It’s about time. Hector “Macho” Camacho, the late boxing champion, will be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in New York.
…And the Puerto Rican earned it. He was one of the biggest boxing stars in the 1980s after winning world titles at junior lightweight, lightweight and junior welterweight thanks to his agility and skills. One of his most memorable fights was in 1997 with Sugar Ray Leonard. He knocked him out in the fifth round straight into retirement.
Camacho boxed until he was 48 years old. He was shot and killed in Puerto Rico in 2012.
Read more about Camacho’s career and another inductees from ESPN here.
Credit: Gabe Ginsberg/Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Jose Canseco continues to stir the pot. But this time, he decided to pick a fight with two of the most controversial personalities on the internet: Logan and Jake Paul, otherwise known as “the Paul Brothers”.
Jake Paul is a YouTube star who has recently dipped his toe into celebrity boxing. In the past, he’s fought other YouTubers like KSI and AnEsonGib, but this weekend he fought against pro basketball player Nate Robinson. The match took place before the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight. Jake Paul ended up winning by knockout, and thus, his name began to trend on the internet.
It was because of Jake Paul’s win that ex baseball player Jose Canseco decided to challenge the YouTuber to a fight.
Jake Paul is known for being a YouTube personality but he is also known for being highly annoying. His sense of humor skews towards a younger audience who likes to watch Jake perform offensive “pranks” and an overly-machismo act.
And we all know Jose Canseco (unfortunately). The Cuban-American former MLB star is just as famous for his rocky personal life as his home run stats. He has been embroiled in controversies surrounding his drug-use and multiple domestic violence charges. Since his retirement from baseball, he has dipped his toe into both boxing and MMA fighting. And apparently, he has a high regard for himself.
Since Jake Paul won his fight against Nate Robinson so handily, Canseco decided he would bring the Paul brothers down a notch. On Sunday, he tweeted out: “I will fight anyone of the Logan [sic] Brothers they have enough for anyone with any type of talent yet or fighting skills”…Whatever that means.
Translation: Canseco was challenging either or both of the Paul brothers to a boxing match.
Never one to back away from free publicity, Jake’s brother Logan Paul jumped into Canseco’s thread and used the opportunity to drag Canseco’s daughter into the petty argument. He tweeted back: “no problem. i love smashing cansecos”. For those of you who didn’t know (which is pretty much all of us), Logan Paul was previously reported to be romantically involved with Canseco’s daughter, Josie Canseco.
Naturally, Jose Canseco didn’t take too kindly to Logan Paul speaking crudely about his daughter.
“Okay since you like smashing Canseco Logan get ahold of my agent Mike Maguire let’s get this done,” he fired off in a tweet storm. He followed that up with: “Logan Paul our fight will be definitely way more entertaining than the Tyson fight cuz at least we know one of us is going to get knocked out” and “And by the way no headgear needed for this fight I have a hard head.”
No word on whether or not this fight will come to fruition. We’re guessing, however, that it won’t.
No one can deny the impact Latinos have had in the sport of boxing. The rough upbringing of many young men from the region has led trainers and managers to generate a vast quantity of world champions. Names like Julio Cesar Chávez, Ricardo López Nava, Felix Tito Trinidad, Alexis Arguello, and Carlos Monzón bring tears of joy to fans from countries as diverse as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and Nicaragua. Boxing champions encapsulate the dreams and aspirations of young Latinos. Because it is often the case that in our continent governments fail the population and each person has to fend for themselves, boxing has become a metaphor for individual progress amidst the most adverse circumstances.
Roberto Durán is one of the most iconic boxers from Latin America to embody the fighting spirit of Panama.
Credit: Instagram. @robertoduranbox
Panamanian legend Roberto “Manos de Piedra” Durán broke into the Latin American and U.S. mainstream pop culture due to his volatile personality and the brutal precision of his fighting style. Now retired, Durán is again in the spotlight due to the release of the documentary “I Am Durán,” directed by Mat Hodgson and which features other personalities such as Oscar De La Hoya and Robert De Niro, a big fan of his.
So before you watch the documentary, here are some facts about the proud son of Panama. Keep your guard up!
He was born on June 16, 1951.
He was born in Guararé, where his mother Clara Samaniego was from. His father was from Arizona in the United States and was of Mexican descent.
He was abandoned by his dad when he was only 5-years-old.
As a way of survival, his family could not keep him in school but rather had to send him to work in the streets as a shoeshine boy. Just like the Filipino great Manny Pacquiao, Durán learned the ropes of life in the streets. That made him hungry for success, a hunger he translated into surgically performed combinations in the boxing ring.
He laced up the gloves when he was 8-years-old.
His fighting spirit was there from the beginning. He grew up in the slums of El Chorrillo, so he had to learn how to defend himself in the rough streets. He visited the gym Neco de La Guardia as a kid and the rest is history: before they knew it, he was up there in the ring sparring experienced boxers. What a chico maravilla.
He began his pro career with 31 straight wins.
Durán got a reputation of being a killer in the ring due to his hard punches, solid body frame and general toughness. He won the lightweight championship against Ken Buchanan in 1972 but lost for the first time that same year against Esteban de Jesus. The fight in Madison Square Garden was his Waterloo. Two years later he rematched De Jesus and knocked him out. It is important to note that the De Jesus fight was his sixth in 1972, so he was worn out.
He was the first Latin American boxer to rule in four weight classes.
Others would follow (the Mexican greats JC Chávez, Juan Manuel Márquez, and Travieso Arce), but Roberto was the first bad hombre from Latin America to rule in four weight classes. And he did so in a day and age when a world championship was hard to get (in today’s corrupt boxing world there are up to four champions per each one of the 17 weight classes, so being a champ is relatively easier). He also fought many fights scheduled for 15 rounds instead of the current 12. Even though his best years were at lightweight, he rules the following classes: lightweight, welterweight, light middleweight, and middleweight.
He made 12 defenses of the lightweight title.
Roberto was practically indestructible for a period of time. He won eleven title defenses by KO and reached a record of 62-1. He gave up the lightweight title in 1979. He basically dominated world boxing in the 1970s with those hands of stone that sent opponents to sleep, one after an another.
His biggest night: beating Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980 for the welterweight title.
After vacating the lightweight title “Manos de Piedra” moved to welterweight. He defeated Carlos Palomino and Zeferino Gonzales, two tough opponents. Once comfortable in the new weight, he faced the golden boy of US boxing, Sugar Ray Leonard, in a fateful June 20 night in Montreal, Canada. Roberto’s relentless pressure broke down Sugar Ray. Thunder defeated lighting and Durán won by a unanimous decision.
But then came the infamous “No Más.”
After defeating Leonard “Manos de Piedra” became even more legendary. He went back to Panama and partied like there was no tomorrow. The rematch was fought in November. Leonard trained like a champ, while Roberto had to cut weight extremely fast and just wasn’t in the right frame of mind. Leonard was magnificent: he played with Roberto, mocked him, slipped the Panamanian’s punches and basically humiliated him. In the eighth round, Roberto turned his back to Leonard and said: “No sigo” (this were his actual words, although the infamous “No Mas” is how the event was remembered.
He rebuilt his career.
It would be hard for any sports figure to come back after such a meaningful defeat. It is not the same being knocked out after a valiant effort as quitting. It was such a disappointment not only for the fighter but also for his millions of fans. So what did the great fighter do? What all elite pugilists do: he came back with a vengeance. He defeated Wilfred Benitez and Davey Moore, two of the best fighters in the world.
He is one of the 1980s Magnificent Four.
Boxing in the 1980s was defined by four greats: Roberto, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, and Marvin Hagler. These four all fought each other and gave fans thrills. Roberto lost to Hearns by KO and to Hagler by a tough decision, but his name will always be attached to one of boxing’s golden eras.
He fought until 2000.
It is unusual for a fighter in this day an age to compete across four decades, but Durán did it. His professional debut was on February 23, 1968, and his last fight was a loss to Puerto Rican extraordinaire Hector Macho Camacho on July 14, 2000. At the end of his career, his record read 103 wins, 16 losses, and a whopping 70 KOs. Wow, just wow.
The debate continues: is he the greatest Latino fighter ever?
That is hard to tell. The main contenders for this mythic title are here in this photograph with him: Mexicans Julio Cesar Chávez and Juan Manuel Márquez, who also faced myriad of champions and former champions over their storied careers. One thing is for certain, Roberto wrote his name on the annals of boxing history in golden letters. And he will never be forgotten.