Boxing History: March 16, 1974 Roberto Durán KO 11 Esteban De Jesus, Panama City. Retains World Lightweight Title.
Durán avenges an earlier (a 10-round non-title decision) defeat at the hands of De Jesus.
Roberto Durán Samaniego (born June 16, 1951) is a retired Panamanian professional boxer, widely regarded as one of the greatest boxers of all time. A versatile brawler in the ring, he was nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”) during his career.
In 2002, he was chosen by The Ring to be the 5th greatest fighter of the last 80 years. Bert Sugar rates him as the 8th greatest fighter of all-time and the Associated Press voted Duran as the #1 lightweight of the 20th century. Many even consider him the greatest lightweight of all time. He held world titles at four different weights—lightweight (1972–79), welterweight (1980), light middleweight (1983–84) and middleweight (1989). He was the second boxer to have fought a span of five decades, the first being Jack Johnson.
He finally retired in January 2002 at age 50 (having previously retired in 1998) following a bad car crash in October 2001, with a professional record of 119 fights, 103 wins with 70 KOs. Up until the second Ray Leonard fight, he was trained by legendary boxing trainer Ray Arcel.
Durán received The Ring Magazine Comeback of the Year award for 1983 and 1989. He is the only fighter to win it twice.
The Associated Press ranked Durán as the greatest lightweight and the 7th greatest fighter of the 20th century in 1999.
The Ring Magazine ranked Durán as the greatest lightweight of all-time in 2001.
The Ring Magazine ranked Durán as the 5th best fighter of the past 80 years in 2002.
Durán was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 2006 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.
“Duran entered the fight a 2-to-1 favorite but less than 90 seconds into the fight the Puerto Rican challenger caused lightning to strike twice as a blistering hook to the point of the chin dropped Duran for the second consecutive meeting. Duran’s partisans jumped out of their seats as they called for their hero to get up, but they need not have worried, for Duran arose and exchanged blows as if nothing had happened.
The third round was particularly torrid as the two lightweights swapped punches at an amazing pace. They whipped dozens of power shots at one another and the crowd did their best to yelp in time with each of Duran’s blockbusters. By the middle rounds Duran had cemented his dominance, not only because of his incredible pressure but also due to the scorching Panamanian heat. According to ABC’s Howard Cosell, the temperature was in the mid-90s and the humidity made the site feel like a ‘steam bath.’
A five-punch combination highlighted by a hook to the body and a right to the temple caused DeJesus to sink to the floor in the final minute of the seventh. Duran smartly moved inside and pounded DeJesus’ ribs in the eighth, during which an up-and-down combination nearly floored the challenger. Duran now was landing a prohibitively high percentage of his power punches and the effects were etched in DeJesus’ face, body and behavior. His fighter’s heart commanded him to soldier on and he did the best he could under the circumstances. But his body could muster only so much energy and resistance and eventually DeJesus reached his limit.
DeJesus tried to keep his distance early in the 11th but Duran closed the gap, then closed the show. A five-punch volley that included a hook to the body and a final right to the head decked DeJesus for the second time. Without the energy or the will to go on, DeJesus began to rise only after referee Isaac Herrera tolled the final 10.”