Roberto Duran vs. Carlos Palomino

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Duran (left) dominated Palomino

1979-06-22 : Roberto Duran 145½ lbs beat Carlos Palomino 144¾ lbs by UD in round 10 of 10

"Roberto Duran knocked Carlos Palomino down in the sixth round, mixed boxing with punching and pounded out a 10-round unanimous decision over the former welterweight champion Friday night at Madison Square Garden. The fight was a preliminary to Larry Holmes' World Boxing Council heavyweight title defense against Mike Weaver, but it was the fight most of the fans came to see. Duran didn't disappoint them. The 28-year-old Panamanian, who gave up the lightweight title because of trouble making the 135-pound limit, showed he is deadly serious about becoming welterweight champion. He feinted with his head and shoulders, he jabbed, he countered and of course, he put on the deadly pressure that led to his nickname 'Manos de Piedra' — Hands of Stone. He especially put on the pressure in the second half of the fight, overwhelming Palomino....At the beginning of the sixth round, Duran walked out and knocked down Palomino with a left-right. Palomino bounced up immediately and took the mandatory eight count. He survived the round, but before it was over, he was cut at the corner of his right eye and under the left ear. Palomino held his own in the seventh round, scoring well with hooks inside, but then Duran took complete command in the final three rounds — often smiling from the sheer joy of battle." - Associated Press

Notes

  • Duran was a 7-5 favorite.
  • The main event was Larry Holmes vs. Mike Weaver for the WBC heavyweight title.
  • Feeling that Weaver was an unworthy opponent, all three major networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) passed on the fight. Madison Square Garden also turned down the bout.
  • Promoter Don King rented Madison Square Garden for $150,000, set up a closed circuit network in 45 locations, and sold the television rights to HBO for $200,000.
  • Both Duran and Palomino were guaranteed $250,000, but Don King said Duran and his manager agreed to "cut their guarantee to help me. They're going to fight for $100,000 against a bill due later."
  • A crowd of 14,136 at Madison Square Garden produced a gate of $771,982.
  • Duran and Palomino appeared on the cover of the July 2, 1979 issue of Sports Illustrated.
  • Palomino, at the age of 29, retired after the fight. In a 2010 interview with Ringside Report, he explained his decision: "My 30th birthday was coming up and I had promised my mother and myself that I would retire from boxing at age 30, no matter what. During this time, I was really unhappy that I couldn't get a rematch with Benitez and unhappy with the politics in boxing. When I retired, I had finished up my Bachelors Degree in Recreational Administration and had taken some acting classes in college. I really wanted to pursue that."
  • Palomino returned to the ring in 1997 and went 4-1 before retiring for good.

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