Many people around him, as well as thousands of countrymen back home, felt bitter and betrayed. Two nights after the fight, in a telephone interview for a Spanish-language radio station in Miami, Duran would announce that he wanted to meet Leonard a third time. But who could ever take such a fight seriously? It seemed a desperate attempt by a man who had won success through rashness to regain what one rash act had so irretrievably lost. For all Duran has done over the years, he will forever be known first as the champion who quit against Sugar Ray.
There had been one more scene on the night of the fight that, while played out in private, was perhaps a more revealing climax than the one 25,000 spectators and batteries of television and still cameras had recorded. After a press conference, Duran climbed into the shotgun seat of his gray van parked just outside the door of the Superdome. For several minutes, completely motionless, he stared through the windshield. And then here came Leonard once again. His jubilant entourage was leading him into the press room. Leonard spotted the van and saw Duran sitting behind the tinted glass. Leonard waved. Slightly startled, Duran raised his right arm and waved back. His smile was thin. Then Leonard was gone. Duran returned his eyes to the windshield, expressionless as stone. He still had Panama to face.