On This Date....in 1980: Duran Pounds Leonard in the "Brawl in Montreal"

Other Jun 20, 2020

Montreal's famed Olympic Stadium hosted one of greatest championship prize fights in history.

The Build Up and the Hype

Forty years ago today, the undefeated reigning WBC champion "Sugar Ray" Leonard (United States) and former undisputed lightweight champion and then top-ranked welterweight contender Roberto Duran (Panama) fought in the legendary stadium where Leonard had captured his gold medal just four years prior in the 1976 Olympic Games.

When the bell rang and gloves touched on that memorable summer night, both Leonard and Duran were the two biggest draws in boxing.  Both boxers were undefeated in their weight class.  Leonard was a perfect 27–0 and Duran (71-1 overall at the time) moved up to welterweight where he rolled into Quebec with an 8–0 record before facing Leonard.  Boasted by sold out pay-remote feeds by satellite all over the world, the much-anticipated fight became the highest grossing in boxing history.

Remember Who Won?

The two champions didn't disappoint fans. Duran and Leonard put up an epic back-and-forth duel, with the Panamanian ultimately winning by unanimous decision.  Duran became known for the nickname, "Hands of Stone."

And so it was, on this date in Canadian sports history

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Photo Credit:  Spottelevision.com

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