Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Kevin Howard

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1984-05-11 : Sugar Ray Leonard 149 lbs beat Kevin Howard 150½ lbs by TKO at 2:28 in round 9 of 10


  • Leonard had retired on November 9, 1982, following surgery to repair a detached retina in his left eye.
  • On December 10, 1983, after boxing a six-round exhibition at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Leonard announced that he was returning to the ring.
  • Leonard and Howard were originally scheduled to fight on February 25, 1984, but the fight had to be postponed after Leonard had minor surgery on his right eye to repair a loose retina on February 13.
  • Leonard was paid $3.5 million, and Howard got $105,000.
  • The fight was televised live on HBO.
  • There were 10,461 fans in the 13,000-seat DCU Center.
  • Both fighters wore thumbless gloves, which Leonard insisted on as a precaution against eye injuries.
  • In the fourth round, Howard floored Leonard with a right hand. It was the first time Leonard was knocked down as a professional.
  • Shortly after Leonard wobbled Howard with a left hook in the ninth round, the referee stopped the fight. Most felt it was a premature stoppage.
  • Leonard was so disappointed in his performance that he announced his retirement at the post-fight press conference. "As of this moment, I am retired," he said. "There's no sense in fooling myself or anyone else. It's just not there. I just can't go on and humiliate myself. I fought with apprehension. I had fear for my eyes. I had fear for my whole body. But now I am content. I did try."