1981-06-25 Sugar Ray Leonard w rsc 9 (15) Ayub Kalule, The Astrodome, Houston, Texas, USA - WBA
1981-06-25 Sugar Ray Leonard w rsc 9 (15) Ayub Kalule, The Astrodome, Houston, Texas, USA - WBA. Referee: Carlos Berrocal. In moving up a weight division to challenge Kalule (153) for the junior middleweight title, Leonard (153) had to overcome a few initial problems but once he had settled and made the body his target the writing was on the wall for the Ugandan southpaw. Although Kalule came back with hooks and uppercuts from both hands at times Leonard proved to be more versatile, and in the ninth a series of blows had the champion rocking before a right-left-right combination dropped him. Back on his feet but looking decidedly shaky the referee decided that Kalule was not fit to continue and the fight was over. Announced as a stoppage at 2.59 of the ninth round, in reality it was effectively six seconds into the interval as the timekeeper had forgotten to ring the bell.
Leonard relinquished the WBA version of the title in July to concentrate on unifying the welterweight division.