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Old 10-07-2009, 11:44 AM   #70
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Default Re: Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran

Originally Posted by WhataRock View Post
To be fair though having Duran only a point ahead after 10 seems a little to generous to Ray. I feel thats where Roberto won the fight.
Some people I talk to score round 1 even and then maybe find another round for Duran in between 6-8. But then these same people often given Leonard round 5, which I don't. Almost everybody I talk to has Leonard evening up the fight in the second third. I thought that was the standard understanding of the fight, but I respect your opinion. Leonard doesn't win very many rounds at all decisively, so I guess I can see how you might give some of those to Duran.

However, if you watch the ebb and flow you will see that Leonard is able to crawl back into the fight because Duran's furious pace winds him a bit and the fight moves more to the center of the ring. This is strategic. Duran decides to take a few breathers so he can dominate down the stretch. By the 9th round, Duran clearly has his second wind and takes it over, putting Leonard back on the ropes. Watch the fight again and you will see what I'm talking about.

By the middle of the championship rounds Leonard clearly needs a knockout or several knockdowns to win. Duran puts far too much distance between Ray and himself in the final third. Leonard was exhausted. It isn't until the 14th that Duran starts to fade. Throughout the fight Leonard is only able to get things done when Duran pulled back on the fury. Otherwise he's popping Leonard with shots from all angles and particularly nailing Leonard with hooks.

When I watch the fight with people I make them aware of three key things observers often miss. So I will suggest these here.

The first is Duran's body punching. He is constantly punching underneath. Leonard does some shining to the body, but he is ineffective in coming up with solid punches underneath. Body punches are extremely important punches in boxing, but observers often miss them or don't accord them their deserved importance.

Second is Duran's constant punching. Leonard tries to tie Duran up by clutching Duran's arms under his arms. But whenever Duran has a free hand, he's banging. All these punches count. I have noted that many observes stop counting punches when one fighter is holding.

Third, Duran slips punches. Duran is the absolute master of this. He has a uncanny ability to move at the last fraction of a second. He does this so that his opponent is committed and he can counter. Duran almost always leaves exchanges having the last word. He steps up this tactic down the stretch. Leonard is missing like crazy. Also, Duran is ducking down and Leonard does not change his style to account for this. Instead of coming up with his punches, Leonard is firing hooks over Duran head or overhand rights that hit Duran's back. These are not scoring punches. The one dramatic uppercut Leonard does throw, the bolo, which gets observers excited, misses by a country mile.
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