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17 NOVEMBER 2018


SecondsOut Team Pick Duran vs. Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao vs. Roberto Duran
Manny Pacquiao vs. Roberto Duran

One is a Hall of Fame great who was one of the greatest lightweights of all time, the second is a future Hall of Famer and the brightest boxing star today, both winning world titles in multiple weight classes, but that hasn’t stopped SecondsOut’s team of fearless writers from making their confident picks for a twelve round welterweight boxing match between Roberto Duran and Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, USA.

“With skills, aggression and all out action, there is nothing to complain about in this elite match-up. I have often felt that Roberto Duran’s win over Sugar Ray Leonard never got the true praise it deserved. So often people refer to the bizarre ‘no mas’ loss instead. Every time Manny Pacquiao steps up to another level, he continues to shine and is seemingly getting better in every fight. Duran would push Pac-Man all the way and the Filipino would revel in the challenge. Duran’s best days were at lightweight and if the fight was held there, maybe he would win. At welterweight, Pacquiao must just hold a slight edge in power, with his fast flurries winning him a split decision win in a furious battle. Pacquiao W.SD.12.”
- Paul Upham, Content Editor - Sydney, Australia

“Tough call, but I must go with a lightweight Duran. Few fighters could beat Stone Hands at 135. At higher weights he was more beatable, but at lightweight he wins a war by late stoppage or decision over Pacquiao. Duran wins.”
- Jerry Glick - Contributing Editor - New York City, USA

“Duran was probably the greatest lightweight of all-time, but less effective at 147lbs while the 12-round - as opposed to the classic 15-round - distance also counts against him here. This is the wrong fight for Duran. His weakness was always speed and he could be made to look quite ordinary by the likes of Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns, Wilfred Benitez, even Kirkland Laing. Pacquiao’s quicksilver hands and movement would be a constant, unsolvable irritation and unsettle the Panamanian in the early and middle rounds beyond repair. Duran’s late pressure trims the points deficit, but the Filipino still wins a unanimous and fairly comfortable decision on the scorecards. Pacquiao W.12.”
- Mark Butcher, Founding Editor - London, UK

“This one would have been a barn burner, much like a Pacquiao vs. Aaron Pryor, or Duran vs. Pryor. I feel solidly that Roberto Duran in his prime would have been just too much for Manny. Duran was a better all around boxer, and could fight all day and had a great chin. He was also excellent defensively. Duran wins via late stoppage or Decision. Duran wins.”
- James Smith aka. Smitty, Host, In This Corner TV - USA

“At his best Duran beat Sugar Ray and that is like climbing Everest. He was an indomitable force coming at you with fast and accurate foot work, punching from all angles, braking you downstairs and especially with a fine sense of defense. Despite the fact that Pac-Man is making history and has awesome firepower of his own, against the Manos de Piedra of 20 June 1980, the best advice Freddie Roach could tell him would be: run for your life! Duran W.UD.12.”
- Juan Pablo Manfredi - Buenos Aires, Argentina

“One has to be careful with a prediction at this weight class. Pacquiao at his absolute best does not have the equivalent tool set that Duran had at his best, but Duran was not as good at welterweight as he was at the lower weights and this was compounded by his tendency to balloon up between fights. From the time he left the lightweight title through his ascension to the junior middleweight ranks, Duran’s record was 9-1 (4) – albeit he had one very important historical victory in that stretch and a nice one along the way. Pacquiao has beaten some excellent fighters, but has never claimed victory over an all-time great in his opponent’s prime. If the Duran that fought Leonard the first time showed up to the fight, he would probably win it with a combination of determination and skill. But, if they fought multiple times, Duran’s habits would lead to victories for Pacquiao. At welterweight, Pacquiao relies on speed, elusiveness, quick combos, and power to achieve victory. It is a style that enables him to take advantage of his gifts while simultaneously avoiding the pitfalls faced by fighters rising in weight. It is a formula that would give Duran trouble at any weight. Pacquiao does not do it at the same level, but it is similar to the skills Leonard used to befuddle Duran in their second match and it would be the advisable strategy to follow. Funnily enough, it would probably be to Pacquiao’s advantage to avoid intensive combat with Duran. The question is whether or not Pacquiao would be able to consistently will himself to avoid it. If it let’s himself get sucked into Duran’s brand of warfare, he would lose the advantages of his style and Duran would likely wear him down. Duran at his best at welterweight wins the mental game and physically beats Pacquiao with a late round stoppage or decision victory in an entertaining bout with one or more contestants hit the deck. Duran as he typically behaved between fights would leave open the possibility of a convincing Pacquiao victory. Duran W.TKO.10
- John Lumpkin - Madison, Wisconsin, USA

“Duran is considered one of the best lightweights of All-Time. He moved to welterweight to hand Sugar Ray Leonard his first loss, and three years later lost a razor thin, 15-round decision to Marvin Hagler.... at middleweight. Leonard showed how to beat and frustrate Duran in their rematch, but there is no way that Pacquiao would embrace that approach. Pacquiao would start fast, and dazzle Duran in the early rounds, but fail to stop him. Once Duran adjusted to the speed, he would eventually hurt and stop the Pac-Man late in one of the most fan friendly match-ups that could ever be made. Duran W.TKO.10.”
- Jason Pribila - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA

“This is a terrific match-up that would provide fast, furious action right up until the final punch lands - and that final punch would be thrown by Roberto Duran. Manny Pacquiao’s volume punching would win him many of the early rounds on the judges’ scorecards but he would pay a heavy price. Duran’s exquisite head movement, body punching and granite chin would all prove to be decisive factors in the later rounds. A counter-punching master, Duran would take a very game Pacquiao apart over the long haul. I see Pacquiao hitting the deck twice in the eleventh round with the referee rescuing him from further punishment in a thrill-a-minute bout. Duran W.TKO.11.”
- Matthew Hurley - Boston, USA

“It would be naive to think that boxing hasn’t evolved since the eighties when Roberto Duran belonged to the very best pound for pound. Roberto was one of four (maybe five or six) that could be considered best pound 4 pound. Pac-Man is number one right now I think (at least until Floyd Mayweather Jr proves he isn’t), that’s a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I love Hands of Stone, Roberto Duran is a legend in our sport and a guy we all should respect and hold high in all time ratings, but Manny Pacquiao is quicker, more aggressive and with probably the slightly better punch. Duran could be frustrated by slick boxers such as Sugar Ray Leonard and for some reason I just don’t think Manny will get that way when he faces Floyd Mayweather who kind of, is the same way as Leonard. I go with this era’s king, Manny Pac-Man Pacquiao. He will stop Duran and knock him out in the later rounds. A TKO in round 11 after a real brawl would be my prediction. Pacquiao W.TKO.11.”
- Teddy Stenmark - Sweden

“The Roberto Duran who beat Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980 was at his best at welterweight that night. The Manny Pacquiao who beat Oscar De La Hoya was possibly the best he has been at 147. Here there won’t be any catch weights just 147 for both. That plays in el cholo’s favor as he will be strong for Pac-Man. Speed is one of Pacquiao’s strengths in landing his powerful lefts but the best Duran beat a faster fighter in Leonard. Duran the one of the best intimidators in boxing history, to the point he got into Leonard’s head, something Leonard was the master at. Duran also would be able to take Manny’s shots as he had one of boxing best chins, he also was vicious body puncher which as we know Pacquiao early defeats were at the hands of body shots. Duran would withstand Pacquiao’s shots and wear him down with left hooks to the body and right hands, getting into Pacquiao’s mind when Pac-Man isn’t able to hurt him. The Hands of Stone will halt Pacquiao in the 10 round as he will show the true meaning of machismo. Ray Leonard said after their first fight, He almost had me quit boxing after he beat my body to death. That’s how Great Duran was! Duran W.TKO.10.”
- Andy Rivera - New Mexico, USA

“Now this is a fight that would have been worthy of a pay-per-view show. This is a difficult pick for me because I could see Pacquiao out box Duran for 12 rounds, but Duran’s power could stop Pacquiao at any second. But I think Pacquiao’s movement and speed would have made the difference in this fight so I would pick him by UD over a tough Duran in a good fight. Pacquiao W.UD.12.”
- Ray Kilgore - Minneapolis, MN, USA

“Roberto Duran and Manny Pacquiao would make for an entertaining war. Duran, arguably the best lightweight of all-time began his career fighting at 119lbs, and fought as heavy as 176lbs towards the tail end of his 119-fight, Hall of Fame career. He was certainly at his best up through his two fights with Sugar Ray Leonard. His last fight at welterweight, the famous No Mas fight with Leonard, was close on the scorecards before the fight was stopped. Up to that point he avenged his only loss as a pro defeating Esteban De Jesus twice (11th rd KO and a 12th rd TKO). He fought a war with Marvin Hagler and defeated Iran Barkley to claim the WBC middleweight crown. Pacquiao, arguably the pound for pound champion of the present day, has amassed a great deal earning titles as a flyweight and as heavy as welterweight. It may not have been until he soundly defeated Miguel Cotto that he established himself as the best pound for pound fighter of this decade. What he has done so far in his career is nothing short of Hall of Fame caliber. As far as he and Duran meeting at 147, it’s a tough call. Duran has proven himself at welterweight and fought much bigger guys late in his career. Manny has proven himself, but maybe not quite enough yet to be considered a better fighter than Duran. He fought 3 guys over 140lbs (De La Hoya, Cotto, Clottey). It’s hard to pick against a guy that has fought his way up from 106lbs to knocking out the likes of Cotto and Hatton. Maybe towards the end of his career I would pick him to beat Duran, but as they both currently stand, I feel Duran would be able to fight Pacquiao toe to toe the same way Marquez was able to, and earn a decision victory somewhere in the 116-112 neighborhood. Duran W.UD.12.”
- Derek Gionta - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

“Tough to pick against two of my all-time favorites. I like Hands of Stone in this one. At his best Duran was a terror, a legitimate tough guy who truly enjoyed fighting. Most people remember the welterweight Duran from the 80’s but his best days were in the 70’s at lightweight. He was perpetual motion coming forward. His defense, particularly his head movement, was outstanding. Although he didn’t possess one-punch KO power deserving of his nickname, he could inflict punishment. I believe that when Duran was mentally prepared for a fight, such as that night in Montreal against Ray Leonard, he could beat anyone. Against Pacquiao, he would be facing a guy with faster hands and a sharper puncher. But also a guy who was physically smaller and more clumsy. Duran would find a way to counter Pac-Man when he lunged in with his big punches, which often leave him wide open. By late in the fight, Pacquiao would be a beaten man. I don’t see a knockout, since both guys have solid chins, but Duran would win convincingly via unanimous decision. Duran W.UD.12.”
- Tri Nguyen - Alexandria, Virginia, USA




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