Donny Lalonde vs. Sugar Ray Leonard

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1988-11-07 : Donny Lalonde 167 lbs lost to Sugar Ray Leonard 165 lbs by TKO at 2:30 in round 9 of 12


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  • On August 4, 1988, Leonard and Lalonde signed to fight.
  • Leonard and Lalonde fought for Lalonde's WBC Light Heavyweight Championship and the newly created WBC Super Middleweight Championship.
  • This was Leonard's first fight in nineteen months and just his third fight in seven years.
  • Leonard was expected to earn as much as $15 million, and Lalonde was expected to make about $5 million.
  • Before Lalonde vs. Leonard, the biggest purse ever for a light heavyweight title fight was the $1.75 million Michael Spinks got when he defeated Dwight Muhammad Qawi in 1983.
  • The fight was promoted by Victory Promotions, which was the company of Mike Trainer, Leonard's attorney. Titan Entertainment distributed the fight to some 800 cable systems. It was Titan's first foray into boxing, after scoring big with pay-per-view wrestling events such as Wrestlemania and Summer Slam.
  • Caesars Palace announced a crowd 13,246 and a gate of $7.5 million.
  • Titan Entertainment said the pay-per-view gross was $19.5 million, the closed circuit gross was $1 million and another $2 million was made from foreign television rights.
  • The fight was rebroadcast by HBO on November 12, 1988.
  • This was Leonard's first professional fight without Angelo Dundee in his corner. They parted ways because of a dispute over money. Janks Morton and Dave Jacobs trained Leonard for the Lalonde fight.
  • After Leonard weighed 165 lbs at the official weigh-in, Lalonde took the microphone and said, "I'm not only fighting an old welterweight, I'm fighting an old, fat welterweight." Leonard got on the scale wearing a warmup suit and later revealed that he had silver dollars in his pockets.
  • Leonard was a 3 to 1 favorite.
  • Lalonde dropped Leonard with a right cross in the fourth round.
  • Leonard floored Lalonde twice in the ninth round. Leonard scored the first knockdown with a left hook. When Lalonde got up, Leonard finished him with a right cross and a left hook.
  • Leonard became the second fighter in history to win world championships in five weight divisions. Three days earlier, Thomas Hearns became the first to accomplish the feat when he defeated James Kinchen to win the inaugural WBO Super Middleweight Championship.
  • Leonard vacated the light heavyweight title and defended the super middleweight title against Thomas Hearns on June 12, 1989.
  • Lalonde was scheduled to fight Dennis Andries for the vacant WBC Light Heavyweight Championship on June 24, 1989, but retired a month before the fight, saying, "I can no longer justify hurting people for my own gain." He returned to the ring in 1991.