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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

'Buster' Douglas Hits Back but Duran Flails

ATLANTIC CITY -- James "Buster'' Douglas is back. Roberto Duran says he is not gone.


Duran, however, a champion in four weight classes in a career in its 29th year, might be gone as a big-money attraction with his unanimous decision loss to Hector Camacho in a 12-round middleweight match Saturday night at Trump's Taj Mahal.


"Of course I am,'' the 45-year-old Duran said when asked if he would continue to fight. Then he blamed the judges, saying he at least deserved a draw, and demanded a rematch with the 34-year-old Camacho.


The 193-centimeter, 111-kilogram Douglas, exhibiting a solid left jab, patiently picked apart 175-centimeter, 103-kilogram Tony La Rosa and stopped him in the third round. Douglas almost closed La Rosa's right eye and knocked him down in the round, and a commission doctor advised the referee to stop the fight.


"It's good to be back,'' said Douglas, who retired after a dismal third-round knockout loss to Evander Holyfield on Oct. 25, 1990, in his first defense of the undisputed heavyweight title he won with his shocking 10th round knockout of Tyson on Feb. 11 of that year.


"By the end of the year I should be in top shape,'' said the 36-year-old Douglas, the only man to beat Mike Tyson, who was fighting for the first time in 5 1/2 years and for the first time since surviving a diabetic coma in 1994.


He said he wants to have two more fights this year and then look at where his comeback is going. Should he get in top shape and win a couple of more fights, Douglas could be right back in the heavyweight championship picture and in line for a big-money rematch against Tyson.


While Douglas as a heavyweight can overcome a loss of quickness, it is those slowed reflexes that have hurt Duran in weight classes where fast hands and quick feet are decisive.


Duran, 71 kilograms, fighting within the 73-kilogram middleweight limit since he won the last of his four titles by outpointing Iran Barkley on Feb. 24, 1989, landed several hard right leads, but he could not follow them up and was often effectively counterpunched by Camacho.


Camacho, 73 kilograms, has said he wants to return to the junior middleweight and the welterweight divisions.


The fact that Camacho had trouble handling his weight in the late rounds had a lot to do with keeping Duran in the fight.


As for a rematch, Mike Acri, who co-promoted Saturday night's show, said, "I will discuss a rematch with both parties. I thought Camacho was the winner. No doubt.''


As to Duran's future, he said, "I can't push retirement. That's his choice.''