Roberto Duran


Born: June 16th, 1951 in Guararé, Panama
Nationality: Panamanian
Famous For: Being world champion in four weight divisions
Awards: 5 major world titles, World Boxing Hall of Fame, International Boxing Hall of Fame

Roberto Durán is a retired professional boxer. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. He was a versatile brawler in the ring and was nicknamed “Hands of Stone.” In 2002, Durán was selected by “The Ring” magazine as the 5th greatest fighter of the last 80 years. He was rated the 8th greatest fighter of all time by the late sports historian and boxing writer Bert Sugar. Many consider him as the greatest lightweight of all time and he has held world titles in 4 different categories. These categories include middleweight in 1989, light middleweight in 1983, welterweight in 1980 and lightweight between 1971 and 1979.

Early Life

Roberto was born on June 16th, 1951, in Panama. His father was a Mexican immigrant who served in the U.S. Army. Durán grew up in poverty and hustled for money by doing odd jobs such as selling newspapers, shining shoes and dancing on the streets. At an early age, he learned to box at a gym and turned professional at only 16.

Boxing Career

On June 26th, 1972, Durán scored a 13-round TKO over Scotsman Ken Buchanan to win the WBA Lightweight championship. He lost his first fight after 31 wins in a non-title light welterweight match against Esteban Jesus in 1972. After this he had 41 consecutive victories.

During his time as a fighter, Durán combined impressive speed with powerful punches that earned him the nickname “Hands of Stone.” After beating De Jesus, Roberto abdicated his belts in February, 1979, to move to the welterweight class. The pinnacle of Roberto Durán’s career came on June 20th, 1980, at Olympic stadium. He faced Sugar Ray Leonard – the undefeated champion. Durán battered the former Olympic gold medalist over 12 rounds to gain the WBC Welterweight Championship title. A re-match was arranged on November 25th, in New Orleans. Leonard regained his title in this fight.

Roberto moved to another weight class and on June 16th, 1983, during his 32nd birthday, he won the WBA Light Middleweight Championship against Davey Moore. After adding weight, Durán returned to prominence; he beat Iran Barkley in 12 rounds thus winning the WBC Middleweight title on February 24th, 1989. However, he lost for the second time to Sugar Ray Leonard in a match for WBC Super Middleweight title later in the year 1989. At 49 years, Roberto Durán won a 12 round match over Pat Lawlor, obtaining the Super Middleweight title.

On July 14th, 2001, he lost his belt to Hector Camacho. Later that year, Durán was involved in a serious car accident. He suffered broken ribs and punctured lung. In January of 2012 he officially retired with a record of 124 fights, 104 wins and 69 KOs.

Life Outside the Ring

Durán remained active in boxing after retirement. In 2006, he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame and in 2007 into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Durán has also appeared in different movies; his first appearance was in “Rocky II” in 1979. He has also received minor roles in “Miami Vice” and “Harlem Nights.” He has been mentioned in different songs and has briefly appeared in a documentary called “The Panama Deception.” A movie about his life called “Hands of Stone” is expected to be released in 2014 or 2015.