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Leonard tells of abuse in new autobiography

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18
May

In an autobiography due to be released in June by Viking Press, Hall of Famer "Sugar" Ray Leonard says he was sexually abused at a 1971 boxing tournament by a "prominent Olympic boxing coach."

In "The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring," the retired legend writes that he and another fighter were in a hot tub filled with Epsom salts when they suspected he unnamed coach was doing "something a bit inappropriate" on the other side of the bathroom. Leonard writes that he and the other teen-aged boxer did not want to question their coach about the incident.

A few years later, the same coach made a sexual advance toward Leonard, the fighter says, while the two sat in a parked car outside a recreation facility.

"Before I knew it, he had unzipped my pants and put his hand, then mouth, on an area that has haunted me for life," Leonard writes in a passage excerpted from the book by the New York Times. "I didn't scream. I didn't look at him. I just opened the door and ran."

Leonard, 55, also details other problems, including his battle with drugs, alcohol, marital infidelity and domestic issues, and admits he had a drinking problem later in life.

The legendary boxer won an Olympic gold medal as a light welterweight in 1976 at Montreal, then went on to capture world titles in five weight classes as a pro.

 

Dennis Taylor is editor/publisher of www.ringsideboxingshow.com and co-host of The Ringside Boxing Show.