Boxing legend Roberto Duran leaves hospital after Covid-19 scare

Roberto Duran celebrates after defeating Ricky Stackhouse in a 10-round middleweight fight at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on 5 February 1988.
Roberto Duran celebrates after defeating Ricky Stackhouse in a 10-round middleweight fight at the Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey on 5 February 1988.
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Panamanian Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran was released from hospital on Thursday after being treated for coronavirus, the six-time boxing world champion announced via social media.

"Today, with the blessing of God, I returned home after battling the Covid-19 virus. It was a World Championship fight," Duran wrote on his Instagram account.

The message included a video showing him leaving the hospital in a wheelchair and wearing a face mask, as medical personnel around him wave small Panamanian flags.

Duran thanked the doctors and nurses who "day after day give the best of themselves, regardless of the risk they take. I may be an ex-World Champion, but you are the true CHAMPIONS OF LIFE," he said.

Duran, 69, checked into a private hospital in Panama City on 25 June after showing symptoms of a bad cold that turned out to be the coronavirus.

Duran boxed 119 fights between the ages of 16 and 50 - with 103 wins and 16 losses. He was knocked out four times, but did the same to his opponents 70 times, earning him the "Hands of Stone" nickname.

Duran is a national hero in Panama as one of the country's most famous athletes along with former New York Yankees baseball player Mariano Rivera, former Olympic long-jump champion Irving Saladino and former soccer players the late Rommel Fernandez and Julio Dely Valdes.

Panama has the highest rate of coronavirus infections in Central America, with 645 deaths and more than 34 000 cases in a country with a population of just over four million.

View this post on Instagram

Buenas tardes mi gente! Hoy, con el favor de Dios, regresé a casa después de batallar contra el virus COVID-19. Fue una pelea de Campeonato Mundial, que pude ganar en equipo, con el apoyo, cariño y dedicación de un cuerpo médico, que no solamente cuidó de mi persona, sino de todos los pacientes, que cómo yo, peleábamos en el hospital contra este virus, que no conoce de leyendas, títulos mundiales, estatus social, raza, religión, etc... A todas esas personas que siguen en la pelea, les mando mucha fuerza y mis oraciones, a sus familiares para que no pierdan sus esperanzas y sepan que Dios tiene el control. A todos mis fanáticos alrededor del Mundo, les doy las gracias por orar por mi y por todos sus mensajes de aliento. No me cansaré de darles las gracias a todos los doctores, enfermeros/as, que día a día dan lo mejor de si, sin importar el riesgo que toman. Yo seré un ex Campeón Mundial, pero ustedes son los verdaderos CAMPEONES DE LA VIDA. Se les quiere, por favor #quédateencasa, sigue la #cuarentena y bajo ninguna circunstancia dejes entrar a nadie a tú casa. Manos de Piedra.

A post shared by Roberto Durán (@robertoduranbox) on

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