Sugar Ray Leonard: Boxing
Ray Charles Leonard (born May 17, 1956) popularly known as Sugar Ray Leonard is an Olympic champion boxer and a dominant prizefighter of the 1980s. He is considered one of the best fighters of all time, bursting into the international scene when he won the light-welterweight gold medal during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Leonard became the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses, winning world titles in five weight divisions and defeated other International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and Wilfred Benitez. He turned professional with Mike Trainer, his lawyer, handling the business side of his career and hiring Angelo Dundee, Muhammad Ali’s trainer, to guide him towards the top.
Greatest Sporting Achievements
Sugar Ray Leonard has 40 total fights, 36 wins, 25 wins by knockout, 3 losses, 1 draw and 0 no contests.
He won the National Golden Gloves Lightweight and Light Welterweight titles in 1973 and 1974 respectively; National AAU Light Welterweight in 1974 and 1975; North American Champion Gold Medalist in 1974 and 1975; Pan American Games Light Welterweight Gold Medal in 1975 and of course, the 1976 Olympic Light Welterweight Title. Leonard defeated Ulf Carlsson (5-0), Valery Limassov (5-0), Clinton McKenzie (5-0), Ulrich Beyer (5-0), Kazimierz Szczerba (5-0) and Andres Aldama (5-0) during the Olympics. He was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996 and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1985.
Why Was He So Good?
Leonard’s style of hitting captured the public’s imagination. He would hit with blurring hand-speed. His skills are simply superb with uncanny footwork and crafty feints.
What You May Not Know
- Sugar Ray Leonard is the godfather of reality television star Khloe Kardashian.
- When he was a child, he almost drowned in the creek by his house.
- He got the nickname “Sugar” from a world-class boxer’s assistant coach who said, “That kid you got is sweet as sugar”.
- On November 30, 1979, Sugar Ray Leonard knocked down the then unbeaten Wilfredo Benitez.
Was he a legend?
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