December 8, 2013 |
'I'm a man. I'm a champion. I didn't want to look weak. " Weak is not a word usually associated with five-time world boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard. But as a survivor of child sexual abuse, a secret Leonard concealed for more than 40 years, he feared people might view him differently if he ever disclosed it. "I knew something was wrong," he says. "I drank to numb and cushion what I was hiding. When people see me, they see a champion who kicked [Roberto] Duran's butt, but the kid inside me was still living, and I didn't know how to find comfort.
October 31, 2012 |
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Sugar Ray Leonard still hasn't told his parents or his 11-year-old son, and Monday was just the second time that he spoke publicly about being sexually abused as an adolescent. He had not written a speech, and he momentarily grasped for words. During a 30-minute talk before a room full of experts and advocates, however, the boxing legend moved quickly from uncertainty to clarity - "I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse" - and then a declaration that surprised even organizers of the Pennsylvania State University conference.
August 16, 2012
Pennsylvania State University will hold a conference on child sexual abuse and trauma featuring appearances by former victims Sugar Ray Leonard and Elizabeth Smart. Leonard, the boxer, and Smart, whose kidnapping in Utah made headlines, will speak during the event at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel on Oct. 29 and 30. Experts on child sex abuse and trauma also will participate. Members of the public may register for the conference at http://protectchildren.psu.edu . The conference is part of the university's effort to address the issue in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
February 8, 2012 |
LOS ANGELES - It wasn't just the words - "You're blowing it, son!" - that Sugar Ray Leonard heard as he peered into the wise, aged eyes of trainer Angelo Dundee more than 30 years ago. Leonard also caught the sincerity of the message, and with that the motivation necessary to score a remarkable 14th-round knockout of Thomas Hearns that enhanced his standing as an icon of boxing. Leonard is beginning work on a film version of his recent autobiography. Dundee, who died last Wednesday at 90, is best remembered for being the longtime trainer of Muhammad Ali and Leonard.
September 21, 2001 |
Sugar Ray Leonard has made another comeback. This time, however, the former five-time world champion is looking to make his mark outside the ring instead of between the ropes. Leonard, 45, has ventured into boxing promotion. He will bring a fight card to the First Union Center on Oct. 5 that features Philadelphia's Charles "The Hatchet" Brewer (36-8, 26 KOs) against Fernando Zuniga (21-4, 16 KOs) for the vacant NABF super middleweight title. The show, Leonard's third, will be televised by ESPN2 as part of its Friday Night Fights series.
April 8, 1998 |
Rolly Schwartz, coach and manager of the 1976 U.S. Olympic boxing team who died yesterday, will be missed by the sport, Sugar Ray Leonard said. "When I think about Rolly Schwartz, I think of class," said Leonard, the retired world champion and one of five gold medalists on the team. "Rolly was class personified. Schwartz, 84, died in a hospice in Dayton, Ohio. In addition to Leonard, his gold medalists at Montreal were brothers Michael and Leon Spinks, Howard Davis and Leo Randolph.
March 3, 1997 |
There was no reason to be embarrassed, Sugar Ray Leonard said at his final postfight press conference, because he had given 100 percent of himself. Trouble is, Leonard was giving 100 percent of the perhaps 25 percent that remained of what once had been one of the greatest boxers of all time. And, against a focused and opportunistic Hector "Macho" Camacho, the fractions simply did not add up to a winning effort. That the 40-year-old Leonard lost is understandable, coming off six years of inactivity.
March 3, 1997 |
In the end, the great Sugar Ray Leonard went out stumbling, tripping, wobbling, bumbling, staggering, falling, lunging, floundering. But worse, he went out with a whimper and a whine. In the last fight of a mostly grand 40-bout career, the former five-time world champion joined a long list of ring greats who didn't know when to quit. But unlike Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson - champions who faced career-ending batterings head-on - Leonard chose to cling to one last thread of denial.
March 2, 1997 |
The question was: Would the legendary Sugar Ray Leonard, making a ring comeback after a six-year retirement, be the Sugar Ray of old, or would he be an old Sugar Ray? After three months of deliberation, the answer for the five-time champion was delivered early this morning at the Atlantic City Convention Hall. Leonard left the ring bruised, swollen and bleeding, an exhausted 40-year-old grandfather. Hector "Macho" Camacho, an impertinent Puerto Rican-born New Yorker six years younger, put Leonard down early in Round 5, battered him on the ropes, and landed 10 punches to the head for a technical knockout at 1 minute, 8 seconds.
March 1, 1997 |
Someone asked Sugar Ray Leonard, a grandfather and six years removed from his most recent fight, which resulted in a terrible beating, if he considered himself one of top 10 middleweights in the world today. "Hell, yes," Leonard, 40, replied. Well, how about the top five? "Yeah," he answered. Top two, then? Top one? Leonard smiled, like the cat that ate the canary. He is not as young as he used to be, and probably not as quick, but that enormous ego has not been damaged one iota by the passage of time.