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Roberto Duran vs. Donald Curry Fantasy Fight


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Published: Jan 11 2011 by: Rich Thomas

 

Duran vs. Curry in a Junior Middleweight Showdown Circa 1986

 

One of the defining characteristics of the 1980s welterweight and middleweight picture was the near absolute refusal of three of the "Four Kings" -- Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran -- to fight any of the young lions who came up behind them. Leonard had the excuse of a medical retirement from 1984 to 1987, while Hearns was focused on pursuing middleweight glory and Duran spent much of the 1980s beset by personal and managerial problems.

 

Of the first crop of welterweights to come up following the departure of Duran, Hearns and Leonard, the best was Donald 'The Lone Star Cobra" Curry. Capturing the WBA belt in 1983, Curry was reigning as the Undisputed World Welterweight Champion by 1985. The only other undisputed champ at the time was Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and many wanted to see one of the great former welterweights duke it out with Curry the Cobra. With Hearns at 160 and Leonard retired, the only member of the trio who realistically could be lured into a showdown with Curry was Duran, but what if he had been? At the same time Curry was celebrating his unified world title, Duran was recovering from his catastrophic defeat at the hands of Tommy Hearns.

 

In June 1985, the IBF Junior Middleweight Title became vacant. Instead of letting Buster Drayton and Carlos Santos fight over it, some promotional machinations keep the title warm, while the deep pockets of HBO bring Roberto Duran and Donald Curry into the ring in March 1986...

The Opening Round

 

Duran was at his brash, trash-talking best in the months running up to the bout, more to nurse his own devastated ego following the incredible whipping he received at the hands of Tommy Hearns than anything else. Fueled by sheer machismo, from the opening bell Duran tears right at Curry with blistering six-, seven- and eight-punch combos. Curry reels from the fierce assault, but his superb point defense wards off the worst of it. Duran, finding Curry's merely average mobility makes him easy to hit (if not easy to score on), unloads with greater confidence. Curry looks well on his way to losing the 1st Round by a mile when he finds his footing in the last 30 seconds of the round, picks off a Duran left hook and unloads a big counter right, followed by a short, sharp left hook. Duran is instantly dropped on his butt, but not badly hurt. "Manos de Piedra" gets up by the count of five, and appears undeterred as he comes at Curry again in the last seconds of the round.

The Cobra Bites

 

Once on the stool, the reality that Curry is not the hollow figure he had been led to believe settles on Duran. His confidence still shaky after the drubbing from Hearns (in real life, Duran would be out-boxed by a journeyman named Robbie Sims in June 1986), Duran comes out and soon loses steam. He presses the action, but some of his gusto is lacking. It ebbs even further when Curry establishes his stiff, club-like jab. Striking again and again with the jab, Curry manages to avoid the worst of Duran's dispirited assault and sets the stage for two- and three-punch counterattacks. For Rounds 3, 4 and 5, the fight becomes almost robotic as Duran flails against Curry's tight guard and stiff jab, with only an red, puffy face to show for it.

Duran Rallies

 

Realizing he is letting the fight slip away from him, Duran's pride pushes him out of neutral. He picks up the pace and takes advantage of Curry's decidedly average footwork and sound-but-mechanical style to step to the side in mid-flurry and shove a hard body shot into every assault. Still, getting by that stiff jab is hard work, and frustrates Duran to no end. At the end of Round 7, Duran slings a left hook to the body and follows it straight up with a right uppercut to the groin. Duran instantly rolls his shoulders and waves his hands calling "it's an accident" in Spanish. Curry gets to his feet and takes the rest of the round off to recuperate. Duran loses a point and the round, but grins and licks his chops nonetheless.

 

Duran presses the action with a seemingly wild, unpredictable fury that has one object: to slam in body shot after body shot. Curry's feet cannot get him away from the rushing Duran, and while he scores repeatedly with his jab, Curry drops Rounds 8 and 9. A 10th Round attempt to take the offensive and stem the tide backfires, as Duran stuns Curry with an overhand right followed by two shots to the body, driving him onto the ropes where Curry covers up and then clutches Duran. Duran mauls Curry like an animal inside the clinch, even dragging his beard across Curry's face. The Lone Star Cobra is visibly drained, and with 10 seconds left to go Duran pries open Curry's guard and knocks him down. Curry is saved by the bell, but proves unable to recover much between rounds. Duran, scenting blood, throws everything but the stool at Curry from the bell and knocks him down again. Curry gets up, but is waved off by the referee.

 

Result: Roberto Duran claims the vacant IBF Junior Middleweight Title by TKO11.

 

Aftermath

 

His career back on track, Roberto Duran enjoyed a two-year reign of easy fights and decent paydays, ducking the likes of Julian Jackson and Mike McCallum until he moved up to middleweight and beat Iran Barkley in 1989 (in real life Duran floundered until he upset Barkley). Donald Curry returned to his 147-lb championship, only to be crushed by undefeated Lloyd Honeyghan later that year, and boxing historians would later describe the Duran fight as the encounter that ruined Curry.

 

http://www.proboxing-fans.com/roberto-duran-vs-donald-curry-fantasy-fight_011111/

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Duran every time. Curry had a terrible habit of standing back to admire his own work, which is why Mike McCallum nearly decapitated him with one left hook in their fight. It is also why Lloyd got him, too lazy.

 

Your love of Duran or lack of knowledge on Curry is forgetting that Curry was outboxing McCallum til he got caught.

 

Duran gets outboxed by Kirkland Laing but can beat Curry? Lets be realistic - it wouldn't happen.

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For me the McCallum KO ended Donald Curry though many will say he never got over the Honeyghan defeat. At his best he was viewed by many as the P4P No.2 behind Marvin Hagler and as the No.1 by some.

 

Duran was brilliant at Lightweight but in the higher divisions he was very inconsistant. Loses to Sims, Benitez are mixed in with wins over Minchillo, Moore.

 

Duran was fine in a brawl but could be outboxed and Curry at his best was a master technician.

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Duran could be outboxed if he was lazy in his preparation, much like Lennox Lewis could be KTFO by far inferior fighters when he didn't take it seriously. Roberto was notorious for ballooning up to well over 200lbs between fights ( which was why Leonard invoked the rematch clause when Duran was about 3 months into his celebrations, leaving him less than 2 months to get into fighting shape ) but was a great pressure fighter with brilliant defence on the inside.

 

Curry simply wasn't strong enough to keep him off, and a highly over rated fighter with limited footwork and ring generalship. Beating up Colin Jones, and Milt McCrory, doesn't qualify you for a well prepared Duran.

 

The article is crap anyway, because the guy the fab 4 avoided was Mike McCallum, with Leonard openly telling Mike he was high risk, low reward, and therefore him, Tommy, and Hagler wouldn't be putting themselves out to fight him.

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You could also add Curry's two wins over Marlon Starling who was a very good fighter. Roger Stafford and Nino larocca good wins aswell. What qualified Duran - beating a Leonard who decided to brawl rather than box or a Hearns that blew Duran away in two? Getting outboxed by Laing - a man who didn't like to train.

 

Duran was a lazy trainer but that excuse doesn't hide the fact that he was outboxed at higher weights also for a man known for his toughness he liked to quit rather than battle through - he quit when embarressed by Leonard and quit with an injury against someone called Pat Lawlor.

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Yeah right Rob, you try all day long and twice on sundays to rubbish Duran and his accomplishments whilst you wax lyrical about Donald who?

 

Hearns was destroyed ( permanantly as an elite fighter ) in 3 rounds by Hagler. the same Hagler that needed to win the last 2 rounds in a 15 round fight with Roberto to get the nod. The Duran that went up against a huge Barkley and won a Middleweight title at the age of 38 in what was labelled fight of the year.

 

Now lets see where was the great Curry at 38? Oh yes, long gone, having been dispatched by Norris, Nunn, and Linton.

 

Next you'll be telling us that Lloyd Honeyghan was a better fighter than Duran, because hew outboxed, outpunched, and outsmarted the wonderful Curry in his prime.

 

Do yourself a favour Rob, the next time you talk about a Curry, make sure its the Indian takeaway kind.

 

The one you are trying to bull up was shit.

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Yeah right Rob, you try all day long and twice on sundays to rubbish Duran and his accomplishments whilst you wax lyrical about Donald who?

 

Hearns was destroyed ( permanantly as an elite fighter ) in 3 rounds by Hagler. the same Hagler that needed to win the last 2 rounds in a 15 round fight with Roberto to get the nod. The Duran that went up against a huge Barkley and won a Middleweight title at the age of 38 in what was labelled fight of the year.

 

Now lets see where was the great Curry at 38? Oh yes, long gone, having been dispatched by Norris, Nunn, and Linton.

 

Next you'll be telling us that Lloyd Honeyghan was a better fighter than Duran, because hew outboxed, outpunched, and outsmarted the wonderful Curry in his prime.

 

Do yourself a favour Rob, the next time you talk about a Curry, make sure its the Indian takeaway kind.

 

The one you are trying to bull up was shit.

 

Nothing I've said about Duran is untrue. Did he get outboxed by Laing and Benitez? - Yes; Did he get destroyed by Hearns? - Yes; Did he quit against Lawlor? - Yes and so on and on.

 

I didn't mention Barkley as that was at a higher weight than the one the article is about also I'm not using Pazienza as an example as its irrelevant to the topic.

 

As I also stated I was not talking about Duran and his Lightweight years but his inconsitancy at the higher weights. You make it sound like he was unbeatable when the truth is he wasn't and neither was Curry at Jnr Middleweight.

 

What is the point of mentioning the Linton fight? Its as relevant to boxing as Berbick beating Ali.

Norris and Nunn again pretty irrelevant as Curry was done by that McCallum left hook - he still got a few good wins Aquino and Rosi after but was not the same fighter and anyone who followed his career will see that is obvious.

 

Your the one completely rubbishing Curry's opponents while I have given Duran credit for his wins (Moore, Minchello). I know you hero worship 'Hands of stone' but no need to write of others opinions in a fight that for me is pretty evenly matched regardless of the winner.

 

1986 is not a formality win for either and it is just silly to write Curry off.

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