- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
LOVERRO: In lingering anger over ‘No Mas,’ Sugar Ray Leonard finds bond with Roberto Duran
Question of the Day
“No,” Leonard answered. “I had a lot of comebacks but when I hit 50 I knew it was over.”
Actually, at that moment — the point in the documentary, now airing on ESPN, where Leonard, 57, confronts Duran, 61, and asks him for the truth about why Duran quit in the ring in the eighth round in their November 1980 rematch in New Orleans — Ray Leonard felt sympathy for his arch-rival.
You can see in Duran’s eyes that he was ashamed of being face to face with Leonard, with the scene being recorded for all to see, being asked to explain why the ultimate ring warrior retreated that night. It was painful for him.
“I wanted him to say, ‘You made me quit,’” Leonard said. “But then, at that moment, I saw him as a brother, a friend. He was struggling to think of what he could say, but nothing he could say could change what happened. I looked in his eyes. He was almost in tears. It was powerful stuff.”
Leonard had gone there looking for answers. The Palmer Park, Md., native remained angry and frustrated that Duran had robbed Leonard of the glory of the rematch victory, after the two men fought a brutal 15-round war six months earlier in Montreal that Duran won, taking the welterweight title from Leonard and handing him his first professional loss.
“On the whole press tour, whenever they met each other, Duran always had this, ‘I hate you’ look,” said Ollie Dunlap, one of Leonard’s aides. “It really got bad in Montreal. Duran got into Leonard’s head. He disrespected his wife, and then we were on our way to an appearance at a mall in Montreal when we saw Duran and he spit on the ground towards Ray. All those things were to get into Ray’s head.”
After the loss, Leonard was so beaten and battered that he decided to retire. But after a vacation to Hawaii, Leonard changed his mind and called his business manager, Mike Trainer, asking him to make a rematch as soon as possible.
Leonard wanted his revenge, and he appeared to be on his way to getting it in the rematch at the Superdome. He was boxing Duran and frustrating him, winning the fight, when Duran waved his glove at the referee and, the story goes, said, “No mas” — no more — though Duran denies every saying those words.
They both moved on in their careers, with Leonard having a career-defining win over Thomas Hearns, stopping him in 14 rounds in December 1981, and then, after more than three years away from the ring, coming back to win a disputed controversial decision over middleweight champion Marvin Hagler in April 1987. Duran, remarkably, would salvage his reputation by coming back to win the junior middleweight crown from Davey Moore in 1983, fighting Hagler in a close decision loss later that year, and six years later, upsetting middleweight champion Iran Barkley.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- LOVERRO: Redskins should be great before declaring greatness
- LOVERRO: Hall of Fame is one birthday present A-Rod will never unwrap
- LOVERRO: These are Bruce Allen's Washington Redskins now
- LOVERRO: CBS Sports leaves broadcasters hanging in Redskins name debate
- LOVERRO: Who are the men behind D.C. 2024 curtain?
Latest Blog Entries
By James A. Lyons Jr.
The president has shifted alliance from friend to enemy
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Army's 3-D printed bombs to create 'a whole new universe' of lethal capabilities
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- U.S. troops told not to eat, drink in front of Muslims during Ramadan
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world