Duran seriously injured in crash

Posted: Friday, October 05, 2001

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Former boxing champion Roberto Duran was seriously injured when the car in which he was a passenger crashed on a Buenos Aires highway early Thursday, a hospital spokesman said.

Duran's injuries include a collapsed lung and several broken ribs, the spokesman said. The 50-year Panamanian, who held four world titles, was riding with two Argentine reporters and his son Roberto, 27, who had minor injuries.

The Argentines, Oscar Ruiz Dias and Luis Gimenez, were more seriously hurt, the spokesman said. Ruiz Diaz showed signs of internal bleeding and was in a coma. Gimenez broke several ribs.

Gimenez, who also is Duran's representative in Argentina, was driving the car when it crashed. Authorities said alcohol might have been a factor in the crash, which happened shortly after midnight.

Preliminary reports said the car crashed into another before both vehicles hit a retaining wall. The driver of the second car had minor injuries, police said.

Duran has been in Argentina to promote an album of Caribbean music. He had been expected to stay until Nov. 10 for Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona's retirement match and the accompanying festivities.

Duran has been reluctant to leave boxing, a sport which he was dominant in the 1970s and 1980s. Three months ago, he lost to Hector Camacho.

In 1972, Duran took Ken Buchanan's WBA lightweight title.

But Duran's most famous victory was over Sugar Ray Leonard, in a welterweight fight in 1980. Later that year came his most famous defeat, when Duran said ''No mas'' and quit in the eighth round of the rematch. Duran later won two other titles.

Known as ''Hands of Stone, Duran has fought at least once every year -- except 1985 -- since 1967. He has a 104-16 career record.

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