Both Durán and Leonard were more than just boxers; by 1980, they were superstars. And this was more than just a championship boxing match. It truly was the one fight everyone somehow just knew would be something memorable, something momentous. It was not only one of the most lucrative matches in boxing history; it was a sports event of global significance, the richest prizefight in history, and a record breaker for closed-circuit television.
Leonard’s attempt to beat the former lightweight champion at his own game, on the inside and toe-to-toe, while making for an amazing fight, proved ill-advised. The desire to show he was as tough and as game as Roberto was Sugar Ray’s tragic flaw. Durán rightfully earned the decision and, while the match was unquestionably an extremely close affair, there were no serious complaints about the verdict.
This was the greatest victory of Roberto Duran’s career, a superlative performance and a win which capped an incredible decade long run at the elite level of the sport. His record now stood at an astonishing 72 wins with only one defeat (with 55 knockouts).