June 26, 2020 / 5:27 AM / 12 days ago

Boxing Hall of Famer Duran battles COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: Boxing legend Roberto Duran of Nicaragua waves as he is introduced at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada May 6, 2011. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

International Boxing Hall of Famer Roberto Duran was diagnosed with the coronavirus, his son announced Thursday.

In an Instagram post, Robin Duran wrote that his 69-year-old father recently tested positive after originally believing that he had merely the common cold.

The younger Duran added, as translated from Spanish, “He is not in intensive care or on a ventilator, he is still under observation. We just talked to the doctor and he tells us that the lungs are fine and there is no indication of seriousness. Let’s continue to have faith that everything will turn out well. I’ll keep you informed. Regards!”

Duran, a Panamanian nicknamed “Manos de Piedra” (Hands of Stone), earned championships in the lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight and middleweight divisions while compiling a 103-16 record with 70 knockouts. He is widely viewed as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time, and the Associated Press ranked him the best lightweight of the 20th century.

He might be best remembered for a pair of fights against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980. Duran won the world welterweight championship by earning a unanimous-decision victory over Leonard at Montreal in June. Five months later, Leonard won back his title with an eighth-round technical knockout in New Orleans, when Duran was heard by the referee to say “No mas” (“No more”).

The result ended Duran’s 41-match winning streak.

In 1989, Leonard beat Duran by unanimous decision at Las Vegas to win the WBC super middleweight championship.

Duran began his boxing career in 1968 at age 16, and he kept fighting until he was 50 years old, when he lost a unanimous decision to Hector Camacho in 2001.

He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007.

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