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Old 10-05-2009, 11:12 PM   #60
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Default Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran

Except for the 15th round, there were two sorts of rounds in this fight. There were those rounds Duran won going away. Then there were those rounds in which Leonard held his own, but in which Duran was the aggressor. Giving Leonard the rounds in which he held his own will produce a score somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-6 or 8-6-1. But this is being awfully generous to Leonard. Duran was being very tricky in there. He was slipping punches, landing short hooks inside, constantly pounding the body, and was the effective aggressor except in the first and last round. I tend not to appreciate a fighter up against the ropes holding his own when the other fighter is making the fight. Duran made the fight. To better reflect the ass whipping Duran put on Leonard, a more reflective score would be something like 10-5 or 9-4-2. Whatever the score, no way is it a draw or a one-point fight. As somebody said earlier, taken in its totality Duran dominates.

I noted that somebody gave Leonard all the last four rounds, even round 14. In round 14, Duran buckled Leonard's needs three times with left hooks. Leonard was missing badly and Duran was killing him underneath. Leonard won the 15th round because Duran decided to coast. Leonard did not win rounds 11-14. He was tired and Duran had his second wind. Duran physically out muscled Leonard in those rounds. Also that same somebody thought Duran won rounds in which Leonard actually held his own and I could see an argument in Leonard's favor. So I don't know what fight he was watching.

Some other points. Leonard's holding was excessive. His plan was to hold and hit. But Padilla did an excellent job of preventing Leonard from using the strategy. Had Leonard had his way, it would have been a wrestling match. Holding figures into the scoring, and this hurts Leonard even in those rounds in which he holds his own. For Duran's part, he is using his head at times, much in the same way Armstrong used his head. In fact, Duran's approach to this fight during more rounds was very similar to the way Armstrong would have approached Leonard.

The most surprising part of the fight is the way Duran bulled Leonard around the ring. Leonard was at the time a much bigger man and one would have thought he could have handled Duran. That's what the Leonard team thought coming in. Duran is so physically powerful it's amazing. I particularly like the moment when he bulls Leonard against the ropes, Leonard finally turns him around, but then a second later Duran puts Leonard back on the ropes and pounds him.
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