LAS VEGAS – Roberto Duran, one of the greatest boxers of all time, doesn’t see Manny Pacquiao winning over him during his prime.
Neither does the unbeaten Floyd Mayweather Jr.
“They (Floyd and Pacquiao) don’t know nothing about boxing like I do,” said the proud Panamanian known as ‘Manos de Piedra’ or ‘Hands of Stone.’
The 64-year-old Duran can back up his words. He won five world titles in four divisions and fought the best fighters of his era, ring icons likes Wilfred Benitez, Pepino Cuevas, Davey Moore, Thomas Hearns, Marvelous Marvin Hagler, and old rival Sugar Ray Leonard.
One of only two fighters to fight over a span of five decades, Duran is considered by many as the greatest lightweight ever, compiling a record of 103 wins and 16 losses, including 70 by KO, before finally retiring in 2001 at the age of 50.
Duran is currently in town to watch the third fight in the Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley rivalry on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time) at the MGM Grand here. At the same time, he is promoting the soon-to-be released film Hands of Stone based on his life story and starring Edgar Ramirez as Duran, Usher Raymond as Sugar Ray, and Robert De Niro as Duran’s former trainer Ray Arcel.
Accompanied by her daughter Irichelle, a one-time Manila visitor who acts as his translator, Duran said he likes the chances of Pacquiao winning over Bradley for the second time.
The experience of the Filipino southpaw, a dead-ringer for the Panamian legend, is what sets him apart from his American foe, according to Duran.
“He needs to box Bradley and not try to knock him out because Bradley’s gonna try to counter and knock him out,” he said. “That’s why he needs to box.”