Roberto Durán, Panamá
Regis Duvignau/REUTERS

SEATTLE - After experiencing health issues over the weekend, the former Panamanian champion Roberto "Manos de Piedra" Durán was discharged from the hospital after he needed to undergo surgery to install a pacemaker than can help the former four-division champion with his heart problems. "The Duran family is pleased to inform that thanks to God the surgery in our champion, a pacemaker implant, was totally successful," his family posted on Duran's Instagram account.

An atrioventricular blockage is what prompted the 72-year-old to need medical assistance, as his heartbeats were a bit irregular due to the obstruction of the artery. His son Robin Durán said his father was okay when he arrived at the Panama City hospital during the weekend.

Even more than 20 years after his retirement, Durán remains as an important figure in Panamanian culture. His career spanned over five decades, competing between 1968 until his retirement in 2001. Due to his longevity, he became the second boxer to compete over a span of five decades, following Jack Johnson. He held world championships in four different weight classes, and between 1972 and 1979, reigned as the undisputed lineal lightweight champion.

Durán also competed at the welterweight, light middleweight and middleweight divisions. In 1980, Durán became the lineal welterweight champion when he defeated Sugar Ray Leonard in the first of three fights between both boxers.

A national symbol, Durán is the only Panamanian boxer to have won a world title in four different divisions. Hilario Zapata is the only one that comes close to "Manos de Piedra" Durán, having conquered a title in three different divisions. Durán is one of 23 Panamanian boxers to have won a world championship belt.

In 2002, "Manos de Piedra" was voted by The Ring magazine as the fifth greatest fighter of the last 80 years thanks to a professional record that includes 103 wins over his 119 career fights, including 70 knockouts. His last fight as a professional boxer came in 2001 against Puerto Rican legend Héctor "Macho" Camacho. At 50 years of age, Durán lost the NBA super middleweight title to Camacho and officially retired from boxing.

As the legendary pugilist recovers from his heart condition, all of his public appearances will be put on standby. Before he had to undergo surgery, the former champion was scheduled to be in Chicago at a public event. He constantly travels abroad to sign autographs and promote boxing events.

"Thank you so much for worrying about me. I am at home, I feel relaxed here," said Durán in a video uploaded to his Instagram account.

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