Roberto Duran vs. Ray Lampkin
1975-03-02 : Roberto Duran 133½ lbs beat Ray Lampkin 134½ lbs by KO at 0:39 in round 14 of 15
- Location: Gimnasio Nuevo Panama, Panama City, Panama
- Referee: Isaac Herrera
- Judge: Harmodio Cedeno
- Judge: Juan Carlos Tapia
- WBA Lightweight Title (6th defense by Duran)
"As was usually the case, the outdoor arena was awash in heat and humidity, conditions that only amplified the advantages Duran enjoyed. But Lampkin opened the bout positively; he boxed well enough to establish his long-range game yet slugged often enough to show the champion he was willing to engage. In round two, the feisty Lampkin dug several hard rights to Duran’s ribs, then won a wild exchange at ring center as the ringsiders roared.
The pair set a torrid pace with Duran moving forward behind fast, power-laden punches and Lampkin engaged in purposeful retreat. Duran appeared to have an edge through the early rounds but Lampkin hung tough and fired back whenever possible. But it was apparent that Lampkin's best right hands lacked the steam to move Duran and that fact guaranteed a long, hard slog would be necessary to pull the massive upset.
It wasn’t to be. Duran’s ceaseless pressure and superior firepower gradually wore down the challenger, who nevertheless continued to battle despite his deterioration. Duran picked up steam in the bout’s second half and by the 12th Lampkin sported a mouse under the left eye and a weary expression. By answering the bell for the 12th Lampkin achieved a victory of sorts by passing DeJesus as Duran’s longest-lasting challenger to date and though he was clearly tired it appeared his fighting heart might be enough to carry him the entire 15 round distance.
Duran had other ideas – frightening ideas. Less than 30 seconds into the 14th Lampkin moved toward the ropes, where Duran whipped over a whistling hook that connected flush with the challenger’s jaw. Lampkin fell back first and his head hit the canvas with sickening force. There was no getting up for Lampkin and the aftereffects were harrowing – Sports Illustrated reported Lampkin was out for 80 minutes...and that the challenger was hospitalized for five days. One media report indicated that Lampkin had died but while Lampkin was (and still is) alive and well, the fall did leave his left leg temporarily paralyzed.
After the bout Duran uttered one of his most famous – or infamous – quotes: "I was not in my best condition. Today I sent him to the hospital. Next time I’ll put him in the morgue.'"