Hall of Famer Roberto ‘Manos de Piedra’ Durán is recovering very well after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The multi-division former world champion has recovered to the point that he wants to be discharged from the hospital, reported one of his sons.

“My dad feels great, in fact he already wants to go home,” Robin Durán told a Panamanian television channel. “He has almost no symptoms and no fever.”

The Panamanian boxing legend, who turned 69 on June 16, was hospitalized this week with cold symptoms and subsequent examinations determined he had the COVID-19 infection. The news immediately triggered messages of encouragement on social media supporters, athletes and celebrities from all over the world.

Robin Durán said that his father will have to stay a few more days at the hospital due to precaution due to his age and the history of one of his lungs that was injured during a car accident in Argentina 19 years ago.

“The doctors told us that his evolution has been very good and that he has been attacking the disease before it reaches the point of complications,” he added to TVN Noticias.

Durán’s son told sports portal JMDeportes that his father probably became infected on his birthday when he met “a lot” of people who came to congratulate him at his home in the capital. He assured that his father had respected the quarantine.

“You already know what my dad is like, it is very difficult for him to close the doors to someone, and well, on that day, which was his birthday, they wanted to greet him, it was his mistake and he paid very dearly,” he said.

Duran had a brilliant career where he reached 103 victories, 70 of them by knockout, and 16 defeats.

Congrats on your victory over Lenny Z in an absolutely fantastic fight and fight of the year candidate. You probably took a bit more than you wanted to going into the fight, but it was terrific and by far the biggest win of your career. Can you give us some thoughts on your performance? We definitely put in a lot of work for that fight. We knew it was going to be tough, we knew Lenny Z was a tough guy with a strong KO percentage. That fourth round was a little off for me and it got tough when he countered my lazy jab with a good right hand. That was a tough round for me, but other than that I feel like I had the first few rounds pretty well and got back to business after the fourth round.

GL: What was going through your mind in that fourth round?

Alex Saucedo: “Not much-just surviving. I had all of the support here from the people of my city and it was good we gave them a great show, I’m glad everyone enjoyed yet and now everyone is saying it’s a fight of the year candidate.”

GL: How many stitches did it take to close you up?

AS: “I got five stitches.”

GL: After the fight Arum called you a Hispanic Arturo Gatti, how do you feel about that comment?

AS: “Yeah, I mean I’m a warrior in there and I’m always going to try to get the win no matter how. That’s what I did in this fight, I had to be a warrior and that’s ok.”

GL: When are you hoping to get back in action?

AS: “I have no date yet, I just need to recover from these cuts and then hopefully we’re going to be back in the ring before the end of the year against Maurice Hook for the WBO title. I’m going to be back in the gym and start working out within the next week and then whenever I get the fight date I’m going to head back out to big bear.”

GL: OKC, OKC. They were cheering for you like you played on the Thunder. Will fighting at home moving forward be a priority of yours?

AS: “I definitely want to come back and fight here, I understand if Maurice Hooker doesn’t want to come here, but I’ll fight him wherever. I don’t care, I’ll fight him in his backyard. I’m definitely wanting to give my fans of Oklahoma City another great show for the world title, but we’ll see what happens.”

GL: You guys were fighting like you would’ve gotten offended if one of you would have missed a punch. Is that the kind of fighter you’re going to be moving forward or are you going to look to incorporate some more defense?

AS: “There’s a lot of things that I’ve seen I did wrong so I’m definitely going to work on these things that we didn’t do right in the gym. We’re definitely going to go back to the gym and fix a lot of things, but I’ve always been an aggressive fighter that goes forward, but there’s some things I need to change.”

GL: A lot of boxing fans aren’t going to want to see you change much, because as boxing fans we all love those rock em sock em robots kind of fights, but it’s probably best for your longevity if the defense is tightened up a bit.

AS: “Definitely and I think that’s something we’re going to be working on, but it’s like I said I’ve always bene an aggressive fighter and I’m just glad that everybody enjoyed the fight.”

GL: Arum also said that you will be a main event fighter moving forward. How do you feel about that?

AS: “I think it’s great to hear that from the man. He knows his fighters, he knows what he’s doing and he’s made so many big name champions so that coming from Arum is a great thing, so I’m just going to keep doing my job and keep working hard in the gym, keep working on the things I need to work on and just move forward.”

GL: You referenced Maurice Hooker for the title as your next fight, what do you think about Hooker as a fighter?

AS: “He’s a great fighter and I probably think it’ll be a great fight. I think it’ll be a totally different fight than Lenny Z, but I’m always going to be the guy who comes forward and puts the pressure. He’s had three draws with guys who fight that similiar style and I’m looking forward to getting that title and bringing it back to OKC. He’s tall and he’s got reach with power in both hands, but you’ve seen the draws he had.”

GL: Yes I have and I’m not trying to denegrate your upcoming title fight, but I thought Perez won that fight versus Hooker.

AS: “Yeah, yeah, there’s a couple of fights that I thought was tough for him. We know what he likes and what he doesn’t. When we fight he’s going to be in there with the best Saucedo ever.”

GL: Closing thoughts?

AS: “I appreciate everyone that has been supporting, this is only the beginning we’re going to be moving onto bigger and better things and fighting the champions.”

By G. Leon

Photo by Mikey Williams / Top Rank