Boxing legend Roberto Durán tests positive for coronavirus

Boxer Roberto Duran, who held world championships in four weight classes during his more than three-decade career, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Roberto Duran, who had the nickname “Hands of Stone” as a boxer from 1968 to 2001, is a sports icon in Panama and Latin America.   -  AP

Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran, who held world championships in four weight classes during his more than three-decade career, has tested positive for the coronavirus but has had only mild symptoms so far, one of his sons said Thursday.

Robin Duran said his 69-year-old father was tested after going to a private hospital with cold symptoms.

"At the moment he’s not having symptoms beyond a cold. We’ll be passing on more information over the days,” the son wrote on his Instagram account.

Duran, who had the nickname “Hands of Stone” as a boxer from 1968 to 2001, is a sports icon in Panama and Latin America.

READ: Coronavirus: Top Indian boxers join different camps

Beyond winning his four championship belts, he is remembered for his resounding victory over American boxing idol Sugar Ray Leonard in Montreal in 1980. Months later, they met in a rematch and Durŕn withdrew in the middle of a fight with the famous phrase “No mas“- “No more.”

Messages of encouragement began on social media for Durŕn, who is considered Panama’s sporting ambassador.

At the beginning of the pandemic in Panama, Duran encouraged Panamanians to comply with confinement measures and to follow the recommendations of wearing face masks and practicing social distancing.

Panama has the most confirmed coronavirus cases and COVID-19 deaths in Central America. On Thursday, officials for the first time reported over 1,000 cases for the preceding 24 hours along with 17 more deaths. The country has had more than 29,000 confirmed cases, with more than 13,000 still active, and 564 deaths.

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