1989-02-24 Roberto Duran w pts 12 Iran Barkley, Convention Centre, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - WBC
1989-02-24 Roberto Duran w pts 12 Iran Barkley, Convention Centre, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA - WBC. Referee: Joe Cortez. Scorecards: 118-112, 116-112, 113-116. Seventeen years after lifting his first world title, Duran (159) became only the second man to become a champion at four different weights after winning by a very close margin. Despite being well outreached, using his experience to get to close quarters where he could inflict some damage on the champion Duran was well in the fight at the mid-point, having taken two tremendous left hooks and survived. By this time Barkley (158¼) had problems of his own as his left eye began to swell, but both men were still contesting every point with a ferocious belief. In the 11th the fight turned Duran’s way when he dropped Barkley following a five-punch combination, and while he did little work in the final session two of the judges felt that he had done enough.
On 7 December, Duran was outpointed over 12 rounds by Sugar Ray Leonard at the Mirage Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. Although billed for the WBC super middles title held by Leonard, and made at 162lbs (six pounds below the championship limit), both men were inside 160lbs. Technically, with Duran’s WBC middles title also at stake it should have been declared vacant following the result. However, when the champion was stripped in January 1990 for failing to give a written undertaking to defend, Julian Jackson eventually moved up from the junior middleweight division to meet Herol Graham for the vacant title.