1981-03-28 Sugar Ray Leonard w rsc 10 (15) Larry Bonds, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York, USA - WBC

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1981-03-28 Sugar Ray Leonard w rsc 10 (15) Larry Bonds, Carrier Dome, Syracuse, New York, USA - WBC. Referee: Arthur Mercante. The southpaw challenger did well to last so long, proving extremely game, and gave Leonard (145½) a few problems with his awkward style. Dropped by a right to the jaw in the fourth round following several heavy body shots, Bonds (144¾) was saved by the bell before coming back in the fifth to peck away with the jab and make a nuisance of himself. There was no doubt that Leonard was in control, but he had not pressured Bonds enough, something he rectified in the ninth when jumping on the latter with blows to head and body. Coming out for the tenth, Bonds was soon in trouble as Leonard stayed right on top of him and eventually he was dropped from heavy blows to head and body. After taking the mandatory ‘eight’ count, Bonds was soon under attack and not hitting back when the referee called it off on the 2.22 mark.

In his next contest, on 25 June at The Astrodome, Houston, Texas, Leonard challenged Ayub Kalule for the WBA junior middleweight title, winning by a ninth-round stoppage. Leonard handed back the junior belt the following month to concentrate on his welterweight unification fight against Thomas Hearns.