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#1
Old 01-26-2010, 04:27 PM
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Default The overrated Roberto Duran

What has he done to be considered by many as the greatest lightweight of all-time? Now I can understand him being a top 5 and even top 3 lightweight, but the greatest?

Also, why is considered a top 10 P4P all-time great? It doesn't make sense.

He has losses to the greatest fighters he's ever fought. They include Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Benitez. Yet, somehow, he's rated highly above all of them, by most people.

I can understand that he's got a few good wins at lightweight over the likes of Buchanan, De Jesus and Kobayashi, but the rest are either paper champions or average journeymen.

How he's so highly rated is beyond me.
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#2
Old 01-26-2010, 04:41 PM
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He cleaned out the lightweight division in a fairly strong era, dominating for 7 years as the champion.

Esteban DeJesus is a man I'd rate among the top 20 lightweights of all time, possibly higher if not for Duran. He is a great boxer to watch yet was dominated and stopped by Duran in their last two bouts after winning the first one.

Ken Buchanan is another fighter who is possibly top 15 among the great lightweights. A great boxer with grit, he was beaten for 13 rounds by a very young Duran until a controversial ending. Either way there's no doubt that Duran had his number.

Hiroshi Kobayashi was formerly the man at 130 but a 20 year old Duran KO'd him with ease.

Ernesto Marcel was awesome at 126 lbs, beat the likes of Alexis Arguello, but 18 year old Duran had the better of him for 10 rounds.

Suzuki Ishimatsu twice knocked out the highly regarded Rodolfo Gonzales but he was no match for Duran.

Hector Thompson, the great Australian contender, ranked number 1 among 140 lbers, was beaten to submission after an 8-round war.

Ray Lampkin and Edwin Viruet were two forgotten but very capable lightweight contenders who would have surely held titles today. Unfortunately they competed in the same era as Duran.

Considering how dominating Duran was and his competition, it's difficult not to rate him atleast top 3 in the lightweight division.

This wasn't the end for Duran who went onto compete in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. His performance against former welterweight champ Carlos Palomino is among the best you'll ever see. Just when you think he couldn't, he topped his performance by beating a prime Sugar Ray Leonard. Can you imagine any featherweight coming up 2 divisions in weight to beat a prime Roberto Duran? No way but Duran was able to do it to Leonard.

Leonard reversed the loss and Duran was counted out, yet he went onto beat LMW champ Davey Moore, lost a 15 round decision to a prime Hagler (imagine Hagler taking on even Michael Spinks, not to mention Larry Holmes), beat a natural light heavyweight in Iran Barkley who had KO'd the man who had beaten him, beat former titlist Jorge Castro at 47 years of age.

I'd say all this warrants a high ranking, pound for pound.
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#3
Old 01-26-2010, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
He cleaned out the lightweight division in a fairly strong era, dominating for 7 years as the champion.

Esteban DeJesus is a man I'd rate among the top 20 lightweights of all time, possibly higher if not for Duran. He is a great boxer to watch yet was dominated and stopped by Duran in their last two bouts after winning the first one.

Ken Buchanan is another fighter who is possibly top 15 among the great lightweights. A great boxer with grit, he was beaten for 13 rounds by a very young Duran until a controversial ending. Either way there's no doubt that Duran had his number.

Hiroshi Kobayashi was formerly the man at 130 but a 20 year old Duran KO'd him with ease.

Ernesto Marcel was awesome at 126 lbs, beat the likes of Alexis Arguello, but 18 year old Duran had the better of him for 10 rounds.

Suzuki Ishimatsu twice knocked out the highly regarded Rodolfo Gonzales but he was no match for Duran.

Hector Thompson, the great Australian contender, ranked number 1 among 140 lbers, was beaten to submission after an 8-round war.

Ray Lampkin and Edwin Viruet were two forgotten but very capable lightweight contenders who would have surely held titles today. Unfortunately they competed in the same era as Duran.

Considering how dominating Duran was and his competition, it's difficult not to rate him atleast top 3 in the lightweight division.
I've already said that him being rated as a top 5 or even a top 3 lightweight is understandable. But he shouldn't be rated at #1 or #2. He beat some good fighters but so did many other lightweights.

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Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
This wasn't the end for Duran who went onto compete in the welterweight and middleweight divisions. His performance against former welterweight champ Carlos Palomino is among the best you'll ever see. Just when you think he couldn't, he topped his performance by beating a prime Sugar Ray Leonard. Can you imagine any featherweight coming up 2 divisions in weight to beat a prime Roberto Duran? No way but Duran was able to do it to Leonard.
The reason Leonard lost was because he chose to fight Duran how Duran liked to fight; which was a brawl. The rematch was fought differently, however. Leonard chose to use his boxing skills and he embarrassed Duran in a one-sided beating that made Duran quit.

And, despite what you think, Duran was very beatable. If De Jesus could knock down and beat Duran on route to a decision, I'm sure fighters such as Whitaker and Mayweather would be able to embarrass him.

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Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
Leonard reversed the loss and Duran was counted out, yet he went onto beat LMW champ Davey Moore, lost a 15 round decision to a prime Hagler (imagine Hagler taking on even Michael Spinks, not to mention Larry Holmes), beat a natural light heavyweight in Iran Barkley who had KO'd the man who had beaten him, beat former titlist Jorge Castro at 47 years of age.
You left out the fact that the Davey Moore fight is highly controversial. And, somehow, it's so amazing for Duran to lose to a fighter in a division where he was a titleholder. Many fighters have gone up in weight and won titles in more divisions and you're praising him for losing.

Jorge Castro was a lucky paper champion so please don't bring him up as a legit win.

Last edited by Method Checker; 01-26-2010 at 05:13 PM.
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#4
Old 01-26-2010, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Method Checker View Post
I've already said that him being rated as a top 5 or even a top 3 lightweight is understandable. But he shouldn't be rated at #1 or #2. He beat some good fighters but so did many other lightweights.
Who would you rate over him?

Quote:
The reason Leonard lost was because he chose to fight Duran how Duran liked to fight; which was a brawl. The rematch was fought differently, however. Leonard chose to use his boxing skills and he embarrassed Duran in a one-sided beating that made Duran quit.
I disagree. Leonard, for the most part, fought as the aggressor in the majority of his professional fights. Coming into the fight, Dundee said Leonard would be too strong for the former lightweight Duran. However Leonard didn't exactly "brawl" with Duran, he was forced to brawl with Duran.

Leonard wanted to keep the fight in the middle of the ring but Duran was constantly pressuring him, feinting him and fighting in the clinches. The relentless body attack in the early rounds took away Leonard's legs and he had no choice but to stand and trade. Leonard did attempt to use his movement in the middle rounds but by then Duran had his number and made him flinch with every feint he threw. The fight was Duran's at that point but Leonard made a courageous rally in the late rounds.

In the rematch Leonard came in with his Olympic style and danced away from Duran. However he was so negative that the judges had the bout near even at the time of the unexpected stoppage. Duran quit then, but it was not because he was badly beaten, it was because his ego had taken a hit from Leonard's taunting. Or something else which we'll probably never know. Leonard won fair and square but so did Duran in the first fight. Duran attempted to get a third fight immediately, unsuccessfully so. The public had lost its interest because of the way the fight had ended.

Quote:
And, despite what you think, Duran was very beatable. If De Jesus could knock down and beat Duran on route to a decision, I'm sure fighters such as Whitaker and Mayweather would be able to embarrass him.
This was a young and very raw Duran and DeJesus doesn't resemble either Whitaker or Mayweather much. He was a counter puncher for sure but he also had great power in either hand to keep Duran honest. It was also a 10 round fight and Duran was coming on strong at the end. 15 rounds and it may have gone differently.

Quote:
You left out the fact that the Davey Moore fight is highly controversial. And, somehow, it's so amazing for Duran to lose to a fighter in a division where he was a titleholder. Many fighters have gone up in weight and won titles in more divisions and you're praising him for losing.
How was it controversial? Because of the thumb excuse? That has only come up much later. From what I saw Duran simply had Moore's number and Moore was a good fighter but with the wrong style to battle Duran.

Tell me the equivalent of Roberto Duran, who started out as a bantamweight, was in his prime as a lightweight, went up to welterweight and went 15 rounds with a prime ATG Marvin Hagler at middleweight. There's no comparison.

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Jorge Castro was a lucky paper champion so please don't bring him up as a legit win.
Tell me about all the 47 year olds who have won even against paper champions.

Last edited by TheGreatA; 01-26-2010 at 05:30 PM.
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#5
Old 01-26-2010, 05:28 PM
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#6
Old 01-26-2010, 05:49 PM
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Who would you rate over him?
Benny Leonard, Joe Gans and Carlos Ortiz are all much better lightweights than him, in my opinion.

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Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
I disagree. Leonard, for the most part, fought as the aggressor in the majority of his professional fights. Coming into the fight, Dundee said Leonard would be too strong for the former lightweight Duran. However Leonard didn't exactly "brawl" with Duran, he was forced to brawl with Duran.

Leonard wanted to keep the fight in the middle of the ring but Duran was constantly pressuring him, feinting him and fighting in the clinches. The relentless body attack in the early rounds took away Leonard's legs and he had no choice but to stand and trade. Leonard did attempt to use his movement in the middle rounds but by then Duran had his number and made him flinch with every feint he threw. The fight was Duran's at that point but Leonard made a courageous rally in the late rounds.

In the rematch Leonard came in with his Olympic style and danced away from Duran. However he was so negative that the judges had the bout near even at the time of the unexpected stoppage. Duran quit then, but it was not because he was badly beaten, it was because his ego had taken a hit from Leonard's taunting. Or something else which we'll probably never know. Leonard won fair and square but so did Duran in the first fight. Duran attempted to get a third fight immediately, unsuccessfully so. The public had lost its interest because of the way the fight had ended.
You're basically saying what I said but in a longer format.

I said Duran was a brawler and Leonard tried to brawl with him. When Leonard used his boxing abilities (dancing or Olympic boxing, as you call it), he embarrassed Duran.

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Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
This was a young and very raw Duran and DeJesus doesn't resemble either Whitaker or Mayweather much. He was a counter puncher for sure but he also had great power in either hand to keep Duran honest. It was also a 10 round fight and Duran was coming on strong at the end. 15 rounds and it may have gone differently.
It was the very same Duran that dethroned Buchanan, yet, he wasn't that good, in your opinion. Talk about a last resort excuse.

Whitaker and Mayweather were much better boxers and would've likely had a filed day with Duran. I wouldn't count on Whitaker dropping Duran but I could see Mayweather doing so.

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How was it controversial? Because of the thumb excuse? That has only come up much later. From what I saw Duran simply had Moore's number and Moore was a good fighter but with the wrong style to battle Duran.
Rubbing his glove laces against his eyes is considered controversial.

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Tell me the equivalent of Roberto Duran, who started out as a bantamweight, was in his prime as a lightweight, went up to welterweight and went 15 rounds with a prime ATG Marvin Hagler at middleweight. There's no comparison.
The reason he started out as a bantamweight was likely due to the fact that he was still a teenager and probably very malnourished. Pacquiao started at flyweight, won a title there, and then went onto welterweight to beat the beat arguably the best welterweight of the decade. Sounds a lot better to me than Duran's championship accomplishments. Yet, I don't go claiming that Pacquiao is a top 5 or even a top 10 all-time great.

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Tell me about all the 47 year olds who have won even against paper champions.
A 49 year old Larry Holmes beat Bonecrusher Smith. A 50 year old Holmes beat Mike Weaver. Smith and Weaver were better fighters than Castro.

There are plenty more fighters around that age who have done the same thing.
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#7
Old 01-26-2010, 05:52 PM
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A great reply TheGreatA!

I could imagine why young fans looking back at Durans record might be questioning why he so highly regarded by historians and older boxing people.

One thing about Duran is he used to get fat and out of shape between fights and on tune up bouts he didn't train with the seriousness that we usually associate with greats. But don't let that or how he preformed in some of the tuneup bouts fool you. When a big bout came up Duran was ready and as dangerous as a fighter could be. The welterweight division he rose in weight to join was at a very high skill level, perhaps one of the best in history.

Later when Duran challenged Davey Moore, many knowledgable boxing people were discussing what round Moore was going to dispatch the man already thought of as an over the hill legend in. And when he challenged Hagler, the same chatter was going on. Even after Barkley stopped Hearns, the man who beat Duran, when Duran challenged him, the over-under or what round Barkley would dispatch him in was getting more bets than who would win!
The thing is that aside from being one of the greatest lightweight champions, Duran even at an advanced age and way over his natural weight constantly overcame the odds and somehow won the big ones!
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:09 PM
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Benny Leonard, Joe Gans and Carlos Ortiz are all much better lightweights than him, in my opinion.
You could argue Leonard & Gans but not Ortiz in my opinion. And I'm a fan of Ortiz.

Quote:
You're basically saying what I said but in a longer format.

I said Duran was a brawler and Leonard tried to brawl with him. When Leonard used his boxing abilities (dancing or Olympic boxing, as you call it), he embarrassed Duran.
Calling Duran a brawler is a bit misleading. The man could box with the best of them but giving away 6 years in age, 3-4 inches in height and 8 in reach, he was forced to "brawl". And he also forced Leonard to brawl with him. You give him no credit for doing so while I do.

Leonard didn't truly embarrass Duran, Duran embarrassed himself by quitting. The judges had Leonard leading by one point at the time of the stoppage. Leonard fought very negatively in this fight.

Quote:
It was the very same Duran that dethroned Buchanan, yet, he wasn't that good, in your opinion. Talk about a last resort excuse.
Excuse? Duran had just turned 21 years of age. It's very obvious that he got better as a boxer as his career went on. Stylistically, young Duran's relentless pressure was great against Buchanan, a great boxer but without great punching power. However against Esteban DeJesus, a clever counter puncher with dynamite in his fists, it was the wrong way to go on about it. Duran showed he was the better man in their two rematches.

You should know this if you have viewed the careers of Duran, DeJesus, Buchanan.

Quote:
Whitaker and Mayweather were much better boxers and would've likely had a filed day with Duran. I wouldn't count on Whitaker dropping Duran but I could see Mayweather doing so.
Whitaker and Mayweather weren't DeJesus. They were better defensively but offensively they don't pose the threat to Duran that DeJesus did. Who is to say that Duran simply wouldn't walk down Mayweather like Castillo did? With three more rounds to go, Floyd would have lost very decisively to Castillo, who as good as he was, was not in Duran's class.

Quote:
Rubbing his glove laces against his eyes is considered controversial.
Can you point out where in the fight Duran rubbed laces in Moore's eyes? Is this not an excuse?

Quote:
The reason he started out as a bantamweight was likely due to the fact that he was still a teenager and probably very malnourished. Pacquiao started at flyweight, won a title there, and then went onto welterweight to beat the beat arguably the best welterweight of the decade. Sounds a lot better to me than Duran's championship accomplishments. Yet, I don't go claiming that Pacquiao is a top 5 or even a top 10 all-time great.
Best welterweight of the decade? Surely you can't be talking about Miguel Cotto? I don't even care to begin to describe what Duran would do to Cotto.

Cotto is good no doubt but he is no prime Marvin Hagler.

Also the fact that Pacquiao's own trainer Freddie Roach doesn't think Manny could have beaten Duran is very telling.

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A 49 year old Larry Holmes beat Bonecrusher Smith. A 50 year old Holmes beat Mike Weaver. Smith and Weaver were better fighters than Castro.
Smith and Weaver were also 40+ year old men almost as old as Holmes himself and it's rather debatable whether they were better than Castro. And talking about lucky champions, there's no more luckier a punch thrown than the one Weaver felled John Tate with in the 15th round of a fight he was clearly losing on the cards. Or when Smith stopped Bruno in the 10th and final round after having lost the 9 previous rounds.

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There are plenty more fighters around that age who have done the same thing.
So bring up all these examples then. Bernard Hopkins? Archie Moore? Any more?

Last edited by TheGreatA; 01-26-2010 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:13 PM
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I think Duran is overrated if he is ranked top 10, but i have him #21 on my P4P list. In my collection, i have around 60-65 of his fights and i do regard him as one of the greatest mainly due to his LW career. Duran's No Mas lost hurt his image but i felt his fights with Moore, Cuevas, Hagler, and Barkely showed he did have the heart and courage of a true champion. I like his fighting ability in the inside and how he got leverage on his punches and how he was able to slip punches on the inside. Just look at RD15 of his first fight with SRL; he made SRL missed three punches while he displayed cat like reflexes.

My biggest bone with some Duran fans is when they say he is the greatest latin fighter. I still think that belongs to Carlos Monzon. Monzon fought in a competitive division and when without losing over 80 of his last fights.
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Old 01-26-2010, 06:16 PM
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Great thread.Let's not forget that Duran ducked Rodolfo Gonzalez either.It took Duran years to unify just two titles,when Gonzalez handed him the oppurtunity a couple of years before Duran eventually did and Duran wanted nothing to do with him.



Duran did thumb Davey Moore early in their bout and while Duran apologists try to brush it under the carpet,it greatly affected Davey Moore throughout the fight and Duran's cheating and fouling throughout the fight was an absolute disgrace.



Duran finally met his match in one William Joppy however.

Last edited by donkim; 01-26-2010 at 06:19 PM.
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