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From the Archive: Wilfred Benitez outpoints Roberto Duran in battle of legends

Benitez (right) tags Duran. All photos from The Ring Magazine archive
30
Jan

On January 30, 1982 Wilfred Benitez successfully defended his WBC junior middleweight title, for the second time, by posting a 15-round unanimous decision over the great Panamanian Roberto Duran. Official scores were 145-141, 144-141 and 143-142. The bout, which took place at the Caesars Palace Sports Pavilion in Las Vegas, matched two legendary champions and was eagerly anticipated. Benitez, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, entered the ring as a 9-5 favorite and displayed some of the same terrific form that saw him wrench the title from Maurice Hope (KO 12) the previous May. Duran hadn’t been himself since his infamous “No Mas” defeat to Sugar Ray Leonard (TKO 8) in November 1980, and struggled with El Radar’s defensive genius and sharpshooting.

 

Duran struggled to land up-close…

and at mid-range…

Benitez picked off his foe with an educated left…

And thumping rights…

AND STILL… Benitez celebrates with his team.

Benitez was The Ring’s cover star in April 1982

 

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