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43 years ago

Roberto Duran vs Ray Leonard

Roberto Duran vs Ray Leonard

Date: 25th November 1980

Venue: Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

Title: WBC World Welterweight Title

Promoter: Don King Productions

Tv: ABC Wide World of Sports

Roberto Duran
( 72 - 1 - 0 )
Weight: 146 lbs

Ray Leonard
( 27 - 1 - 0 )
Weight: 146 lbs


On November 25, 1980, the WBC World Welterweight Title was defended by Roberto Duran against Ray Leonard at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. The fight was promoted by Don King Productions and refereed by Octavio Meyran. Duran had a record of 72-1-0 going into the fight, while Leonard was 27-1-0. Both fighters weighed in at 146lbs.

The fight was shown live on closed-circuit television at 345 locations in the United States and Canada and was televised in about 60 foreign countries. ABC paid more than $2.5 million for the rights to show the fight in prime time on December 19, which was the highest fee ever paid for a delayed telecast. Tickets for the fight at the Superdome ranged from $40 to $1,000, and a crowd of 25,038 produced a gate of $3 million. When all the closed circuit receipts were counted, the fight generated $38 million. Duran was guaranteed $8 million and Leonard was guaranteed $7 million.

Leonard took control in the first round and maintained it throughout the match. While Duran won the third and fifth rounds, he was never able to take over the fight as he had in their previous encounter. Leonard effectively used his jab to counter Duran's attempts to move inside and escape his attacks. In the seventh round, Leonard threw a memorable punch, a left jab that caught Duran flush on the face and made his eyes water.

Leonard continued to taunt Duran, who hesitated to hit him. At the end of the round, Duran seemed to smile as he walked back to his corner. Three minutes later, the fight was over, with Leonard winning by 8th round TKO. Throughout the fight, Leonard averaged 29 thrown punches per round and 17 connects, while Duran averaged 43 thrown punches and 8 connects. Despite neither man being hurt during the fight, Leonard could sense Duran's increasing frustration as the rounds went by.

Ultimately, Leonard's control and strategy won the day, and he emerged victorious over Duran in their second encounter.

After the fight, Sugar Ray Leonard commented, "I did everything I said I was going to do, and he couldn't accept it. He was frustrated, confused. I did everything I could to make him go off, like a clock wound up too tight. He got wound up so tight, he blew a spring... I made him quit. To make a man quit, to make a Roberto Duran quit, was better than knocking him out."

 

 


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