Originally Posted by redrooster
I for one do not think he could take Duran. Not at lower weights.
I wanted to ask you why you felt Duran was going to kill him when they fought. He didn' show any fire at all in the Gonzalez fight or in the Minchillo fight and did't own a title. Wilfred at least had a title and was much younger-only 23 years or so.
I assume the Gonzalez fight you're referring to was against Nino. Two years earlier, SRL badly outshown Roberto on the undercard of Duran's match against another Gonzalez, Zeferino.
Now if you recall, Ray really came of age on that card, with a shockingly sensational first round knockout of Andy Price, in defense of his NABF WW Title. Woefully underprepared to produce a similarly scintillating performance against the lanky upstart Zeferino, Roberto was humiliated. He smiled and clowned his way through an easy ten round decision, but everybody knew that was because he couldn't knock Zeferino out.
The next time Duran stepped in the ring, SRL had dethroned Benitez, and it was a new decade. Against tough uppercutter Joseph Nsubuga, the fire was back. Wolfishly grinning, he rushed Nsubuga like an animal, absorbed some crisp uppercuts out of the corner with no difficulty, and Stonehands swamped Stoneface like a typhoon. In his next match against pro novice Wheatley (who idolized Duran), he demonstrated that he was very hungry for the chance to show Ray up, a hunger that appeared sated after Montreal.
Benitez never had the edginess to him which Duran displayed at his hungriest. He had a lot of trouble with Bruce Curry, and produced an unmotivated showing against Harold Weston, Jr. (Remember how his father slapped him between rounds, to get him going against Harold? Very reminiscent of Gil Clancy during Griffith-Paret I.) Wilfred was outstanding against the skinny and light hitting Shields, but he had not been able to hurt Palomino, and SRL decked him early with a single jab. Ray also handed Benitez a pretty good lesson in boxing basics.
While claiming to want a rematch with SRL, he looked decent against Johnny Turner, but more deliberate than highly motivated. (This despite Turner having earlier kayoed his older brother Frankie out of a viable boxing career.) As Ray provided commentary on his match with Chiaverini, Tony fought Wilfredo's fight, carrying the action to Benitez on the ropes, where Wilfred easily eluded and counterpunched his headhunting opponent into a very one sided stoppage win. Still, he never had the much slower Chiaverini even close to going down, and Tony had neglected the body in his attempted aggression. When Benitez became a champion again, it was obvious Maurice Hope did not belong in the same ring. (The southpaw Hope abandoned what little chance he had of successfully defending his title early, when he inexplicably and stupidly ceased relying on his jab to assault Benitez as Wilfred laid back in wait.) At Hope's expense, Benitez produced the one punch kayo of the year, but there was nothing in Duran's history to indicate he could be knocked senseless that way.
Duran did not display any fire against Minchillo, but he was still punching with leverage (unlike Luigi), and I had Roberto pitching a shutout (as did one of the judges).
After the humiliation of New Orleans, Duran then had a chance to become a champion again, and at the expense of a defending titleholder who had lost a previous championship to his arch nemisis. I figured Roberto would be really fired up to outdo the extent to which SRL had beaten up El Radar, and use that as his ticket to a rubber match with Ray.
So, Duran was a leverage puncher and body attack specialist, who was going in against a defending champion who had been floored at a lower weight by a single jab, and liked to lay back on the ropes to draw his opponents in. There was nothing wrong with Roberto physically, and he'd suddenly recaptured fire once before against Nsubuga, so I figured he'd do it again (just like I expected the slower Palomino to destroy Wilfredo with his downstairs targeting). Furthermore, although Benitez proved against Hope that SRL was correct about his punching power ("I
say Benitez can hit!"), it wasn't of sufficient force to trouble Duran. (Since Ray couldn't hurt Duran, how could Wilfredo?) Despite an exchange of punches at a prefight press conference, Duran simply went through the motions of the match itself, displaying more animosity after the bout than he did during it. Benitez took whatever Roberto was able to land without difficulty, and easily landed counters on a challenger who SRL had found to be a pretty elusive target in Montreal.
Logically, there's no way Benitez would avoid getting kayoed by Duran at 140, but for the reasons I've just described, I figured the same principles would apply to the match they actually did have at 154.
Is this sufficient for explaining my erroneous thinking? (If not, feel free to ask for a futher elaboration, and I'll do the best I can to make myself understood. Unfortunately, sometimes no degree of articulation is adequate for expressing a certain process of reasoning behind the conclusions formed.)