The final score is always indicative of who wins and loses, but sports and the events that happen in them become immortalized in moments. Euphoric moments, heartbreaking moments and controversial moments. One of the more controversial in history undergoes the 30 For 30 treatment tonight via No Mas, the in-depth account of Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran’s second of three bouts.
Because we’re all family here, I figured dropping off a reminder wouldn’t hurt for all of the fellow sports heads. Sugar and Roberto’s first match was a 15-round unanimous decision in favor of Duran in June 1980. But with the fervor and intensity of that fight being unlike anything the boxing world had seen since the “Thrilla In Manilla,” a rematch was set in stone almost immediately and took place in November the same year.
It’s those “moments” referred to earlier that tell the tale here. Sugar won the fight, but the most recognizable quality is the fact Duran uttered the now legendary and infamous phrase “no mas” in the eighth round. Prior to the evening of November 25, 1980, Duran was seen by many as boxing’s irresistible force and immovable object. He held the world lightweight championship for seven years (1972-1978) and his 72-1 record (56 knockouts) spawned him into a walking, breathing tyrant of the sport who took pride in rearranging faces and careers. With all that and more, the distinction of being pushed to the back burner for actually winning haunted and fueled Leonard for years, even following their third and final fight nine years later and to the present day.
Seeing as how yours truly wasn’t yet born when the first two fights took place, and as a guy who’s far from an expert but loves the history of boxing, tonight’s 30 For 30 could be the most personally anticipated since last year’s Benji.
Who: Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran
What: Their ESPN 30 For 30 ‘No Mas’
When: Tonight, 8 p.m. EST
Where: On ESPN
Why: Because it’s perhaps the first true explanation of what happened during the fight which turns 33 next month
How: Pressing record on your DVR now or simply sitting on your couch tonight