Leonard won 145 of 150 amateur bouts, was the AAU welterweight champion in 1974 and 1975, and won gold medals at the 1975 Pan-American Games and the 1976 Olympics.
He had his first professional fight on February 5, 1977, when he won a 6-round decision over Luis Vega.
After winning his first 23 professional fights, Leonard met Pete Ranzany for the North American Boxing Federation welterweight championship on August 12, 1979, at Las Vegas. Leonard knocked Ranzany out in the 4th round. He won the world title with a 15th-round knockout of Wilfred Benitez on November 30, also at Las Vegas.
Leonard lost the championship to Roberto Duran on a 15-round decision on June 20, 1980, in Montreal. He regained it in a strange fight on November 25 in New Orleans. During the 8th round, Duran suddenly lowered his hands, said "No mas" ("No more" in Spanish), and walked back to his corner, though he hadn't apparently been hurt.
On June 25, 1981, Leonard won the world junior middleweight title by knocking out Ayub Kalule in the 9th round at Houston. Later that year, he won an estimated $10 million, then the highest single paycheck ever for an athlete, by knocking out Tommy Hearns in the 14th round to defend his welterweight championship.
A detached retina forced Leonard's retirement in 1982. He returned for one fight in 1984, then retired again. On April 7, 1987, Leonard won a split decision over Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas to claim the World Boxing Council's middleweight. He broke his own record by collecting an $11 million purse.
A month later, he retired once more, but Leonard returned again to win the WBC light heavyweight and super middleweight titles in November of 1988, when he knocked out Don Lalonde of Canada. Leonard retired for good after being badly beaten by Terry Norris on February 9, 1991.
He made one more comeback attempt in 1997, when he was knocked out by Hector Camacho in the fifth round.
His latest comeback is in the form of the contender series and is just an extra win under his belt!
Sugar Ray Leonard 9 dvd career set
- Product Code: leonard
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