Sugar Ray Leonard, real name Ray Charles Leonard, (born May 17, 1956 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, United States), was an American boxer famed for his quickness and elegance who won 36 of 40 professional contests and several titles. He earned an Olympic gold medal in the light-welterweight division as an amateur in 1976 in Montreal. After turning pro that same year, he was named The Ring's Fighter of the Year award.
Leonard started boxing at the age of 11 years in school gyms. He eventually graduated to larger venues, winning his first 15 fights by knockout or technical knockout. In March 1979, he fought for the WBC lightweight championship against Harold Johnson. The fight took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City and ended in a no-contest after it was determined that both fighters had taken too much punishment during round six. After the match, many observers believed that Leonard had won the fight via knock-out.
In April 1980, he fought again for the WBC title this time against Eusebio Pedroza. The fight also took place at Madison Square Garden and ended in a no-contest after it was determined that both fighters had taken too much punishment during round seven.
One month later, he fought for the WBA belt against Alfredo Angulo.
Leonard, Sugar Ray Sugar Ray Leonard (nicknamed "Sugar") was born on May 17, 1956 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, USA. As a National Golden Gloves Lightweight Champion and Olympic Light Welterweight Gold Medalist, he amassed a wealth of 120 million dollars.
He died on September 12, 2018 at the age of 46 in Miami Beach, Florida.
After turning pro in 1979, Sugar Ray Leonard became one of the most popular boxers in history. With his aggressive boxing style and loyal fan base, he has been called "the world's greatest boxer never to win the title".
During his career, he fought some of the biggest names in boxing including Howard King, Nigel Benn, Bruce Lee, Michael Spinks, and James Toney. He won his first 32 fights by knockout or submission, which no other fighter has ever done before or since.
His record is 36-0 with 31 wins by knockout. He is considered by many to be the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world.
In 1987, Sugar Ray Leonard founded the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide educational opportunities for children from low-income families. The foundation sponsors more than 1,000 students each year and has built six community centers across Florida as well as Haiti and Cuba.
Early Childhood Sugar Ray Leonard, one of boxing's most popular and successful boxers, was born Ray Charles Leonard on May 17, 1956, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Ray Charles, the fifth of Gertha and Cicero Leonard's seven children, was named after his mother's favorite singer. When he was five years old, the family moved to Hemingway, South Carolina, where his father worked as a butcher for A&P.
Sugar Ray grew up watching his father train for boxing matches - learning how to take a punch - and listening to him talk about the great fighters of the past. He said that one day he wanted to be like his dad so that people would love him too.
As soon as he finished school, Sugar Ray started training at the age of 16. Two years later, he won the National Golden Gloves Championship. In 1974, at the age of 20, he became World Champion after defeating Ezzard Charles in two rounds. After defending his title twice, he lost it in a fight against Larry Holmes. However, he came back three years later to defeat Holmes again for their second championship match. This time, they went the distance and finally ended in a draw. The third and final match was canceled due to injuries to both men. Overall, Sugar Ray has been involved in more than 100 fights and is a legendary boxer who has earned over $100 million during his career.
Duran Duran Sugar Ray Leonard defeated a disappointing Roberto Duran in a unanimous 12-round decision at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas on December 7, 1989. Leonard rose to prominence in the boxing world throughout the 1980s, filling a void left by Muhammad Ali's retirement in 1981. The 30-year-old Cuban-American was considered one of the best pound-for-pound boxers in the world.
During that time, he held the WBC and lineal titles, as well as the WBA "regular" title. He also had success with both the jab and uppercut, having trained under former greats Efren Reyes and Nino Benitez. His career was cut short when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1991 and underwent surgery the following year. After his recovery, he returned to the ring but lost his last two fights before retiring again in 1993.
Leonard started out as an amateur boxer who won the gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics at age 19. He went on to have a successful pro career, accumulating over $7 million in wins (including 16 by knockout). He is one of only eight fighters to win championships in four different weight classes (and the only one still active at 36 years old).
Besides his boxing skills, what makes Sugar Ray unique is his energetic dance moves during concerts, which often get him arrested by police officers for public intoxication.
Robinson, of course, was boxing's original Sugar Ray, a moniker that has since been stolen by numerous other sportsmen named Ray, most notably Sugar Ray Leonard, who has recently won middleweight and welterweight titles. But the genuine Sugar Ray never complained about being referred to as Sugar Ray. He accepted it as his trademark.
They are not related either biologically or professionally. Sugar Ray was born Raymond Scott Robinson on January 4th, 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, Walter "Bud" Robinson, was an amateur boxer who fought under the name "Sugar" Ray Nance. When he married Ruthie Morrison, she took her husband's surname.
He started out as an amateur boxer, winning the national junior championship in 1950. After turning professional two years later, he became one of the world's best boxers at 175 pounds, winning the World Light Heavyweight Championship in 1955 from Tony Zale. He held the title for nearly a year before losing it to Gene Fullmer. Robinson then moved up to 178 pounds, where he remained for several years, winning the Middleweight Title in 1961 from Harold Johnson. In 1963 he returned to light-heavyweight division and regained his old title from Johnson again. This time he kept it for three years.