Panama City (AFP) – Panamanian Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran, six-time boxing world champion, was hospitalized in non-life-threatening condition Thursday with the novel coronavirus, his children said on the same day that Panama hit a new record of daily cases.
“Test results have just arrived for my dad, and they confirm he is positive for COVID-19,” the legendary fighter’s son Robin Duran said on Instagram.
“Thank God for now he doesn’t have symptoms beyond a cold. He is not in intensive care nor on a respirator, just under observation,” he added.
Robin Duran had posted hours before that the 69-year-old had been hospitalized as a precaution for a “respiratory virus,” which turned out to be COVID-19.
“We just spoke to the doctor who told us that his lungs are fine and there are no indications of severe (illness),” Robin Duran said. “We continue to have faith that everything will be ok.”
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.