"No Mas" - Part I
No more. I don't want to fight anymore. The 1980 rematch between Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran will forever be remembered by two words: No mas. For those who don't know the story, Roberto Duran, the toughest and most relentless fighter of his era decided he was done fighting midway through the eighth round of their championship bout. And with two words he sealed his legacy. I recently watched a documentary surrounding Sugar Ray's quest to uncover the real reason Duran called it quits that fateful night. A stomachache -- as one of many reasons given to media from Duran - could not have been - according to Leonard - the truth. So in Leonard's mind, even though he won the fight, he didn't beat him. He needed closure. It's a remarkable film, but something Sugar Ray said in the last frame was a knockout.
For much of his adult life, Sugar Ray lived with alcoholism. And he acknowledged that when he finally told his story to the world, he felt free. Naturally, he related his sickness and years of isolation to how he reasoned Duran must have felt all this time. But alas, when Sugar Ray and Duran as much older men stood face-to-face, Duran stuck to the original story. And Leonard left Panama much like he left the ring in 1980 -- in disappointed wonder.
But then it occurred to him -- and here's where today's entry actually begins -- that in order to have closure, he had to give Duran his own. And in one of the most poetic statements I've ever heard, he did just that. A statement that -- to me -- echoes all the way back from that eighth round when Duran threw his arms up accepting defeat, to this very day, as Sugar Ray finally drops his own. As if issuing a ten count backwards, Sugar Ray mercifully picked each other up off the canvas and said, "As far as I'm concerned, He doesn't have to fight anymore."
For Discussion: Guys, I sure hope you check in tomorrow for "No Mas: Part II." But I'd like to know: When it comes to your faith or your health, what do you get from Duran's plea, "No more. I don't want to fight anymore" - and Leonard's eventual response, "He doesn't have to." I'd love to know your thoughts. See you tomorrow. Lord bless you all.