Tuesday, April 23, 2024  |


Leonard tells of abuse in new autobiography

Fighters Network

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.