Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard (2nd meeting)
From Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia
1980-11-25 : Sugar Ray Leonard 146 lbs beat Roberto Duran 146 lbs by TKO at 2:44 in round 8 of 15
- Location: Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
- Referee: Octavio Meyran
- Judge: Mike Jacobs 68-66
- Judge: Jean Deswert 68-66
- Judge: James Brimmell 67-66
- Unofficial UPI scorecard: 69-65 Leonard
- WBC Welterweight Title (first defense by Duran)
- Fight Poster
- Program Cover
- See also: Leonard vs. Duran I.
- See also: Leonard vs. Duran III.
- The fight was shown live on closed-circuit television at 345 locations in the United States and Canada. The fight was also televised in about 60 foreign countries.
- Duran was guaranteed $8 million, and Leonard was guaranteed $7 million.
- The fight was promoted by Don King.
- Leonard was a 6 to 5 favorite.
- Duran's longtime manager, Carlos Eleta, said Duran weighed 183 pounds when he started training for the rematch with Leonard. However, Duran's interpreter, Luis Henriquez, said he weighed 168½.
- Carlos Eleta said Duran used diuretic medication to help him lose weight three days before the fight. Duran and his personal physician, Dr. Orlando Nunez, denied the claim.
- The official weigh-in was at noon on the day of the fight. At 1:00 p.m., Duran ate lunch: two large T bone steaks, French fries, four large glasses of orange juice, two glasses of water, and a cup of tea. At 5:00 p.m. Duran ate half a steak and drank tea. Leonard had a large breakfast on the day of the fight: two eggs and grits, two pieces of toast, peaches, and Kool-Aid. For dinner, at 4:00 p.m., Leonard had fried chicken, green peas, a glass of water, and Kool-Aid.
- Tickets at the Superdome were priced between $40 and $1,000.
- A crowd of 25,038 at the Superdome produced a gate of $3 million. When all the closed circuit receipts were counted, the fight generated $38 million.
- When Leonard fought, he usually wore red, white, and blue trunks and had tassels on his shoes, but for the rematch with Duran, Leonard wore black trunks and black shoes with no tassels. Before leaving his dressing room, Leonard asked his attorney, Mike Trainer, "How do I look?" Trainer smiled and said, "You look like a mix of the Grim Reaper and an assassin," Leonard replied, "Good."
- Ray Charles sang "America The Beautiful" in the ring before the fight. When he finished, he gave his namesake, Ray Charles Leonard, a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Leonard's trainer, Angelo Dundee, later said, "When Ray Charles started singing, we were in like Flynn."
- Instead of brawling with Duran, as he did in the first fight, Leonard boxed Duran. In the seventh round, he started to taunt Duran. Late in the round, Leonard threw the most memorable punch of the night. Winding up his right hand, as if to throw a bolo, he suddenly snapped out a left jab that caught Duran flush on the face. With sixteen seconds left in the eighth round, Duran turned his back on Leonard and quit. At first, neither Leonard nor referee Octavio Meyran knew what Duran was doing, and Meyran motioned for the fighters to continue. Duran waved his right hand and said, "No mas. No pelea mas." ("No more. No more boxing.") Meyran waved the fight over, and Leonard was the winner by a TKO.
- Following Duran's surrender, there was great confusion. A report went around ringside that Duran had not quit but had merely misunderstood the referee about something. Minutes after the fight, WBC president Jose Sulaiman said, "Roberto told me that when he threw a right hand in that round, something happened to his shoulder." Duran, however, told the media he quit because of stomach cramps.
- "I ate too much. I was eating hot food and drinking cold juice. That's what caused the cramps. That's why I quit the fight," Duran said in a 1981 interview. "I actually wanted to stop the fight in the fifth round because my whole body was feeling paralyzed because I had these stomach cramps....I felt slow and tired and I wasn't sweating. And I wasn't breathing enough. In the eighth round, I felt I could have feinted if I continued."
- Sports Illustrated reported: "Carlos Eleta, Duran's manager, shrugged at the suggestion that Duran had overeaten. The stomach of stone, Eleta insists, always ate that way before a fight."
- "Duran exploded at that moment, not realizing what he was doing," said Carlos Eleta. "He was so angry...because Sugar Ray was making fun of him. So, at that instance, in the eighth round, he said, 'To hell with this fellow. He's making fun of me and I'm not going to fight anymore.' Stomach Cramps? Maybe that's true, maybe it's not. But Duran didn't quit because of stomach cramps. He quit because he was embarrassed. I know this. Roberto was crying after the fight when I took him to the hospital for a checkup. In the car, he said to me, 'I'm ashamed of myself. I never should have done that. That's not me. I am not proud of myself.'"
- Fabio Matos, who was a ringside guest of Duran's at the fight, said, "Maybe I shouldn't say this because Roberto is my friend, but after the fight, Duran told me in his hotel room that the story about the cramps was false....He said he had to tell that story because he knows people want an explanation." When asked why Duran quit, Matos said, "Roberto couldn't do anything with Leonard....Duran was being humiliated. Aware that he was being humiliated, he quit."
- Duran's purse was withheld by the athletic commission. The day after the fight, Duran was fined $7,500 for his "non-performance" and the rest of his purse was released.
- Sugar Ray Leonard: "I did everything I said I was going to do, and he couldn't accept it. He was frustrated, confused. I did everything I could to make him go off, like a clock wound up too tight. He got wound up so tight, he blew a spring."
- Roberto Duran: "I am retiring from boxing right now. I don't want to fight anymore."
- Angelo Dundee, Leonard's trainer: "We were sky-high in the dressing room. Different from last time. Everything was cool, smooth, good."
- Ray Arcel, Duran's trainer: "That's it. I've had it. This is terrible. I've handled thousands of fighters and never had anyone quit on me. I think this guy needs a psychiatrist more than he needs anything else."
- Freddie Brown, Duran's co-trainer: "I was shocked. There was no indication he was getting weak."
- "The Champ Throws in the Towel" by Red Smith, The New York Times, November 25, 1980
- "Leonard Gains Crown; Duran Quits In Eighth" by Ed Schuyler Jr., Schenectady Gazette, November 26, 1980
- "Manager says entourage destroyed Duran" by Neil Amdur, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 5, 1980
- "The Big Bellyache" by William Nack, Sports Illustrated, December 8, 1980
- "No Mas: My Version" by Randy Gordon, The Sweet Science, April 25, 2004