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43 years ago

Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran

Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran

Date: 20th June 1980

Venue: Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Title: WBC World Welterweight Title

Promoter: Top Rank, Don King Productions

Tv: ABC Wide World of Sports

Ray Leonard
( 27 - 0 - 0 )
Weight: 145 lbs

Roberto Duran
( 71 - 1 - 0 )
Weight: 145½ lbs

On June 20th, 1980, the Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada hosted the WBC World Welterweight Title fight between Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran. This was Leonard's return to the city where he won an Olympic Gold Medal in 1976. Duran earned $1.5 million, his biggest payday ever, while Leonard stood to make between $7.5 million and $10 million, more than any man had ever collected for a fight. Duran's health caused concern when he was forced to spend two hours having his heart checked three days before the fight, but he was eventually cleared to fight by Dr Bernard Chaitman.

Leonard was a 9 to 5 favourite going into the fight, which was shown on closed-circuit television in 310 locations in the United States and Canada and on pay-per-view cable systems in Los Angeles, California, and Columbus, Ohio. 46,317 fans attended the fight at Olympic Stadium.

Duran won the fight by unanimous decision. He was incorrectly announced in the ring as a majority decision winner, but after the mistake was discovered, the result was announced as a unanimous decision for Duran at the post-fight press conference. In rounds, judge Raymond Baldeyrou of France scored it 6-4-5, judge Harry Gibbs of England saw it 6-5-4, and Angelo Poletti had it 3-2-10.

Duran averaged 60 thrown punches per round and 21 connects, while Leonard averaged 50 thrown punches and 18 connects. Duran said, "He is the best I have fought. He hit me hard a couple of times, but I was never in bad shape. He was pretty good, but he had to be because he was fighting me." Leonard said, "I said I would fight Duran flat-footed and I did. I had no alternative. I wouldn't change if I had to do it all over again. People questioned whether I could take the big punch. I showed them. I have to give Duran a lot of credit. He is the toughest man I've ever fought."

Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran on YouTube

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