Sugar Ray Leonard





5/17/1956 , Wilmington, North Carolina (USA)

Birth Name

Ray Charles Leonard




Considered one of the best fighters of all time, Ray Leonard burst onto the international scene by winning the light-welterweight gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. He turned professional with a lawyer, Mike Trainer, handling the business side of his career whilst hiring the legendary trainer Angelo Dundee to guide him towards the top. Dundee's success with Muhammad Ali and Trainer's business savvy ensured that three years later, Sugar Ray Leonard was not only a dollar millionaire, but ready for his first world title. Puerto Rican Wilfredo Benitez, himself a world champion since the age of 17, surrendered the WBC welterweight title in 1979, and Sugar Ray was on his way. The next seven years saw Leonard engage in some of the most famous battles in ring history with his three most famous rivals; Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns, Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran, and "Marvelous" Marvin Hagler. Duran was the victor in early 1980, taking the WBC crown after a brutal contest. However honour was restored later that same year, with the famous "No Mas" victory. Duran was outboxed, outsped, and humiliated and in the eighth round surrendered with the words "No Mas - No More". 1981 saw the WBA/WBC welterweight unification bout with Hearns. Victory came in the fourteenth round after a see-saw fight that saw both fighters hurt before Sugar Ray prevailed. Retirement followed, but in 1984 returned and claimed the WBA light-middleweight title, although he retired again soon after. Clearly he wasn't the same fighter as in his hey-day. However, the pull of the limelight was too much and in 1987 returned to the ring with an audacious challenge for the WBC world middleweight crown against the fearsome champion Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas. Despite being a heavy underdog, Leonard confounded the critics by beating Hagler for the first time since 1980, and taking his beloved world title. Hagler retired, claiming he was robbed. Many dispute Leonard's victory, and opinion is divided, even to this day. Although he won the WBC super-middleweight & light-heavyweight titles, it was clear that Sugar Ray's best days were behind him. Hollow rematch victories against Duran & Hearns carried little weight and he took a beating in a WBC light-middleweight title against "Terrible" Terry Norris in 1991, getting knocked down twice and sustaining a nasty beating. Six years later, a non-title contest against Hector "Macho" Camacho finally persuaded Sugar Ray Leonard that his time was up. Now he is a successful boxing promoter, guiding young hopefuls to similar victories and celebrity status that he had two decades ago.