During the sixties and seventies, Panama was well-known for its boxing champions. We had the best boxers in the region. Names like Roberto “Mano de Piedra” Duran, Peppermint Frazer, Ismael Laguna, Hilario Zapata and much more spread the word around the world that Panama had the best boxers in the region. Mano de Piedra Duran is a living legend in this country. I understand he is also well loved in the States amongst the boxing community.
Many boxing fans still remember the infamous fight between him and Sugar Ray Leonard where Mano de Piedra said the unfortunate words, “No más, no más” (No more, no more). They are good friends now. Those decades were the Golden Days of Panamanian boxing champs.
A few years ago I visited the humble gym where young boxers start learning the ropes, no pun intended. The place is known as Gimnasio Rockero Alcázar in Curundú. I met several boxers there and exchanged a few words about the boxing world. It was a rewarding experience. Boxing is a tough sport!