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Former top middleweight contender Juan Roldan dies of COVID at 63

Roldan ended his career in 1988 with a 67-5-2 (47 KO) record, three of those losses coming to world champions

WBA, WBC and IBF Middleweight Title Fight - Jaun Roldan v Marvin Hagler Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

One of Argentina’s most fearsome exports, Juan Domingo Roldan, has died of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 63. The Ring gives an excellent retrospective of “Martillo’s” career that I couldn’t hope to match, so I’ll direct you to the link for the full story while I stick with the highlights.

Roldan, who had avenged his only prior losses, punched his ticket to a world title shot with a ferocious knockout of Frank Fletcher in 1983, setting up a crack at Marvin Hagler’s unified titles. He forced the only count of Hagler’s career in the first, and despite taking a thumb in the eye not too long after, managed to survive nine rounds against the “Marvelous” one before ultimately accepting defeat.

He would twice more challenge for gold, giving Thomas Hearns four rounds of hell in 1987 and falling to the undefeated Michael Nunn a year later in what turned out to be his final fight.

Even if he never won the big one, Roldan was a warrior to the core, and boxing’s incredible decade wouldn’t have been anywhere near the same without him. We at Bad Left Hook wish his friends and family the best.

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