Thank you for two exceptional articles by William Nack on Roberto Duran ("I Am Still a Pistol," Nov. 7, and Marvelous Was Something Less Than Marvelous, Nov. 21). What really has me elated, however, is that, with those two issues, my collection of SI covers of Duran has ballooned to eight! With Thomas Hearns waiting in the wings, can Duran be far from breaking the SI cover record? Who has the honor of having the most covers?
BRIAN A. SPERRY
•Muhammad Ali, with the 28 reproduced here.—ED.
HAGLER VS. DURAN
Thank you for William Nack's article on the Marvelous Marvin Hagler-Roberto Duran fight (Marvelous Was Something Less Than Marvelous, Nov. 21). Knowledgeable boxing fans are aware that Duran is one of the greatest fighters of all time. He has come closer to winning a fourth title than any other boxer in history, and may yet do so. I doubt that a fighter has ever before proved how good he is while losing a fight.
Chicago Heights, Ill.
The true measure of a man is his ability to overcome personal adversity, regain his former status and perhaps surpass previous achievements. Roberto Duran has met the test and won on all cards.
JAMES E. WISE JR.
Let's not belittle the accomplishments of Marvin Hagler. He is a champion and proves it each time he steps into the ring. As for William Nack's remark that Hagler, the winner, "stepped out of the ring with $8 million and his image diminished," he is wrong.
All Hagler did was go out, realize he couldn't knock out a man who just doesn't get knocked out and then defeat him soundly just like any top fighter would. Even Sugar Ray Robinson's image wasn't tarnished when he failed to knock out a dead-game former welterweight named Carmen Basilio in two 15-round middleweight championship fights. Duran and Hagler are both marvelous.
Hagler won the fight but lost the article.
JOE DELANEY (CONT.)
Frank Deford's article (Sometimes the Good Die Young, Nov. 7) was the most touching account I have read of the death of Joe Delaney. For SI readers who may wish to honor this true sports hero, allow me to point out that a fund has been established for the education of Delaney's children. Contributions may be sent to: Joe Delaney Memorial Fund, c/o Robert Pugh Sr., 555 Commercial Bank Bldg., Shreveport, La. 71101.
Prairie Village, Kans.