Duran has shown once again that he's not only the lightweight king but a future welterweight champion as well. So far he is the only fighter in the welterweight division who could "unsweet" Sugar Ray Leonard, never mind Leonard's 23-0 record. It is time now for Leonard to prove that he belongs in this division, rather than fight mostly overrated, never-heard-of boxers.
Carlos Eleta, Duran's manager, feels that Wilfredo Benitez, Sugar Ray Leonard and Pipino Cuevas are ducking his fighter. Well, Benitez and Leonard might be, but not Cuevas. Those who have seen Cuevas fight know that he doesn't run away from anyone inside the ring. Why would he want to run away from anyone outside it? Duran was a good lightweight, no doubt about it. But as a welterweight, when it comes to fighting Cuevas, he will meet the same fate other great fighters have when attempting to go up in class. Bob Foster went up a weight and lost to Muhammad Ali, Jose Napoles went up a weight and lost to Carlos Monzon, and just recently Carlos Zarate went up a weight and lost to Wilfredo Gomez. Duran will lose to Cuevas. The only question that remains is whether Cuevas will crack Duran's ribs, break his jaw or fracture his eye socket—as he did to three of his most recent challengers.
I enjoyed your article about Johan Cruyff of the Los Angeles Aztecs (Bracing Nip of Holland Gin, June 25). I have also heard how good he was in Holland. But, let's face it: he's 32, and at that age in soccer you are in your final years. That is the problem in the U.S.—clubs import famous players, especially from Europe, no matter how old they are.
They may get more people to go see the games, but they are taking away the young Americans' chances to improve themselves.
South Gate, Calif.