Courtesy: ESPN/ESPN Films
No mas. No more. They are two small and simple words. But these two words had a massive impact on the future of two men. Those two men were boxers Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard. And they are the focus of the latest film in ESPN’s hugely successful film series, 30 for 30. In No Mas, Leonard and Duran each provide their side of the story in the now infamous matchup in November 1980 that ended with Duran quitting in the middle of the 8th round in a matchup from their previous fight mere months before. That matchup resulted in Duran taking Leonard’s WBC Welterweight belt. It is a story that whether one is an avid boxing fan or just a casual viewer, any sports fan will enjoy. First and most obviously, audiences will appreciate this latest film from ESPN Films’series because of the story itself. It’s not just another underdog story. It’s a story of he said, he said. It’s a story of a one man’s ego versus another’s athleticism and pride and their eventual coming to terms with their past. The story of No Mas is just one reason that audiences will appreciate this film. The interviews culled for the interview add even more interest to the boxers’ story. In the same vein, audiences will appreciate just as much as the interviews, the original footage taken from the fighters’ personal interviews before and after their matches and from their fights themselves. Together with the interviews of those closest to the rivalry and the story itself, No Mas is more proof of why ESPN is “The Worldwide Leader in Sports.”
The primary story of No Mas centers on the rivalry between veteran boxers Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran over the course of two fights in 1980. The first of those fights was the now famed “Brawl in Montreal.” The second was the pair’s rematch only months later in New Orleans, Louisiana. Those two matches have become two of the most talked about matches not just in boxing history but in sports history. That is because of the deeply rooted emotions involved in each match. This is something that is certain to keep viewers fully engaged throughout the course of the documentary’s nearly ninety-minute run time. Viewers will be amazed to discover that Duran came into the first of the pair’s fight with what was in his own mind, a sense of vengeance. He explains throughout the film that at the time of the fights, he felt like he was essentially representing his people. He explains that he felt a real hatred toward Leonard because he saw Leonard as a rich, spoiled fighter. On the other side, Leonard was the exact opposite. He didn’t harbor any deep emotions toward Duran. However, the emotions caused by his loss to Duran made his story even more interesting. Of course, those emotions don’t last forever, as audiences will see in the film’s final segment. It gives viewers full closure.
The story presented in No Mas is another powerful piece from ESPN Films. However, there is more to consider about this latest film in the 30 for 30 series that viewers will appreciate than just the film. They will also appreciate the interviews included in the film. Those closest to the rivalry share their thoughts on the matches. Duran’s personal trainer is interviewed, along with Leonard’s ex-wife, one of Panama’s top political figureheads and many more. Former boxing legend Mike Tyson and certain sports media figures share their thoughts on the film, too. The commentary by these figures helps to better illustrate just how intense the rivalry was between the two men. And it serves to make the entire presentation that much more engaging.
The story and interviews assembled in No Mas make this film another “knockout” (bad joke fully intended) for ESPN and ESPN Films. As impressive as they are both alone and together, there is one more aspect of the film that must be addressed here. That aspect is the inclusion of footage from both the “Brawl in Montreal” and its follow-up in New Orleans. Audiences get to see just how intense the fights were between Duran and Leonard. They also get to see firsthand how Duran just gave up in the middle of the pair’s rematch in New Orleans. It’s one thing to hear about his actions. But to actually see what he did and to hear his excuses as to why he quit makes this moment even more powerful. It’s sure to create quite a bit of discussion among both boxing fans and sports fans in general. And those discussions are the crowning jewel of this film. They are sure to go on long after the story has ended, proving once again the value of the 30 for 30 series and why ESPN is truly the worldwide leader in sports. No Mas airs tonight at 8pm on ESPN. More information on this and the films to follow in the 30 for 30 series is available online at http://www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and http://www.espn.com/30for30. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://philspicks.wordpress.com.