Davey Moore vs. Roberto Duran

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1983-06-16 : Roberto Duran 152½ lbs beat Davey Moore 154 lbs by TKO at 2:02 in round 8 of 15


  • The fight took place on Duran's 32nd birthday.
  • Moore was a 5-2 favorite.
  • Duran was ranked 7th by the WBA.
  • At the official weigh-in, Moore failed to make weight on his first attempt and had to go to a local gym to sweat off the excess poundage.
  • The fight was televised live on closed circuit and pay-per-view TV and rebroadcast by CBS on June 19.
  • Sugar Ray Leonard was ringside working as a commentator for CBS. After the fight, Leonard congratulated Duran in the ring.
  • A crowd of 20,061 at Madison Square Garden produced a gate of $964,305.
  • Duran won his first world title at Madison Square Garden 11 years earlier.
  • Duran became the 7th fighter in boxing history to win world titles in three weight divisions.

From Sports Illustrated:

Duran made the attack from the outset, taking the fight where he wanted it to go, slipping punches deftly while beginning his work on Moore's body. Near the end of the first round, he struck the most telling blow of the fight—a thumb poked in Moore's right eye. It closed gradually in the next few rounds as Duran made a target of it with his jab. Duran shook off whatever Moore landed and continued to press the issue inside and to the body. In the second round, he began pounding Moore's body with uppercuts. Then, coming over with a right, he bloodied Moore's nose. "I wanted to keep up the pressure," Duran said. He did just that. With Duran's back to the ropes, after Moore hit him with a right, he spun Moore around, putting him on the ropes, and ripped back at him with a flurry. "I hit him back in payment for what he'd hit me with," Duran said.

Feeling sluggish, Duran relaxed his attack in the third and fourth rounds, and Moore became the aggressor. "Then I began to get air and began to box, and the boxing renewed my speed," said Duran. He never stopped punishing Moore's body, but now he went after the head, too. By the fourth round, the right eye had' closed, and Moore was bleeding from the nose and lip; by the seventh he was all target. Duran buckled Moore's legs with a combination to the head. As the champion backed up, Duran dropped him with that hard right hand, sending him to the floor with his back on the ropes. There he simply sat with his lower lip puffed out, dazed and helpless. "That punch came from nowhere," Moore said later. He gamely climbed to his feet at the count of eight, and then the bell rang.

At ringside, Moore's mother and girl friend had fainted, slumping in their seats, and now there were cries to stop the bloodbath. But the referee, Ernesto Magaña of Mexico, appeared blind to what was going on. He kept looking at Moore's closed eye, as if waiting for it to fall out before he would stop the fight. Leave it to the WBA to hire a turkey to run a cockfight. That is what it had become, and Duran had all the talons.

"Finish him off now," Duran's trainer, Nestor Quiñones, told him before the eighth. It took Duran two minutes and two seconds to convince Washington to throw a blood-splattered white towel of surrender into the ring. If Magaña saw it, he ignored it. Finally Jay Edson, a Top Rank representative, clambered into the ring and called a halt to the proceedings. "The worst ref I've looked at for a long time," Arcel said. On top of that, the WBA's two Japanese judges, Kasumasa Kuwata and Tashikawa Yoshida, apparently were content to spend the night looking at Magaña looking at Moore's eye. They both called four of the seven rounds even.


"He That Was Lost Has Been Found" by William Nack, Sports Illustrated, June 27, 1983