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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Duran comes to town

   Sept. 30, 1992 -- The last fight card in Memorial Auditorium history was staged on this date, and it had a big name at the top -- Roberto Duran.

   Reporter Robert J. Summers started his story in The News on the fight this way:

   Roberto Duran's comeback road ran into nothing more than a speed bump Wednesday night as the 41-year-old, four-time world champion totally outclassed 31-year-old Tony Biglen to easily win a 10-round decision at Memorial Auditorium.

    With a crowd of about 2,500 clearly in his corner, Duran, weighing 166 1/2 pounds, gave his taller, lighter and much-less experienced foe a major lesson in the effectiveness of the left jab and hook, the only one of Duran's famous "hands of stone" he really had to use.It was the 87th win of Duran's 25-year career and the first on what he hopes is the route to the International Boxing Federation super middleweight crown held by Iran Barkley.

    The bout was a tremendously lopsided affair from the bell and looked like little more than a mismatched sparring affair. All three judges gave Duran every round as they turned in scorecards with identical 100-86 tallies.

    Duran later said he relied so much on his left hand because he hurt his right knocking Biglen down in the second minute of the first round. Duran said, had his hand not been injured, he would have tried to knock out Biglen -- a 31-year-old 160 1/2-pounder in only his 23rd professional fight.

    Unaware of the injury, the crowd booed in the ninth and 10th rounds when it became clear Duran had no KO in mind.

    "When the crowd saw I wasn't going to knock him out, they went against me. . . . I don't get up in the ring to be a clown. I get up there to fight. You can be sure when Roberto Duran gets in the ring, he's there to fight," the Spanish-speaking Panamanian said through a translator.

    "When the hand got hurt, it threw the whole game plan off. ... I know I have more to offer still. ... I felt very strong. But when my right hand was hurt, my mind changed."

--- Budd Bailey

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