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The night Roberto Duran, after being almost removed by doctors before the fight, proved that he was the best of all
ROBERTO DURAN w pts 15 SUGAR RADIUS LEONARD
June 20, 2000; Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Quite simply one of the best fights the sport has ever seen. But he was in danger before he started. Roberto Duran’s heart was a source of concern. Three days before the bout, Leonard WBC’s welterweight title challenger had to undergo extensive testing after discovering anomalies – consistent with coronary artery disease -. It was ultimately decided that Duran’s heart condition was similar to that of many athletes because the heart muscle can become thicker than the average. The fight continued, to the delight of the 43,317 people present. Duran controlled the pace and won the fight after 15 fierce rounds. But his heart would be in question again when he left the rematch five months later.
DID YOU KNOW? As Duran made his way to the ring, Joe Frazier was asked at the edge of the ring if Roberto reminded him of someone. “Yes,” he replied, “he reminds me of Charles Manson.” Another fact: Leonard’s wife passed out after the eighth round, that was the stress.
PAY ATTENTION TO: Watch every second. Duran’s skills are out of range, but Leonard, despite his involvement in his rival’s fight, is almost as impressive.