Roberto Duran vs Vilomar Fernandez

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Roberto Duran vs Vilomar Fernandez
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Saturday, January 29, 1977
Fontainbleau Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida, USA
Rounds Scheduled: 
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Titles at Stake: 
WBA Lightweight World Title
Servio Tulio Lay


Lightweight champion Roberto Duran retained his title by knocking out Vilomar Fernandez with a right and left to the body with 2:10 gone in the 13th round.

It was Duran's 10th title defense since winning the lightweight crown in 1972 and his 10th knockout. It was the first time the fourth-ranked Fernandez had been stopped in his 27-fight career and only the second time he had ever been knocked down.

There was never any doubt to the outcome of the fight as the Panamanian champion took control early. But Fernandez scored occasionally with crisp lefts and rights and it appeared as if he might become the first challenger to go the distance with Duran in a title bout.

Duran was unable to put Fernandez down with repeated lefts and rights to the head throughout the fight. But a relentless attack on the body with his "manos de piedra" or "hands of stone," as they are known throughout Latin America, proved to be the difference.

Duran, 25, who weighed in at 133¼ pounds, lost only one round according to the UPI card, the sixth, when Fernandez scored with a flurry of lefts and rights midway through the round.

Fernandez, a 23-year-old part-time gypsy cab driver From the Bronx, remained light on his feet until just before the final two blows.

"Duran retains title by stopping Fernandez" The Telegraph-Herald (1977, Jan. 30) p. 29. Article

The fight was televised nationally by CBS.Duran earned $60,000, and Fernandez got $20,000.The ring was constructed on the Fontainbleau Hotel's indoor tennis court.Seating was limited to 1,200 with tickets scaled at $40, $25, and $10. Before the start of the main event, ring announcer Frank Freeman asked the crowd to stand and face the flag for the singing of the national anthem. Not only was there not a flag, there was nobody to sing. No band, no singer, not even a recording. Freeman stood in the middle of the ring speechless, as fans yelled: "Sing, Frank!" Finally, former heavyweight contender Jerry Quarry came to the rescue. He rose from his ringside post as CBS analyst, climbed into the ring, and sang the anthem. He even remembered all the words.

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