 on The Rings list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.

On October 14, 2006, Durán was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in Riverside, California,[22] and on June 10, 2007, into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roberto_Dur%C3%A1n

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