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Boxing legend Roberto Duran hospitalized with COVID-19

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The 69-year-old Duran was admitted to hospital in Panama initially for a viral infection.

Hublot & WBC “Night of Champions” Gala Photo by Omar Vega/HUBLOT via Getty Images

One of the greatest boxers of all-time is battling COVID-19.

Roberto Duran was initially hospitalized in his native Panama City, Panama with a viral infection. His son Robin later confirmed on Instagram that his father’s test results did come back positive for the coronavirus.

If there’s any encouraging news at the moment, Robin said (translated through ESPN) that “his lungs are fine and there are no signs of any serious damage.” He was hospitalized as a preventive measure because one of his lungs is not functioning at full capacity as a result of an unrelated accident back in 2001. Duran is showing symptoms that are “similar to a cold.”

Known as “Manos de Piedra” (“Hands of Stone”), Duran’s legendary career spanned from the late 1960s all the way to 2001. He won his first major world title in 1972 at lightweight (135 lbs) and his last one at middleweight (160 lbs) in 1989. His greatest wins came against the likes of Ken Buchanan, Carlos Palomino, Sugar Ray Leonard, Saoul Mamby, Esteban de Jesus, and that famous upset of Iran Barkley to win the WBC middleweight belt.

His impact on the sport is immeasurable and so many of his fights were nothing short of spectacular. After finally retiring in 2001, he entered the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2007 with a record of 103-16 (70 KOs).

Duran is one of more than 29,000 in Panama who have tested positive for COVID-19, as cases globally quickly approach the 10 million mark. Nearly 500,000 of those confirmed cases led to death.