Since I was a small boy growing up in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro, I listened to boxing matches on our big living room radio. Back then, Ismael Laguna was the most popular athlete in the country.
When I graduated from primary school and traveled to the capital city, I had the opportunity of viewing two life-experience boxing matches of Roberto “Mano de Piedra” Durán. Once against Esteban de Jesús from Puerto Rico, and the second against Héctor Thompson from Australia. I was seated far away from the ring, since I couldn’t pay the exorbitant prices of ringside seats. After that, I viewed boxing matches on television. Never again attended a boxing fight at the actual venue.
Recently I returned to a boxing gym, probably to remember the Panama’s golden boxing era when Panama was the center of boxing in Latin America together with Mexico and Puerto Rico. I went to the ring, in the middle of the gym. It was an experience difficult to describe being right there where the real action takes place, where men are separated from the boys.
Below are several pictures of the Gimnasio Pedro “El Rockero” Alcázar located in the humble neighborhood of Curundu in Panama City, Panama. Here we go.
Video: Roberto Duran Versus Esteban de Jesús (November 17, 1972) – Boxeo WS