Former boxing champ Roberto 'Hands of Stone' Duran infected with COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: Boxing legend Roberto Duran of Nicaragua waves as he is introduced at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada May 6, 2011. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Former world boxing champion Roberto “Hands of Stone” Duran tested positive for coronavirus after being admitted to a hospital center with flu-like symptoms, the pugilist’s son said on Thursday.

“My father’s exams have just arrived and confirm that he is positive for COVID-19,” Robin Duran said on his Instagram account.

“For now he still doesn’t show symptoms, beyond a simple cold, he is not in intensive care, nor on a respirator, he is still under observation,” he added.

The 69-year-old Panamanian former boxer retired in 2001 and is considered one of the best lightweights in history. He fought over five decades, held four different world titles, and his record stands at 103 wins, with 70 knockouts and 16 losses.

Known for his aggressive punching power, Duran, who grew up in Panama City’s poor El Chorillo district and won his first title in 1972, is today regarded as a national hero.

“The doctor tells us his lungs are fine and there are no signs of seriousness. Let’s continue to have faith that everything will turn out well,” said Robin Duran.

Panama has recorded 29,037 known coronavirus infections and 564 COVID-19 deaths.

Reporting by Elida Moreno; Additional reporting by Carlos Calvo Pacheco; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa