NYS Boxing History

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June in New York State Boxing History

Robert “Manos de Piedra” Duran

On June 29, 1972, Robert “Manos de Piedra” Duran defeated Ken “The Fighting Carpenter” Buchanan via a 13th round TKO at Madison Square Garden to win the WBA Lightweight Title, the first of many championships in various weight classes for the Panamanian brawler. Widely considered to be one of the most controversial bouts in the history of the sport, Duran was a 2-to-1 underdog coming into the match against the Scottish champion. The challenger, whose nickname translates into “Hands of Stone,” dropped Buchanan just fifteen seconds into the opening round and battered him throughout the bout. He was well ahead of the champion on all three judge’s cards as the bell rang to end the 13th round, at which time Duran (apparently not hearing the bell due to crowd noise and the heat of the moment) continued to throw a couple of extra punches as Buchanan lay on the ropes and delivered a supposed low blow (others state referee Tommy LoBianco altered the direction of Duran’s right arm as the punch was being thrown). Regardless, LoBianco stopped the bout when Buchanan did not answer the bell for round 14. Buchanan finished his career with a record of 68 wins (27 by KO) against eight losses. Duran, whose career record was 103 wins (70 by KO) against 16 losses, fought a total of nine times in the Empire State, including Long Island and Buffalo on top of his various Garden appearances. Considered one of the greatest to ever step in the ring, Duran never shied away from fighting the best opponents of his era, including Sugar Ray Leonard, Wilfred Benitez, Pipino Cuevas, “Marvelous” Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns and Hector “Macho” Camacho.

On June 24, 1952, at Yankee Stadium in 104 degree weather, Sugar Ray Robinson suffers from heat exhaustion and loses by knockout for the only time in his illustrious career, when Dr. Alexander I. Schiff orders the fight stopped after the 13th round of his bout against World Light Heavyweight Champion Joey Maxim. Both Robinson and referee Ruby Goldstein had to be hospitalized after the bout due to the heat, and Goldstein actually had to be replaced by Ray Miller in round 10 for the remainder of the fight. Joey Maxim had 82 Wins (21 Knockouts), 29 Defeats (1 knockouts), 4 Draws in his career and fought a total of 10 times in New York State, including in Rochester, Buffalo, Brooklyn, Manhattan and The Bronx.