Roberto Duran (right), 45 at the time, lands a right cross to Jorge Castro during their 10-round super middleweight non-title fight in Mar del Plata, Argentina in February 1997. Castro won on points. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
As common as it may be to see athletes from every other sport participating in “exhibition events” well into their senior years, boxing has been spared of such events so far.
That will change on Sept. 7, when 46-year-old former middleweight champion Jorge “Locomotora” Castro (130-11-3, 90 KOS) will make one last trip to the ring of the fabled Luna Park in his native Buenos Aires for a 3-round exhibition bout against a legend in his own right in 62-year-old (yes, 62) former multiple champion Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran (103-16, 70 KOS).
Billed as “the final chapter of a trilogy” (they both own a decision victory against the other in back-to-back non-title bouts in 1997) and intended to be Castro’s retirement party, the fight will bring together two of the toughest Latin American fighters of all time, with a combined record of over 200 wins and 150 KOs between both of them. Details such as glove size, use of headgear or other details are still unavailable.
Their quick wit will surely make for a helluva pre-fight hype, but that will take place after Duran’s arrival in Argentina during the week of the fight.
“With Duran we had two great fights, and they were both very different,” said Castro during a press conference to announce the event. “Having him around for my farewell event is a great bonus, because of how great our fights were and because of our accomplishments as athletes. It’s going to be an emotional night, with a lot of things going through my mind”.
An undercard to watch
Beyond the trip down Memory Lane, the fans in attendance will be treated to a solid undercard.
The co-main event (or rather, the “competitive boxing” main event) will feature former world title challenger Javier “The Beast” Maciel (26-2, 19 KOs), going up against tough fringe contender Alejandro Falliga (23-9-4, 10 KOs). Maciel returned empty-handed from a trip to Russia in 2011 in a challenge against 160-lb champ Dmitry Pirog, but he is currently riding an 8-0 (7 KO) winning streak. Frustrated by the cancellation of his bout against the injured Vanes Martirosyan in a fight originally slated for April, Maciel will be looking to stay busy against Falliga, a scrawny but super tough hombre who has faced more experienced opponents such as Sebastian Zbik, Andy Lee (in his only KO loss), and Anthony Mundine.
Also, IBF female super flyweight titlist Deborah Dionicius (13-0, 4 KOs) will risk her undefeated status against Olga Julio (15-14-1, 10 KOs), a southpaw, of Colombia.
Two more professional bouts, and three “pro-am” bouts in the WSB mold (5 rounds, no headgear) will complete the undercard.
The event will be televised by TyC Sports.
Photo / STR-AFP