Sugar Ray Leonard

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Sugar Ray Leonard
Class of 1997
Modern Category
Hall of Fame bio:click
World Boxing Hall of Fame Inductee

Name: Ray Leonard
Alias: Sugar
Birth Name: Ray Charles Leonard
Born: 1956-05-17
Birthplace: Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
Hometown: Palmer Park, Maryland, USA
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 5′ 10″   /   178cm
Reach: 74″   /   188cm
Boxing Record: click

Trainers: Angelo Dundee, Dave Jacobs, Janks Morton, Pepe Correa, Adrian Davis
Manager: Mike Trainer
Sugar Ray Leonard Gallery

Amateur Achievements

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Ulrich Beyer at the 1976 Olympics
Sugar Ray Leonard's hand being raised after defeating Andres Aldama to win the Olympic Gold Medal at 139 lbs
Sugar Ray Leonard on the medal podium at the Olympics
  • Record: 145-5 with 75 knockouts
  • 1972 National AAU Featherweight Quarterfinalist, losing on points to Jerome Artis.
  • 1972 Eastern Olympic Trials Featherweight Semifinalist, losing on points to Greg Whaley.
  • 1972 Junior National AAU Lightweight Champion, outpointing Lynard Dixon.
  • 1973 National Golden Gloves Lightweight Champion. Results:
    • John Amello KO 3
    • Rodney Green W 3
    • Allen Webb W 3
    • Hilmer Kenty W 3
  • 1973 National AAU Light Welterweight Championship Finalist. Results:
  • 1974 National Golden Gloves Light Welterweight Champion. Results:
    • Wiley Johnson W 3
    • Mike Carter W 3
    • Terrence Silver W 3
    • Jeff Lemeir W 3
  • 1974 National AAU Light Welterweight Champion. Results:
    • Luis Rodriguez KO 1
    • Paul Sherry W 3
  • Light Welterweight Gold Medalist at the 1974 North American Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Results:
    • Amador Rosario (Puerto Rico) W 3
    • Robert Proulx (Canada) RSC 1
  • 1975 National AAU Light Welterweight Champion. Results:
    • Tim Green W 3
    • Joe Summerville RSC 2
    • Paul Sherry W 3
    • Ernest Paige WO
    • Milton Seward W 3
  • Light Welterweight Gold Medalist at the 1975 North American Championships in Miami, Florida. Results:
    • Manuel Billarrulez (Panama) RSC 2
    • Michel Briere (Canada) RSC 2
  • Light Welterweight Gold Medalist at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City, Mexico. Results:
    • Michel Briere (Canada) KO 1
    • Segundo Cobenas (Peru) KO 1
    • Jesus de las Rosas Marte (Dominican Republic) 5-0
    • Victor Corona (Cuba) 5-0
  • 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials Light Welterweight Champion. Results:
  • 1976 U.S. Olympic Box-Offs Champion, outpointing Bruce Curry.
  • Light Welterweight Gold Medalist at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Results:

Professional Titles

Awards & Recognition

Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns I
The Ring 1981 Fight of the Year


  • Ray Charles Leonard was named after Ray Charles, his mother's favorite singer.
  • Leonard's father, Cicero Leonard, boxed in the navy. He was U.S. Navy Champion at 156 pounds and had a record of 46-1.
  • Leonard's older brother, Roger Leonard, was also a professional boxer.
  • At the age of 14, Leonard started boxing at the Palmer Park Recreation Center in Palmer Park, Maryland.
  • When Leonard was 16, he competed in the 1972 Eastern Olympic Trials in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rules stated that a boxer must be 17 to compete in the Olympics, so Leonard lied about his age. He lost a controversial decision to Greg Whaley of Cincinnati in the semifinals. Whaley took such a beating that he wasn't allowed to continue in the trials, and he never boxed again.
  • Leonard lost to Anatoli Kamnev by a controversial decision in Russia on May 16, 1974. The crowd booed the decision, and Kamnev gave Leonard the championship trophy he had just won. Leonard outpointed Kamnev in Las Vegas, Nevada on January 18, 1975.
  • Leonard lost to Kazimierz Szczerba in Poland in 1974. Leonard dominated the first two rounds and dropped Szczerba three times in the third round, but the referee ruled that the third knockdown came after the bell and disqualified Leonard. They fought again in the semifinals of the 1976 Olympics, and Leonard won by a 5-0 decision.
  • After winning the Olympics, Leonard announced that he was retiring from boxing. He planned to go to the University of Maryland and major in business administration and communications. However, when his mother suffered a heart attack and his father was stricken by meningitis and tuberculosis, Leonard decided to turn professional to make money for his family.
  • Leonard was scheduled to defend the Undisputed World Welterweight Championship against Roger Stafford on May 14, 1982. He was then going to defend the title against Aaron Pryor in the fall. While training to fight Stafford, Leonard discovered that he had a detached retina in his left eye. The fight was canceled, and Leonard had successful surgery to repair the retina on May 9, 1982. He announced his retirement on November 9, 1982.
  • Leonard retired and unretired numerous times.
  • Leonard was the first boxer to earn over $100 million dollars in purses.
  • From 1978 to 1990, Leonard was a commentator for HBO.
  • From 2001 to 2004, Leonard had a promotional company, SRL Boxing. The company had a deal to promote fights on the first Friday of every month on ESPN II. In addition to promoting the shows, Leonard provided special guest commentary during the broadcasts.
  • Leonard became the host of the boxing reality series The Contender in 2004.
  • The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring, Leonard's autobiography, was published on June 6, 2011. It became a New York Times bestseller. In the book, Leonard reveals that he was sexually abused as a young fighter by an unnamed “prominent Olympic boxing coach.”

External Links

Preceded by:
Wilfred Benitez
WBC Welterweight Champion
1979 Nov 30 – 1980 Jun 20
Succeeded by:
Roberto Duran
Preceded by:
Roberto Duran
WBC Welterweight Champion
1980 Nov 25 – 1982 Nov 9
Succeeded by:
Milton McCrory
Preceded by:
Ayub Kalule
WBA Light Middleweight Champion
1981 Jun 25 – 1981 Sep 22
Succeeded by:
Tadashi Mihara
Preceded by:
Thomas Hearns
WBA Welterweight Champion
1981 Sep 16 – 1982 Nov 9
Succeeded by:
Donald Curry
Preceded by:
Marvin Hagler
WBC Middleweight Champion
1987 Apr 6 – 1987 May 27
Succeeded by:
Thomas Hearns
Preceded by:
Donny Lalonde
WBC Light Heavyweight Champion
1988 Nov 7 – 1988 Nov 17
Succeeded by:
Dennis Andries
Preceded by:
Inaugural Champion
WBC Super Middleweight Champion
1988 Nov 7 – 1990 Aug 27
Succeeded by:
Mauro Galvano