2. Roberto Duran

Born into poverty in Panama, Duran would go on to fight his way from the streets of El Chorrillo to the hallowed pages of boxing history.

A venomous seven-year reign atop the lightweight division marks him out as the finest fighter to ever grace the weight class, despite suffering a loss in it (to Esteban De Jesus, which he later avenged).

He stormed onto the scene at the age of 21 when he dethroned lightweight champ Ken Buchanan and ‘Manos De Piedra’ refused to loosen his stranglehold on the division afterward. He turned away challenges from several outstanding fighters; Hector Thompson, Ray Lampkin and Ishimatsu Suzuki to name a few.

He vacated his lightweight titles and moved up in weight – securing a 1980 superfight with Sugar Ray Leonard which would indelibly link the two legends. Duran hated everything the flashy Leonard stood for and that loathing poured out on the night. After 15 scintillating rounds, a rampant Duran was the victor, but he would not embrace Ray. Instead, he blew mock kisses at him.

Roberto quit during their immediate rematch and it almost ruined him. Almost. Davey Moore was destroyed aty super-welterweight before Hagler was pushed surprisingly hard at 160lbs. In 1989, way past his best, Duran produced an astonishing performance to beat WBC middleweight champion Iran Barkley on points before once again losing to Leonard and then fighting on for way too long, retiring in 2001 – though only after suffering serious injuries in a car crash.

Roberto loved to fight, and he was seriously good at it.

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