Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran (3rd meeting)

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Jabs Leonard Duran
Landed 118 33
Thrown 211 393
Percent 56% 8%
Power Punches Leonard Duran
Landed 109 51
Thrown 227 195
Percent 48% 26%
Total Punches Leonard Duran
Landed 227 84
Thrown 438 588
Percent 52% 14%

1989-12-07 : Roberto Duran 158 lbs lost to Sugar Ray Leonard 160 lbs by UD in round 12 of 12


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  • On July 26, 1989, a press conference was held to officially announce the fight. The press was told that the site and the date had not yet been determined, but there were three possibilities: Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on November 2, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City on November 30 and The Mirage in Las Vegas during the first week of December.
  • It was announced on July 31 that the fight would take place at The Mirage. The $630 million hotel and casino opened on November 22, 1989, and was the first new resort on the Las Vegas Strip in fifteen years. Steve Wynn, the owner of The Mirage, originally scheduled the opening for December 26, but the date was moved up when he landed the fight.
  • Mike Trainer, Leonard's attorney and the fight's co-promoter, said The Mirage and Trump Plaza offered site fees in excess of $8 million. "The money was about the same. It came down to intangibles," Trainer said. "Ray liked the idea of opening this new hotel."
  • Trainer's Victory Promotions and Bob Arum's Top Rank promoted the fight.
  • The match was billed as "Uno Mas," meaning "one more" in Spanish. It was a reference to the second fight between Leonard and Duran, the "No Mas" fight, in which Duran quit.
  • Leonard was the WBC Super Middleweight Champion, and Duran was the WBC Middleweight Champion.
  • Leonard and Duran had a contracted weight limit of 162 pounds.
  • The fight was shown live on closed circuit television at approximately 1,200 locations and on pay-per-view, which was available to an estimated 13 million homes in the United States.
  • HBO paid $3 million for the delayed rights.
  • A sellout crowd of 16,305 produced a gate of $9 million. Ticket prices were $800, $600, $500, $300, $200 and $100.
  • Leonard made at least $15 million and Duran $7.6 million. Leonard's purse from this fight made him the first boxer to earn over $100 million in his career.
  • There were seven minutes of fireworks before the fight started.
  • Leonard was a 9 to 5 favorite.
  • The fight was held in an outdoor arena. It was a chilly night, and Leonard's seconds wrapped a blanket around him between rounds.
  • Leonard suffered three cuts during the fight: A headbutt in the fourth round cut his lower lip (it required 10 stitches), a right in the 11th cut his right eyebrow (it required 30 stitches) and a left in the 12th cut his left eyelid (it required 20 stitches).
  • Pat Putnam of Sports Illustrated reported:
Leonard's fight plan could have been devised by Sun Tzu, who wrote the bible of military strategy, The Art of War, in 500 B.C. His tactics were textbook perfect, the sort, as Leonard said after his lopsided victory, "that you try to teach young fighters." The 12-round bout had all the beauty of a bullfight, but without the expected horror of the kill.
Still, the fans didn't like it; Leonard gave them artistic perfection when they wanted heated battle, and they booed lustily. Most fight fans would not spend a dime to watch Van Gogh paint Sunflowers, but they would fill Yankee Stadium to see him cut off his ear.
Only in the 11th round, after thoroughly dominating the bewildered Duran, did Leonard give the fans what they asked for: blood. His own. In the last 30 seconds of the round, he met Duran toe-to-toe. Both men fired right hands; Duran's chopped the gash over Leonard's left eye. Moving quickly away, Leonard thought, To hell with that. His mouth already was bleeding from a butt in the fourth round. Very late in the final round, a Duran hook sliced the flesh on Leonard's right eyebrow.
That finished a high-percentage night for Duran, who landed only 84 of 588 punches, but opened cuts with two of those. In contrast, Leonard landed 227 of 438 punches. His unceasing lateral movement kept Duran in a constant state of befuddlement. His attacks came behind a merciless jab; his combinations were swift and had a mean purity. For one last time Sugar Ray Leonard gave the world Sugar Ray Leonard. The judges' cards read 119-109, 120-110, 116-111, all for Leonard.