By Elisinio Castillo
Panamanian boxing legend Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran is very upset over the recent arrest for former two-division world champion Celestino "Pelenchín" Caballero.
The boxer was arrested last Thursday in Panama when local authorities found 10 kilos of cocaine in his vehicle. After he was pulled over by anti-drug agents, a search of his vehicle led to the discovery of 5 kilos in the trunk, hidden within a toolbox, and then another 5 kilos were found in a plastic bag.
The drug have a street value of $600,000 USD. The boxer was alone in the car and did not resist officers.
After 16 years in the sport, the former champion announced his retirement in November of 2014, due to a retina injury after 43 fights with 37 wins.
Caballero's lawyer, Victor Orobio, told the press that his client admitted to authorities on Friday that he was transporting cocaine.
According to Panamanian law, a drug offense carries a prison term between 8 and 12 years.
When Caballero was a young boxer, Duran had taken under his care and schooled him as best as possible. Duran attended several of his fights and supported his career.
"I never imagined that things would end for him in this extreme way. I remember the first time he came to my house and he just stared at my television screen, and I told him 'do not worry, because some day you will have one even better than that," said Duran.
Duran believes the entire incident will stain the integrity of boxing in Panama. Caballero was recently brought on board to help the WBA with retired fighters, but the sanctioning body suspended him from that position after learning of his arrest.