Roberto Duran

Photo by Carlos Angel

Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran in Big Bear

By David A. Avila

BIG BEAR-One of the great legends of boxing Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran has been assisting Sugar Shane Mosley in the mountain resort training camp for his upcoming fight in two weeks.

Duran won world titles in the lightweight, welterweight, super welterweight and middleweight divisions with his biggest win coming against Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980. It was Leonard’s first defeat as a pro and established Duran as a superstar in the sport.

A movie called “Hands of Stone” depicting the life and times of Duran has an August 2016 release date and has been promoted heavily at recent fight events. The prizefighting icon will be in France to promote the film.

“They’re doing a movie story on my life. I’m going to France soon to promote it in a day or so. We’re going to see the film over there,” said Duran while inside Mosley’s Big Bear cabin. “I’ll spend three days there. I’m very excited about it. All the main actors will be there. Edgar Garcia who plays Roberto Duran, Robert DeNiro who plays Ray Arcel (trainer), Ruben Blades who plays Carlos Eleta (manager), and Usher who plays Sugar Ray Leonard.”  

Duran met Mosley in Panama City last December when the Pomona prizefighter recently fought and defeated Venezuela’s Patrick Lopez by knockout.

“I’ve been a long-time friend of Mr. Mosley. I was offered to help him but I told him I don’t train anyone. I just did it to help out a friend,” said Duran about accepting a role as an advisor. “Training fighters, that’s not my job. I have a gym and restaurant in Panama City. I have those things I’m doing.”

Panama’s Duran, 64, also hopes to fight Mexican great Julio Cesar Chavez in an exhibition on July 23, the under card of the recently announced super lightweight fight between WBC titlist Viktor Postol and Terence Crawford in Las Vegas. But so far the Nevada State Athletic Commission has not approved the charity exhibition.

Mosley, who fights for the WBA interim welterweight title against Russia’s David Avanesyan on May 28, in Glendale, Arizona, said Duran has proved extremely valuable with keen observations on boxing technique.

“He’s making me remember things I used to do that made me who I was, Sugar Shane Mosley,” said Mosley explaining that Duran had a similar fighting style.

Ironically, Mosley’s last win came against Lopez, who formerly fought for local promoters Thompson Boxing Promotions. Duran said one of the invigorating aspects of Southern California is the vibrant boxing scene.

“Lot of boxing here,” said Duran. “It makes me excited to be here.”

Thompson Boxing Promotions

Three fight cards in Southern California take place on the same night. First, Thompson Boxing Promotions features one of its regular shows at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario on Friday May 20.

The main event features Danny Roman (18-2-1) of Los Angeles who defends the WBA-NABA super bantamweight title against Christian Esquivel (28-9) of Mexico City. Four undefeated prospects are also planned to be on the same fight card.

Ironically, Mosley’s last win came against Lopez a former protégé of Thompson Boxing for several years. The promotion company has been responsible for developing many world champion caliber fighters since 2000. It’s an incredible feat. For more ticket information call (714) 935-0900.

A second boxing card takes place on the same night at Fantasy Springs Casino where Golden Boy Promotions will showcase a welterweight clash between Eddie Gomez (18-1) and John Karl Sosa (13-1). For more details call (800) 827-2946.

A third boxing card also takes place on Friday at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello. All Star Boxing features super welterweights David Thomas and Vicente Guzman in the main event. For more information call (323) 781-4871.