Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
My point is that many still believed in Duran as they did later vs Moore and Barkley. Such was the legend of Roberto. It's perfectly understandable that Duo could think Duran was going to hammer Benitez based on Duran's ability to get up for the big one, Benitez's suspect chin and the fact that Duran had taken very little wear and tear physically, which is the exact reason (someone that mattered believed in him) he was thrown a lifeline later on in his career and guided to the Moore fight. Benitez was no big puncher either and i am sure there were a lot of guys thought he was going to get overwhelmed.
And JT, let's hold our noses here, and give credit where credit is due. The person who mattered that believed in Duran was Bob Arum. ("He's never taken a beating.") Don King rightfully gave up on Duran after the debacle in New Orleans. Arum shrewdly capitalized.
After Duran's challenge of Hagler, Arum stated that he'd be honored to rematch them again. Duran should have kept seized upon that offer, and kept himself active in the interim against clearly beatable opposition. Instead, he made a grievious error (albeit obvious in hindsight) by getting in the ring with Hearns.
Recriminations aside, Arum has had his share of hits and misses, and this was one instance where he made a very successful gamble. (I'd imagine they've both lamented Hearns/Duran countless times. Hagler/Duran II would have been a sure box office sensation, but after what Tommy did to Roberto, any notion of such a return went out the window.)