“Yes, it’s true I once knocked out a horse. It was at a fiesta in my mother’s home town of Guarare. Someone bet me a bottle of whiskey that I couldn’t do it.”
Roberto Durán held world titles in four different weight classes. He was the Lightweight Champion for 7 years (1972–79), the Welterweight Champ in 1980, Light middleweight from 1983–84, and Middleweight Champ in 1989.
He only retired at 50 years old after he was badly injured in a car crash. He was one tough guy.
His fighting style shared many aspects with the ideal, effective Wing Chun approach. As we see in this video, he used his elbows and forearms to control, cover, and trap, often trapping with one arm and striking with the other, especially with uppercuts and tight hooks to the body. He applied non-stop pressure, got in very close, and used pressure sensitivity to detect openings which he filled with strikes to the head and body. This was especially true in his early fights.
Later on, he used various types of jab to soften his opponents from outside and to draw them to him. He was a master counter-puncher and liked to enter at a very slight angle, a super-economical move similar in principle to our triangle entry. He shifted a bit to left or right and entered a few degrees off the centerline. It seemed like he was going straight in but it was actually a subtle flanking maneuver.
We can all learn something from watching him as you will find all the sau’s (hands) will be used in a live fight in ways that are more loose and at variations of angle based on position as needed. It all looks more sloppy and less like a Donne Yen film in real life.
It has been said that watching real masters fighting in combat, the differences between styles disappear and the similarities emerge.
As my Sifu has often quoted, we all have two arms, two legs and a head (well, most of us do).