1973-01-20 Roberto Duran w co 5 (15) Jimmy Robertson, New City Gym, Panama City, Panama - WBA

From Barry Hugman's History of Championship Boxing
Revision as of 02:36, 21 January 2012 by Hugman (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

1973-01-20 Roberto Duran w co 5 (15) Jimmy Robertson, New City Gym, Panama City, Panama - WBA. Referee: Vivian Steward. Although Robertson (135) was game and tough he was not good enough to extend the champion and was pressured from the start with body punches being driven in almost endlessly. In the fifth, with Robertson cut on the left eye and bleeding from the nose, a left-right combination from Duran (135) saw the American crash to the floor to be counted out five seconds after the bell to end the round.

Soon after the fight it was announced that 14 May had been set aside for Duran to defend against Ken Buchanan in Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York, USA and hopes of this match taking place were strengthened when the WBA announced that Duran had been given 90 days to arrange a title defence against Rodolfo Gonzalez, Esteban De Jesus or Buchanan.

Following an announcement in March that Duran would not be defending against Buchanan in New York on 20 May, Jarvis Astaire, representing the Scot, claimed that there was no alternative other than to sue the promoters concerned. Although contracts had been signed for the match to take place, despite 20 May not being fixed as claimed, the NYSAC announced that they would suspend Duran from fighting in New York and not recognise him as the champion if he failed to meet Buchanan in New York within 90 days from the beginning of April.

The next move in this sorry affair came when a Duran defence against Antonio Puddu, scheduled for Panama City on 2 June, was called off after the European Boxing Union demanded that the latter should stay home or be suspended. The Panamanians then offered Buchanan the chance to meet Duran in Panama City on that date and when the Scot refused on the grounds that contracts had already been signed, they adjudged it was a way for Duran to avoid any commitment to Buchanan. Despite everything, the WBA reacted by suspending Puddu and replacing him with Hector Thompson, an unrated fighter, while ignoring Buchanan and De Jesus as the legitimate contenders, accepting that Gonzalez had recently won the WBC title.