Former professional boxer, Sugar Ray Leonard has a name like no one else in the ring, with many people regarding him among the best boxers of his generation, recording only 3 losses in a career that has seen him slugging it out 40 times in the ring. He has likewise made a name for himself as a motivational speaker while also doing some acting.
The boxer was born Ray Charles Leonard on May 17, 1956, in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was brought up alongside his 6 siblings by their parents, Cicero Leonard and Getha Leonard and was raised in a family that had boxing running in their blood. Both himself and his brother took to it as a profession, their father was also a boxer, but he didn’t do it for too long and it was only after Sugar had started fighting that he knew his father was once a boxer in his younger days.
The very quiet, soft talking and shy kid went to the Parkdale High School. By 1969, he had started learning to box, following in the footsteps of his elder brother. Only 3 years later, he was battling for the featherweight at the National AAU Tournament but lost out at the quarterfinals.
By the time he was through with his amateur career, the man who would go on to be a legendary boxer had had a record of 145 wins and only 5 losses.
Sugar Ray Leonard fought professionally until 1988 when he retired. Nevertheless, he would return to the ring again to fight until 1997. Before his last two fights which he lost, he recorded just a draw, a loss, and 36 wins. His career saw him defeating people like Floyd Mayweather Sr., Wilfred Benítez, Dave Boy Green, and Thomas Hearns. He only lost to Héctor Camacho, Terry Norris, and Roberto Durán whom he went on to beat again.
35 of his wins were by knockout, 11 by decision, while 1 was a draw. In the same line, he only lost once by knockout and twice by decision.
Through his career, Leonard won the NABF welterweight title as well as the WBC, The Ring, and lineal welterweight titles which he would win again after losing to Roberto Durán. There were also the WBC super middleweight title and WBO super middleweight title which he won as well as two Men’s amateur boxing titles at the 1975 Pan American Games and Olympics of 1976.
Sugar Ray Leonard’s Family – Wife, Daughter, and Sons
As indicated, Sugar comes from a big family and has 6 other siblings with himself being the fifth child. Among his siblings are Roger Leonard who is also a professional boxer, Bunny Leonard, Sandy Leonard, and Sharon Leonard.
Looking at his relationships, the boxer has had his fair share of relationships even though he is not among those that can be said to have dated many women in the past. The first woman that he got married to was Juanita Wilkinson whom he had been together with since both of them were in High School.
His relationship with Juanita Wilkinson was not one without its problems like many others, but they weathered through it until they got married when they were both 23 in 1980. Before then, they had a son when they were only 16.
By 1990, the couple had been separated for two years and were finalizing a divorce that was riddled with accusations of assault and adultery against the boxer. When the divorce was finalized, their second son, Jerrel was aged 7 while their first son Ray Jr. was 17.
Bernadette Robi was the next woman that Sugar Ray married in 1993. Bernadette was a Sports Illustrated model before meeting and marrying the legendary boxer after they were introduced by Kenny G at a Luther Vandross concert. Since then, they have remained very close.
Apart from his two sons with Juanita Wilkinson, Sugar Ray Leonard also has a daughter, Camille Leonard, and a son Daniel Ray Leonard.
Height and Weight
As a legendary boxer that he is, one of the things that have worked to his advantage in the very physical game is his body build. He has a very athletic build, even though he may not be the tallest man in many rings neither is he the biggest. Nonetheless, boxing is not necessarily a game of the tallest and biggest.
In numbers, he stands a height of 5 ft 10 in (178 cm) and a body weight of 137 lbs (62 kg).