Roberto Duran Outslugs Sugar Ray Leonard – June 20, 1980 (This Day In Boxing History)
It was the fight to see, and it lived up to every bit of its hype.
That’s what speculators said at the time about Roberto Duran’s unanimous decision win over Sugar Ray Leonard 42 years ago for WBC welterweight championship.
“He is the best I have fought. He hit me hard a couple of times, but I was never in bad shape,” Duran said at the time.
“He was pretty good, but he had to be because he was fighting me.”
Duran averaged 60 thrown punches per round – connecting with 21 – while Leonard averaged 50 thrown punches per round, connecting with 18. The two boxers slugged one another in front of 46,317 people.
Leonard was a 9-to-5 favorite going into the fight, but a poll of 30 sportswriters were split. Sixteen chose Duran to win by knockout and one by decision. For Leonard, 13 chose him to come out victorious with eight saying that he could stop Duran.
Duran won the “Brawl in Montreal” with scores of 144-145, 147-148 and 144-146.