38 Years Ago Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard I – The Brawl in Montreal, On June 20th, 1980, Sugar Ray Leonard defended his title against Roberto Duran before a crowd of 46,317 in Montreal. Duran, the former undisputed World Lightweight Champion for 6 1/2 years, had a record of 71–1 and was the #1 welterweight contender and considered the best “Pound for Pound” fighter in the world.
Duran forced the issue and took the fight to Leonard, cutting off the ring and denying Leonard space to fight his fight. Duran attacked at almost every turn. Leonard battled back again and again, but he had to work just to find room to breathe and swing, and at times simply to survive. In the second, Duran rocked Leonard with a left hook, sending him into the ropes. Leonard started to do better by the fifth round, finding some punching room and throwing numerous multi-punch combinations. The two fought with great intensity throughout the fight.
It was, from almost the opening salvo, a fight that belonged to Duran. The Panamanian seized the evening and gave it what shape and momentum it had. He took control, attacking and driving Leonard against the ropes, bulling him back, hitting him with lefts and rights to the body as he maneuvered the champion against the ropes from corner to corner. Always moving forward, he mauled and wrestled Leonard, scoring inside with hooks and rights.
Duran was awarded a unanimous decision, although it was mistakenly read as a majority decision in the ring.
In this segment our boxing analyst Frank Lotierzo talks about this classic match.
38 Years Ago Roberto Duran vs. Sugar Ray Leonard I / Check out more boxing news and features at The Sweet Science.