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Sugar Ray Leonard Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (97)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 17 May 1956Wilmington, North Carolina, USA
Birth NameRay Charles Leonard
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Considered one of the best fighters of all time, Ray Leonard burst onto the international scene by winning the light-welterweight gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal. He turned professional with a lawyer, Mike Trainer, handling the business side of his career whilst hiring the legendary trainer Angelo Dundee to guide him towards the top. Dundee's success with Muhammad Ali and Trainer's business savvy ensured that three years later, Sugar Ray Leonard was not only a millionaire, but ready for his first world title.

Puerto Rican Wilfredo Benitez, himself a world champion since the age of 17, surrendered the WBC welterweight title in 1979, and Sugar Ray was on his way. The next seven years saw Leonard engage in some of the most famous battles in ring history with his three most famous rivals; Thomas Hearns (aka Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns), Roberto Durán (aka Roberto "Hands of Stone" Duran) and Marvelous Marvin Hagler. Duran was the victor in early 1980, taking the WBC crown after a brutal contest. However, honor was restored later that same year, with the famous "No Mas" victory. Duran was out-boxed, out-sped and humiliated and, in the eighth round, surrendered with the words "No Mas - No More".

1981 saw the WBA/WBC welterweight unification bout with Hearns. Victory came in the fourteenth round after a see-saw fight that saw both fighters hurt before Sugar Ray prevailed. Retirement followed but, in 1984, returned at light-middleweight, although he retired again soon after. Clearly, he wasn't the same fighter as in his hey-day. However, the pull of the limelight was too much and, in 1987, returned to the ring with an audacious challenge for the WBC world middleweight crown against the fearsome champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler in Las Vegas. Despite being a heavy underdog, Leonard confounded the critics by beating Hagler for the first time since 1980, and taking his beloved world title. Hagler retired, claiming he was robbed.

Many dispute Leonard's victory, and opinion is divided, even to this day. Although he won the WBC super-middleweight & light-heavyweight titles, it was clear that Sugar Ray's best days were behind him. A hollow rubber match victory against Duran and a draw with Hearns carried little weight, and he took a beating in a WBC light-middleweight title against "Terrible" Terry Norris in 1991, getting knocked down twice and sustaining a nasty beating. Six years later, a non-title contest against Hector Camacho (aka Hector "Macho" Camacho) finally persuaded Sugar Ray Leonard that his time was up. After some years establishing himself as a top promoter, he joined forces with ex-British paratrooper & reality TV mogul Mark Burnett to create The Contender (2005). With movie star Sylvester Stallone also on board, "The Contender" gives an insight to the hopes & fears of young professional prize-fighters as they compete for a $1 million prize and a headline-grabbing main event in Las Vegas. It was of particular importance to Leonard, as he wanted the public to see that although he had all the trappings of success, such as wealth & glory, the road to the top was filled with setbacks and problems, both physically & emotionally, which he himself had to overcome in his boxing days. Ray Leonard still remains in the public eye to this day, and his legacy as one of the sport's greatest exponents means that his place in boxing history is forever secure.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Boxingmad

Spouse (2)

Bernadette Robi (20 August 1993 - present) (2 children)
Juanita Wilkinson (19 January 1980 - 18 December 1990) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (6)

Olympic Light Welterweight boxing gold-medalist, 1976. Held various world boxing championships, Welterweight through Light Heavyweight, 1979-1990. Inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame, 1997.
Inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame, 1996.
Inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, 1985.
Attended boxing matches with friend Michael J. Fox.
Godfather of Khloé Kardashian.
Father, with Bernadette Robi, of daughter Camille Leonard and son Daniel Leonard.

Personal Quotes (97)

I never met a person as determined as my mother. From working hard for six kids to just trying to keep the household down or maintain my father's discipline, my dad, I'm so much like my father too. My father was so introverted, quiet, shy, nice. I got attributes from my father and mother.
Fighters display two things. They display confidence, or they display a look that says, 'I'm not sure.'
Looking back, yes, I made too many comebacks. But each comeback I was 100 percent sure that I would win. I never came back for the money, because I didn't need it. The adulation I was getting anyway in other spheres. But I'm a guy who likes to see how close he can get to the edge of the mountain - that's what makes me tick.
Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring.
Boxing was not something I truly enjoyed. Like a lot of things in life, when you put the gloves on, it's better to give than to receive.
Within our dreams and aspirations we find our opportunities.
I was just such a quiet kid. I found boxing when I was 14 years old. I went down to the gym because my brother, who used to beat me up all the time, introduced me to boxing. I found boxing to be a sport that I felt safe in because I controlled what was in those four squares.
Boxing brings out my aggressive instinct, not necessarily a killer instinct.
I fought tall fighters, short fighters, strong fighters, slow fighters, sluggers and boxers. It was either learn or get knocked off.
I've never believed in tying myself up in a long-range contract, and I've been very outspoken on that subject.
Boxing was the only career where I wouldn't have to start out at the bottom. I had a good resume.
I watched Muhammad Ali, how when he would speak, how it was such a thing of beauty. It sounded so wonderful. And I wanted to be like him.
I'm a competitor and a very proud man. If a guy beats me once, he'll have to do it again to make me believe him.
People can do more than they ever believe they can do. Physically, mentally, academically. You have to be pushed. It hurts. But it's worth it, and it's a great thing.
You don't appreciate things until they're gone. For me, I miss my friends; I don't miss boxing, I miss the camaraderie.
Success is attaining your dream while helping others to benefit from that dream materializing.
When the trainer talks to the fighter, there's a connection. You don't always have to say much.
For the most part, I think video games do a good job of capturing the essence of boxing. However, I'd like to continue to see them push the realism, emphasizing the skill involved.
When you're a boxer, there is a lot of downtime and long periods of inactivity.
It's different when you become a professional, because you also have to become a businessman, and that takes something away from it.
Boxing is a sport, but it's also entertainment. I wanted to transcend the sport and be considered just not as a fighter, or a champion, but someone very special.
Boxing is the ultimate challenge. There's nothing that can compare to testing yourself the way you do every time you step in the ring. On the downside, you meet a lot of really bad people in boxing, at all stages of your career.
Boxing is individual, although there's a team concept because you need a great corner, you need a great trainer, you need a great prep man, you need all of these things, but it's more of a Mano a Mano; it's more you versus me. I miss that time in training camp and Dad and Mom cooking meals. It was one big family.
When I was fighting, I would look to excite the crowds with a bolo punch or something taunting. Looking back, they were legal - but not sportsmanlike. I don't recommend another boxer try them. But we looked more to make the robot fights dramatic first and realistic second.
For some reason, I was drawn towards boxing. Or maybe boxing drew me towards it - because once I put those gloves on, after about six months, boxing was my life.
Without boxing, because of my neighborhoods, who knows what would have happened to me. It was always about following the leader. And I definitely was not a leader. Boxing gave me discipline; a sense of self. It made me more outspoken. It gave me more confidence.
I run three to four times a week. I go down to Orange County in California and I run all the time... all the time. You see the oceans, the trees. I like running in hot weather. I like to sweat and get all those toxins out of my system. I thoroughly enjoy it.
Boxing's a poor man's sport. We can't afford to play golf or tennis. It is what it is. It's kept so many kids off the street. It kept me off the street.
I watched Ali, studied Ali, and I studied Sugar Ray Robinson. I watched them display showmanship. I watched them use pizzazz, personality, and charisma. I took things from them and borrowed things from them because boxing is entertainment.
I learned to run backwards from Muhammad Ali. He told me about running backwards because you try to imitate everything you do in the ring, so sometimes you back up. So you have to train your legs to go backwards.
Joe Frazier was the epitome of a champion. I mean, here is a guy who was total old school, blue collar, who would fight anybody. You know, he didn't tell you he was the best fighter pound for pound.
Boxing should focus on pitting champion versus champion - those are the fights that everyone wants to see. The sports also needs to work on developing new heroes and personalities. I'd like to see more vignettes on fighters, focusing on their lives, goals and stories. Boxers need to be larger than life.
I asked my kids, 'Do you know what Papa used to do.' They said, 'You were a boxer, you won the Olympics!' And that's what they know.
To say what I would have been if I wasn't boxing, I don't know why, but I always wanted to be an x-ray technician or a substitute teacher. Those two occupations always stuck with me, maybe because my substitute teacher didn't give us homework, or because I've always had x-rays of my hands.
Before I fight, I always pray that no one gets hurt.
To be the best, you need to spend hours and hours and hours running, hitting the speed bag, lifting weights and just focusing on training.
I came from nothing and achieved humungous fame and fortune. But I worked hard. I had discipline and determination. I had that ice in me.
Bruce Lee was an artist and, like him, I try to go beyond the fundamentals of my sport. I want the public to see a knockout in the making.
I was not athletically inclined. I was very quiet, introverted, non-confrontational. My three older brothers were athletes - basketball, football - but I was kind of a momma's boy. Then one day, my brother Roger encouraged me to go to the boxing gym with him. I tried the gloves on, and it just felt so natural.
To be the best, you need to spend hours and hours and hours running, hitting the speed bag, lifting weights and focusing on training.
I made mistakes, but I'm luckier than most. I've got a successful business, lots of fans who think a lot of me and a family who loves me.
You get these moments in the ring that live forever. That's what Muhammad Ali accomplished, and I hope that I have, too.
You just don't heal that easy unless you're young.
I want my fights to be seen as plays that have a beginning, a middle and an end.
Muhammad Ali was a god, an idol and an icon. He was boxing. Any kid that had the opportunity to talk to Ali, to get advice from Muhammad Ali, was privileged. He's always given me time to ask questions, although I was so in awe that I didn't ask questions.
I always expect unexpected challenges. Boxing is not an easy sport.
I don't hold any regrets whatsoever about my life besides hurting people I loved.
I am excited to share my archive pictures and footage. I'll also share announcements about current events and success stories from the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation to help fight diabetes and child obesity.
Sugar Ray Robinson was probably the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time.
I didn't excel too highly in school, but I felt that I was moving ahead - and not just in boxing - but in life.
I was not from a middle-class family at all. I did not have middle-class possessions and what have you. But I had middle-class parents who gave me what was needed to survive in society.
The thing about boxers is that there's respect there. You beat me, and I may not like it, but you know what, deep down inside, I respect you. And that's the code of honor.
I made an instant connection with boxing right away. Boxing became such a part of me. I ate boxing, I slept boxing, I lived boxing. Boxing was a way of expressing myself because I was not that outspoken.
My very best memory of Montreal was the moment inside the Olympic arena when I was waiting under the stadium and those majestic gates opened up. It was a whole other world.
I made the decision to turn pro, and I remember what Ali said to me: 'Get Angelo Dundee. He's the right complexion with the right connection.' He knew boxing. Our relationship was so genuine, so sincere.
At 14, I was the most disciplined guy around. I would get up at 5 o'clock in the morning and run five miles, and then go to school. Sometimes I would run behind the school bus, and the kids thought I was just crazy. I knew what I wanted.
There will always be something about two men in the ring - a mystique because it's pure man-to-man competition. Because of the history boxing has and the tradition it holds, boxing will always have a that mystique.
When we got back to the U.S., I wanted to kiss the ground after seeing what people in other countries are denied or don't have.
Boxing will always be in my life.
I run with music all the time. I cannot run without my iPod. I have everything. Teddy Pendergrass. Luther Van Dross. Michael Jackson. Outkast. If an Usher song comes on and it's fast, I go fast.
They say that I'm stubborn, and my wife says that, too, but it's paid off so far.
Although it was a great accomplishment to win a gold medal, as soon as they put it on you, that's it; your career is over.
Duran always disturbs me. The guy is just weird. Before our first fight, both Duran and his wife gave my wife the finger.
Generally, the more weight you put on, the less effective you are.
Except for Ali, fighters had never been marketable.
Holyfield is nothing but class, and I think he's a breath of fresh air for the sport.
Ali's belief in himself was something I picked up on, and it's become my own philosophy.
Before the start of the '76 Olympics, I'd had 160 amateur fights. I won 155 and lost five.
I think an athlete should be honest. I know it's difficult, but if a guy knocked me on my can, I couldn't very well say, I slipped.
When I turned pro, Muhammad Ali was laying back, and I was able to fill up an area that was empty.
Aaron Pryor wants to get into the ring with me. He wants to be able to retire, and he will. For health reasons.
I was painfully initiated into boxing, because the guys I fought were a lot bigger than me.
I'm a free agent. I haven't allowed any promoters to have exclusive options on my fight. I don't need a promoter.
I always designed my robes and how I would present myself at every fight.
I think I've become one of the best finishers in boxing; if I hurt a guy, I normally take him out.
In Italy, I had an Afro, and a lot of the kids came up and felt my hair. It really was funny. I wish I had understood Italian.
I wanted to be like Bruce Jenner.
If I hadn't had the talent, the networks wouldn't have televised my fights. No one has made me; I made myself. I paid my dues.
I remember all the important fights. Vividly. In detail.
I enjoy the school run and being a dad. Boxing will always be with me. I like that.
I wouldn't change anything because the mistakes and the hurt are as important as all the great fights. They made me who I am today.
I'm not religious, but I believe that what I have is a gift, and I respect it and live up to it.
I've done a lot of things in my life that I'm not proud of.
I'll think, If this is his first punch, how are the others gonna feel? That's the only fear I have for myself.
It's hard to talk about yourself.
When I'm not in training. I'll walk around the streets at 153, but it's not solid; it's my socializing weight.
I wanted to win the gold medal and then go home and further my education in college. I had no intentions whatsoever to become a professional fighter because I had heard horror stories about former boxers who made money but, in the end, ended up with nothing. I didn't want to be one of those guys.
No one but myself thought I could beat guys like Tommy Hearns or Roberto Duran.
We're all given some sort of skill in life. Mine just happens to be beating up on people.
The time to stop is when the other guy hits you more than you hit him.
I went through real darkness, but the ring was my light. That was the one place I felt safe. I could control what happened in the ring. My heart turned icy.
I'm one of the most optimistic persons in the world. I always believed that - there's another shot, another chance. In boxing, I never gave up. I kept trying, kept trying. Even when things seemed so dim, I continued to push forward to make something happen in my favor.
People try to live vicariously through fighters, but it's one-on-one; it's primal. There's no other feeling like it. The problem for me was accepting it - that nothing compares to being champ.
Normally, I would run with a group of guys in my camps. A couple of days before the fight, I would run by myself. That was my time to choreograph the fight in my head, so I needed to be myself.
I used to walk to the Washington Monument from North L Street Northwest. And I was so hungry at times, I would stop and look into the trash cans, and if there was a half a sandwich, I would take that sandwich and eat it. It was just a matter of survival. I didn't think much of it, but it was just the way things were.
Ray Leonard is more the family man, kind of quiet. He's not as outgoing as Sugar Ray Leonard. Sugar Ray Leonard was very determined, very focused, very outgoing and very selfish, if you will. There are two different individuals there.
The Olympics meant everything to me. Going through them is like nothing else you will ever experience. For those few weeks, you are in another world. At that point, I couldn't see how there could ever be anything better.

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