Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard (2nd meeting)

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1980-11-25 : Sugar Ray Leonard 146 lbs beat Roberto Duran 146 lbs by TKO at 2:44 in round 8 of 15


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There was a crowd of about 25,000 at the Superdome.
  • 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 that he quit because of stomach cramps.
  • Many believe that Duran quit because he was frustrated by Leonard's taunting. 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." Carlos Eleta, Duran's longtime manager, agreed with Matos' assessment. "Duran didn't quit because of stomach cramps," Eleta said. "He quit because he was embarrassed." Eleta also said that Duran had not overeaten. Duran, he insisted, always ate that way before a fight.
  • 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.

Post-Fight Quotes

  • 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: "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."