Theater of the Bizarre: Glorious Fights That Never Could Have Happened

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Theater of the Bizarre: Glorious Fights That Never Could Have Happened
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Forget, if you can, that sad and limited group of considerations that say two fighters from different sports and weight classes can never meet in anger. Disregard the idea that says: “It would never happen because…”

This kind of thinking has no place in the Theater of the Bizarre.

Instead, let your imagination run wild. This is a stage where fights unfold due to the virtue of violence, and two bloody authors come together to do their worst to their opponent.

Of course, there is always at least one caveat per fight. Perhaps it is the size of the gloves or the duration of the rounds. Perhaps it is the number of rounds or the venue itself, but there is always one circumstance that prevails amid the chaos, if not more.

The bout in question this evening? The legendary Roberto Duran, rejuvenated and resurrected from his most glorious past, faces Nick Diaz. The action is called in typical play-by-play style. 


Roberto Duran vs. Nick Diaz

Caveat(s): Four-ounce gloves, 15 rounds, three minutes per round, no grappling on the ground, in the legendary IVC venue.

Advantages for Duran: Speed, punching power, footwork, rock solid chin and adaptability.

Advantages for Diaz: Endurance, reach advantage, size advantage, elbows, knees and kicks.

The Brazilian crowd is anxious for this bout as both men, each incredibly well known, pace around their corners like caged animals. The crowd is expecting violence, and given both men, they will be rewarded.

It’s a strange sight to see Roberto Duran wearing four-ounce gloves. He’s never taking his eyes of the taller, lankier Diaz, who is returning glare for glare.

The crowd seems stunned to see the Duran of old: the same man who defeated Sugar Ray Leonard and then Iran Barkley, at the age of 37. Perhaps it is the near-intimate setting here in Brazil. It’s a small ring, but this has the feel of a street fight taking place in a ring, not a professional prize fight.

Diaz is clearly the bigger man by about 20-plus pounds, but everyone who knows this version of Duran knows he will be the faster of the two. Both are aggressive and durable.

The referee calls them to the center of the ring to go over the rules. As neither Duran nor Diaz speak Portuguese, two translators interpret, but it might as well be Greek theatre as Duran and Diaz continue to talk trash. Neither man understands the insults that the other is spitting out.

Diaz flips Duran off with both hands, and this Duran does understand. He goes after Diaz as both men are pulled apart and pushed to their corners.

The bell is about to ring…

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