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|Sugar Ray Leonard is remembered in the sporting world as one of Chris Driedger Jersey , if not the most; flashy, exciting and elegant fighters the sport of boxing has seen.
Born Ray Charles Leonard on May 17, 1956, in Wilmington, North Carolina, named after the singing legend Ray Charles. Leonard adopted the alias Sugar early on in his career upon the approval of Sugar Ray Robinson- with the label being suitable as Leonard, like his namesake, was sweet as sugar inside the boxing ring.
Leonard had a fine amateur career, winning three Golden Gloves, two AAU championships, a gold medal at the Pan-American Games in 1975 and culminating in an Olympic gold medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, Canada. Leonard finished his amateur career with a record of 145-5, with 75 knock outs.
Upon winning the gold medal, Leonard told sports announcer and reporter Howard Cosell he was quitting boxing for good, and was planning to attend college. However, Leonards father became ill, and with his family in need of money Leonard decided to turn professional. Muhammad Alis head trainer, Angelo Dundee, was hired to be Leonards trainer, and Janks Morton and Dave Jacobs as co-trainers, with lawyer Mike Trainer completing the team.
Leonard made his professional debut on February 5, 1977, against Luis Vega at the Baltimore Civic Centre. In a fight that was nationally televised- and in which Leonard made $40,000 from- Vega lost a 6 round unanimous decision.
Under the guidance of his shrewd advisors, Leonard decided to remain independent by not signing a long term deal with a promoter Bobby Ryan Jersey , therefore having the flexibility to do business with whom he chose. As a result, Leonard gained popularity by reaching a wide audience demographic, with fights being broadcast on NBC, CBS, HBO and ABC.
Leonard won his first 25 fights, and in the process defeated notable names in: Floyd Mayweather, Daniel Aldo Gonzalez, Pete Ranzany and Andy Price. After capturing the NABF welterweight title, Leonard received the opportunity to fight WBC welterweight world champion, Wilfred Benitez. Despite the importance of the bout, Benitez preparation was poor, with his handlers not happy with Benitez volume of training. In a closely fought contest, Leonard stopped Benitez in round 15 via a TKO with only 6 seconds left in the fight.