Ayub Kalule vs. Sugar Ray Leonard

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1981-06-25 : Sugar Ray Leonard 153 lbs beat Ayub Kalule 153 lbs by TKO at 3:06 in round 9 of 15


  • Leonard was guaranteed $2.5 million, while Kalule's guarantee was $150,000.
  • The fight was shown live on closed circuit television and was rebroadcast on NBC "Sports World" on July 5.
  • Irving Rudd, a Top Rank press agent, brought a witch doctor named Mugimba to Houston to drum up publicity. Kalule wanted nothing to do with him. "I am embarrassed," he said. "Why do they do this to me, like I am a fool? I didn't just come out of the jungle. Take him away."
  • Leonard's trunks for the fight were black and had a cobra on the left leg. While Leonard was training in Phoenix, he dispatched an aide to the local library to research Ugandan witch doctors. Witch doctors, came back the report, fear the color black and aren't all that happy with snakes, which are too quick to put a spell on.
  • The crowd at the Astrodome was estimated at between 25,000 and 30,000.
  • Leonard dropped Kalule with a right-left-right combination in the ninth round. Kalule, dazed, got up at the count of six and referee Carlos Berrocal stopped the fight. Kalule told New York sportscaster Bill Mazer, who was doing the closed-circuit broadcast, "I told the referee to stop it."
  • After the fight was stopped, Leonard did a full 360-degree, no-hands flip.