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Unpopular champions: Massimiliano Duran

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This is a new thread or category that I decided to do and is about boxers who became champions by default or in some other unpopular way. First one off is Massimiliano Duran of Italy. Duran was actually a pretty good boxer in his own right, but the way he became a champion was not so worthy. He got it by a disqualification and also made one successful defense thanks to a disqualification of another opponent. Duran won the WBC and the European cruiser titles during his somewhat short but fruitful and eventful career. Here is his story.


Duran was born in Ferrara, Romagna province, Italy, 3 November 1963. He stands 1,87 cm (6'1 1/2) tall and was a durable fighter, a brawler, who also possessed some punching power. His father was the Argentinian-Italian boxer Juan Carlos Duran, who won the European middle and light middle titles during his career. His brother is Alessandro Duran, who later became a European welter champion. He turned pro in 1986 and in his first fight defeated the Bosnian-born Momo Cupelic, which then for some reason earned him the nickname of "Momo". Momo itself is a short for "Momir", by the way. He won by a KO4 in this fight and then in his next defeated a guy called Ndomingiedi Lusikina from Congo on points, but in the third fight surprisingly lost to the guy with only 1 win and 6 losses by a KO2. He defeated him on points in their third match later on. His second loss was by a DQ5 to Giovanni Marchesini, in November 1987. He then started a winning streak of 12 fights. He knocked out Lusikina in 6 in their fourth and final fight and stopped Alfredo Cacciatore by a TKO10 to win the Italian cruiser title, 4 November 1989. He then faced the veteran WBC-champion Carlos "Sugar" De Leon of Puerto Rico for his title, 27 July 1990 in Capo d'Orlando, Sicily. Going into the 11th round, one judge had the fight even at 105-105 while the other two had the home favorite Duran ahead by 109-107 and 110-107. De Leon then threw a punch after the bell at the end of that round and got disqualified. Thus, the Ferrara-underdog became the WBC champion of the world. But not by his own doing. He defended the title on 8 December same year, this time in Ferrara, against the underrated Anaclet Wamba, a 6'3 fighter with good boxing skills. However, Wamba's dirty fighting ruined his chances of winning, as he got a total of five points deducted before getting disqualified in round 12, with only 9 seconds left! Thus, once again, Duran won a world title fight due to his opponent's undoing.


However, in the rematch with Wamba, things would go different. The two commenced again on 20 July 1991 in Palermo and this time, Wamba would prevail by a TKO11, despite Duran being ahead on two of the scorecards and third being even. After beating journeyman Rick Enis on points, Duran again signed for a third fight with Wamba, hoping to reclaim his title. This time the fight was in Paris, 13 December '91. And this time, it went worse for Duran, for he received a beating and was significantly behind on the scorecards when he again got stopped by a TKO11. After that, he achieved his last triumph by winning the European title on 22 June 1993, by knocking out the Afro-English Derek Angol in 11 rounds at home in Ferrara. He lost it in his first defense to another Afro-Englishman, Carl Thompson, by a KO8 on 2 February next year. Duran was now really finished as a fighting force and in his last fight he got stopped by a TKO4 by Alexey Ilyin, 2 November that year, before hanging them up at the age of 31. His record is 19 wins, 8 ko's, and 6 losses, 6 by ko.


Judging by his record and all that I know about him, he was a durable fighter who possessed accumulation power, most likely. He was stopped 5 times, but 3 of those were to two world class fighters and his only pure knockout loss is against a guy who really could hit. That proves he didn't have a bad chin. He was certainly a warrior and a brawler. Hope you enjoyed this presentation.


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